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So you may not be a morning person, but there is a saying that goes “Early bird gets the worm.”

First, you must prepare yourself by getting a good night of rest. It does not matter if it is 8 hours or 6 hours. It is what your body needs to feel rested. Contrary to previous research, 8 hours of sleep is not what everyone needs. Research has shown that many averages around 7 hours of sleep. Then create a calming environment to help you prepare for sleep. Turn off the distractions such as bright lights and television that keep your body stimulated.

Then set that alarm! Set it about 30 minutes before your normal wake up time. Your body will slowly adjust to the time and it will become your new normal. Use those 30 minutes each morning to get yourself mentally and physically ready for the day. It can be a written or mental checklist and will help you prepare yourself. Then start with gentle stretches for the body to get all the joints and muscles moving. Incorporate deep breaths with your stretches. Not only is this helpful for relaxation, but it also allows the body to wake up.

This is also a perfect time to get those physical therapy exercises in as well! The best part is that you can do some in bed! Follow the home exercise program given to you by your physical therapist. Often the stretches and exercises will alleviate pain and overall decrease stiffness in your area of pain after a night of rest. When you stretch, it decreases the muscle tension and stiffness at a joint due to fluid buildup from the previous night. If there are some strengthening exercises given to you by your physical therapist, it is a perfect time to perform them as well.

Together, a well-rested body, a clear focused mind, and a fluid moving body will lead to a better day.

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