Do you have a hard time “getting going” in the morning? You’re showered and dressed, coffee in hand, staring at your full email inbox … and yet you just can’t seem to get your brain to boot up?
If this resonates, you’re definitely not alone. Even sellers who bound out of bed first thing and dive head-long into prospect emails aren’t going to be breaking any sales records early in the morning, personal or otherwise. The truth is no one is at their best mentally, emotionally, or physically for the first 60-90 minutes of the day.
But this doesn’t mean it has to be wasted time. There are a few simple steps you can take to minimize morning grogginess--which will have you feeling game-ready sooner--but we also recommend curbing your expectations for what you can accomplish during this window. Instead of willing yourself to just power through, try using your early mornings to get ahead of to-dos that don’t require you to be at 100%. Not only will this allow early mornings to feel more productive in their own way, but you’ll also be setting yourself up to enter your first energy peak feeling relaxed, distraction-free, and ready to win.
What’s behind this period of morning out-of-it-ness is a chemical in our brains called adenosine, which makes us feel drowsy by design.
Adenosine consistently builds up during our waking hours, resulting in what’s called “sleep pressure”--the reason you feel sleepier the longer you’re awake. It plays a crucial role in our sleep health, since without this sleep pressure we’d never feel inclined to hit the sack. Our bodies flush the built-up adenosine over the course of our night’s sleep, but the chemical residue doesn’t just disappear the moment we wake up--it takes a while (about 60-90 minutes for most of us) for the effects to burn off completely.
Sleep scientists refer to this gradual acclimation to wakefulness as sleep inertia, and more severe cases are aptly called “sleep drunkenness.” In your RISE app, you’ll see we’ve labeled this period as your “grogginess zone.”
While there’s nothing you can do to banish your “grogginess zone” from your life altogether, there are steps you can take to lessen the post-wake up adenosine load. We suggest you:
It’s important to recognize that even if you’re able to reduce feelings of grogginess, you’re still not going to be on top of your game right after you wake up. But just as with your afternoon dip, there’s plenty you can still tackle when you’re not operating at full capacity--you just need to plan ahead and schedule your days with these periods in mind.
You don’t want to be delivering a potentially career-making pitch first thing in the morning, but you can take care of routine tasks that, once completed, will make you feel more calm and capable going into your workday. And in this way you’ll also be preserving your two daily energy peaks for your most high-stakes work.
Here are our suggestions for making the most of your grogginess zone:
One final note: With so many of us working from home right now, there’s more flexibility to our sleep and wake times than ever before. While this can be a good thing, it also means there’s less of a built-in buffer between waking up and getting to work. Since we no longer need to set aside time in the a.m. for ironing our shirts, doing our make-up, getting the kids out the door, commuting, etc., it can be tempting to opt for a few extra zzz’s when the opportunity arises.
But as alluring as a weekday sleep-in might be, we promise it’s not worth it. We strongly recommend regularly waking up at least an hour (though 90 minutes is ideal) in advance of go-time so you’ll be “clocking in” just as you’re cresting your first peak. And keep in mind that this means pursuing a consistent early bedtime, as well, so you’re not accruing productivity-sabotaging sleep debt in the process.
→ RISE uses your sleep data to predict the time and duration of your grogginess zone each morning. Consult the app as soon as you wake up so you can start planning your day with confidence.
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