Morning Routine Tips to Start Your Day Right
Earlier this month, I was contacted by Chicago-based wellness writer Kathleen Ferraro about an article she was writing for Bustle. She was looking for morning routine tips for night owls. We had a great conversation about ways to make your morning less of a drag, and maybe even pleasant and productive when you really would rather sleep in. Here’s my full list of tips and tricks for getting your day started right.
Resist the snooze button.
Avoid hitting snooze and instead get up when your alarm goes off. It might take a few days to reduce the number of times you hit snooze, but the goal should be to hop out of bed when your alarm goes off. You can try moving the alarm clock far enough away from your bed so you have to get out of bed to turn it off, but close enough that you will still hear it.
Get bright, natural light.
Open the curtains and let in the light first thing. This synchronizes your circadian rhythm, telling your brain it’s morning and time to be awake. If it’s still dark out or cloudy and you can’t get sunlight, turn on lots of lights inside to alert your brain that it’s morning.
Drink a glass of water.
Many of us reach for a big cup of coffee to get us going. But before you take that first sip of your morning caffeine, drink a large glass of water. The water will rehydrate your body after a night’s sleep, boost your metabolism, and help you feel more energized. Coffee is dehydrating and could irritate your stomach - not a good way to start the day.
Energize with exercise.
Exercising releases endorphins so you start your day in a good mood and energized. If you can fit in a gym workout, that's great, but a brisk walk around your neighborhood or some yoga or bodyweight exercises at home works just as well.
Create a routine you will look forward to and plan ahead.
Whether you want to make a delicious breakfast, meet a friend for a walk, catch up on some reading, or listen to a favorite podcast, planning a morning routine that you are excited about will help you get up. Then make sure you are prepared with the things you will need. Pick out your clothes for exercise and prepare the ingredients for your breakfast the night before so in the morning you are ready to go.
Have a good breakfast.
It’s important to fuel yourself with a nutritious breakfast that will give you the energy to get going with your day. So, skip the sugary breakfast cereal, donut, or bagel and butter, and opt for something more nutritious like oatmeal with chopped nuts and berries or apple slices with whole-grain toast and peanut butter. If you know you won’t have time to prepare anything, consider making overnight oats the night before.
Set the thermostat.
Of course, you aren’t going to want to get out of a warm bed if your room is freezing in the morning. Program your thermostat so your room is at a comfortable temperature by the time your alarm goes off.
Finally, it's a lot easier to wake up in the morning if you have gotten some good quality sleep the night before. Even if you know you won’t get the number of hours you want, you can take these easy steps to make sure the hours you do get are as good as possible:
Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime to prevent indigestion or heartburn which will interfere with your sleep.
Avoid drinking alcohol late in the evening. Even though we may feel like alcohol relaxes us and makes us more tired, it actually disrupts our sleep quality.
Stop drinking caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine has a half-life of about 5-6 hours, so that afternoon coffee you are drinking to get you through the second half of your day is likely still in your system and disrupting your sleep at bedtime.
Create optimal sleeping conditions in your bedroom. The optimal temperature for sleeping is about 65 degrees, and your room should be dark and quiet.