A few weeks back I talked about the magic of early mornings, the precious moments before the rest of the world demands and drains your energy. It’s no secret that we need enough quality sleep if we want a chance at those pre-sunrise moments, but that’s not what I want to dive into today. Instead, I want to talk about a few, very simple things that you can put into practice upon waking that have helped me wake naturally before my alarm sounds...and look forward to throwing off the covers.

Get lit

Natural light helps our bodies produce Serotonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our mood and sleep. During those darker winter months, we can feel especially lethargic when we’re not exposed to morning light upon waking. It can be helpful to recruit tools to simulate the same experience as rising with the sun. I purchased alarm clocks for the house that gradually fill the rooms with light, helping us wake up more naturally. If you are someone who finds that you need a little sunlight to energize you, it may be something to consider. This is the one we use.


We know that we’re dehydrated after a night’s rest, so it’s important to drink water first thing. Well, to be honest with you, all I can think about when I first wake up is coffee. I’ve found, though, if I have ice cold water within arm’s reach, I’ll drink it first. I also recognize that I feel a lot better drinking my coffee once I’ve prepped my body for it. Not only does water help to purify and prepare the GI tract for whatever food or drink you introduce to it next, but it also helps us become more alert. The recommendation is for your first sip of water to be room temperature so as to not shock the system, but personally I love really cold water that I can feel all the way down my throat – idk I’m just crazy like that. I started a habit of filling a Yeti with ice water and placing it on my nightstand. That way it’s within arm’s reach and still cold when I wake up. I bring it with me to the bathroom and continue to sip on it throughout my a.m. routine.

Sensory luxuries

Scents, sounds, tastes and temperatures are known to have energizing effects on the mind and body. When it’s still dark outside and you haven’t fully arrived at an awakened state, that’s the moment to call on those sensory luxuries. Sometimes, it’s in the minutia that makes all the difference in our lives isn’t it? I use a facial mist every morning that smells like a spa or hotel lobby. I walk into the bathroom with my ice water and immediately spritz my face with the mist. It reminds me of past vacations and spa days and instantly puts me in a good mood. The cucumber, green tea scent and the coolness of the mist wakes me up. I truly look forward to it as I’m making my way out of bed. Next, I oil pull before brushing my teeth. I found this brand that makes the process so easy and more pleasurable with their variety of flavors. My favorite is the coco mint. After I’ve finished oil pulling and brushing, I swipe on a peppermint lip balm and make my way downstairs to grab these eye gels out of the refrigerator. I place them under my eyes while I make my coffee and start my day.

I encourage you to set the stage for an easier transition from sleep to awake by incorporating these simple practices into your morning. It will improve your relationship with those first few moments of the day and with consistency, you’ll find yourself rising before the alarm. Let me know what’s working for you, I LOVE to hear how you’re elevating your wellness.

Xo, Kristen

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©2017 by Kristen Marias, RDN/LDN