There is some good news for those of us that don’t bounce out of bed the minute the alarm goes off. The people who never hesitate to sit up and greet the morning the moment their alarms go off seem enviable. They make the rest of us look like lazybones in comparison. We frequently envy them their vim and vigor. They are taking the morning by storm while the rest of us are recovering from the alarm.
However, that might not be the healthiest way to start your day. In fact, getting out of bed too soon and too fast can actually be bad for both your mind and your body. So, if you aren’t a bright sunny morning person, take comfort. And, if you are someone who gets out of bed immediately, take heed.
From a mental point of view, it’s important to take a beat. You don’t get into bed and immediately nod off. People usually wind down slowly. Why is it then that we’re expected to jump-start the morning? Your brain needs a moment to start the day before you get up. Dr. Catherine Jackson, licensed psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist, spoke in a Bustle article about morning health and suggested staying in bed for a few moments, checking in with yourself and easing into the day. This, she says, “will help reduce anxiety in the morning and throughout your day.”
Getting out of bed immediately can also be bad for you physically. Have you ever felt like you pulled something as you got up? That might not be your imagination. Going from a prone position to being upright quickly can injure you. Physical therapist Erika Mundinger points out that a lot is going on in your body as you wake up. “You’re changing blood pressure, breathing rate, brain waves,” she says. These are all physical processes that cannot be rushed. Just like we don’t fall into bed and immediately stop thinking, we don’t go to bed after being physically busy and immediately stop moving. If you wouldn’t crawl into bed the minute you finished a marathon, why would you jump out of bed after eight hours of being still?
Robert Oexman, MBA, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute says that moving too quickly when your muscles are stiff from sleep can cause pain, possibly even a slipped or ruptured disk. Moreover, blood can rush to your legs as you sit up, making you dizzy and potentially prone to a fall. Instead of rushing to sit up, stretching in place to get your blood moving and your muscles looser can help your body adjust before launching into your day.
With this new information, you might want to take it slow after waking up. Taking the stress and speed out of morning can help you have a better day, even if it starts a few moments later! And if you aren’t someone who springs out of bed, relax, you’re ahead of many of us when it comes to a healthy routine.