According to a recent survey, 21% of employers have fired an employee in the last few years for being late.

While the excuses given are many and various, including apparently "my cat caught fire", 14% percent of employees say they were late because of lack of sleep, and the resulting morning sluggishness.

So here are our top three tips to make sure that you're bright and lively and get to work on time.

1. Good sleep hygiene

Sleeping (PD)

First of all, if you're struggling with sleepiness, it makes sense to make sure that you do everything you can to get a good night's rest in the first place. The Sleep Council has some brilliant tips for making sure you drop off. These include keeping your bedroom really dark at night, because electric lights signal to your body that it's time for wakefulness and activity. You also need to make sure that the room you are sleeping in is not too warm, as your temperature needs to drop at night because again, your body receives signals to be active if it feels too hot.

Ironically, given the above, many people are kept awake at night by worries going round in their head, including financial concerns. So if you'd rather not be fired for worrying about money late at night, the best advice is to deal with all these things properly in the daytime. This includes working out a budget and speaking to any creditors to arrange a repayment plan.

2. A wise choice of alarm clock

Grass in sunlight (PD)

Now that you've sorted out your sleep, make sure that you wake up gently and without a shock to the system. Sunrise alarm clocks have risen hugely in popularity lately because they wake you up by gradually increasing the intensity of a bedside light at your chosen time. This increases production of the "action" hormone, cortisol, while switching off the sleep hormone melatonin. Users say it has increased their chirpiness in the morning no end.

3. Grab a coffee

Coffee maker (PD)

And if all else fails because you stayed up late, forgot to set your alarm clock and only get up in time to grab a coffee as you're rushing out of the door… Then grab a coffee! And don't feel too bad about it, because coffee actually contains essential nutrients, including B vitamins, manganese and potassium. In addition, studies show that it may protect you against diseases such as cancer, liver disease and depression.

These benefits are seen in greater quantities in fresh brewed coffee as opposed to instant, but fear not: new coffee pod machines have been developed that are almost as speedy as boiling a kettle and won't block your sink with messy coffee grounds, since they're all contained in a pad, just like a teabag.

So now you have all the information on hand to make sure that you're more efficient at work. Now you can proceed to shock your boss by being first in the office every day!

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