Monday comes around every week. A few months ago I was like Garfield -- I hated Mondays. I found myself generally more tired and lethargic on Mondays compared to any other day of the week. But why?
Generally, we (yes YOU and I), stay up and sleep in later on the weekends causing our circadian rhythm to get a little wonky.
The following are my 5 habits to form a solid sleep routine and give you the tools you need to escape the Monday blues.
Step 1: Take a warm shower
Ah, what a way to relax. Imagine how great it would feel after a hard workout and long day at work to just let the warm water run over your body. You step out of the shower, the mirror is fogged and your pores wide open. Here comes Step #2.
Step 2: Rub a magnesium supplement all over your body
Most humans have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is crucial to more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. This means that without it, your body fumbles over 300 different processes. It supports a healthy immune system, strengthen bones and aids in the production of energy and protein. Not to mention that Magnesium is also a very powerful relaxation mineral.
Step 3: Perform some light stretching
Simply target your tight spots. Have trouble getting low in the squat? Target your ankles, hips, and mid back. Have trouble getting your arms overhead for a Shoulder Press? Target your mid back and shoulders.
Spend about 60-120 seconds in each stretch hitting these trouble areas until complete. This time away from your phone and tv can help you with Step #4.
Step 4: Stay away from the blue light
The artificial light from electronics closely mimics the spectrum of light that comes from the sun. This light tricks our body into thinking that it is daytime. When your body is tricked in this way, cortisol is released, shifting you into a sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system response and stressing you out. Instead, you need to focus on boosting your melatonin levels.
Picture cortisol and melatonin on a seesaw. If cortisol is up, melatonin is down, and vice versa. Melatonin is known as the “get good sleep” hormone. More on this in Step #5!
What can you do instead of browsing through your phone or watching tv before bed? In today’s society, this isn’t an uncommon question. Let’s think of things to do instead...
Do some light reading
Talk to a friend or loved one
Prep your meals for the next day
Send your children to bed
Do some light cleaning and rearranging while being careful not to raise your heart rate too much
That wasn’t too hard.
Step 5: Make it to bed before 10pm every night, not just the weekdays.
Remember cortisol and melatonin from Step #4? Well, they orchestrate what we call the circadian rhythm (body clock). In the morning, cortisol peaks, causing you to wake up. Adversely, melatonin peaks in the evening, causing you to fall asleep.
The “money time” to sleep is between roughly 10pm - 2am (depending on season, daylight savings, etc. this period of time is roughly two hours after sunset). During this period of sleep, human growth hormone (HGH) is released to help repair your body from the stresses of the day. When you skip this period, you are missing out on something special.
Think about it. Almost nothing you do past 10pm has to be done then (browsing YouTube, watching that show, texting that friend). Instead, you can wake up a little earlier, prioritize your day (including your sleep) and go forth to reap the benefits of this energy boost.
Mondays suck because we’ve fallen out of our routine circadian rhythm.
Get away from your phone and other electronics 90 minutes before bed. This can be an easy gateway towards getting in new habits. (journaling, stretching, communicating with your partner without distraction).
Don’t be a Garfield. Make Monday the first Friday of the week.