If you’re someone who struggles to get out of bed in the morning, you’re not alone. It’s a problem that’s been around since the era of Marcus Aurelius, and likely a long time before that, too.
The good news is that there are many people who’ve mastered the morning routine and get their days off to an excellent start. You don’t have to wake up at 3:30 AM like Mark Wahlberg and hit the gym for two hours on an empty stomach, but you do need to get into the right habits.
Implementing the following tips in your lifestyle will hopefully help you to:
- Wake up earlier and easier
- Boost your mood and motivation
- Plan and prioritise your tasks
- Achieve more in less time
- Feel more satisfied and fulfilled
So what should you be doing? Let’s take a look:
Set A Consistent Sleep Schedule
When it comes to morning routines, the biggest hurdle is poor sleep habits. If you don’t get enough sleep or have an irregular sleep schedule, you’ll feel groggy, irritable, and unfocused in the morning. It’s a simple equation.
Therefore, aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This approach will help your body clock adjust and regulate your circadian rhythm, which is the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness. You’ll expect to go to sleep at, say, 10 PM and then your body will automatically wake you at 6 AM, ready for the day ahead. It’ll feel natural. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and able to fall asleep deeper for longer, improving how you feel the following day.
Create A Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Another way to improve your sleep quality and prepare yourself for the next day is to create a relaxing bedtime routine. You want to find a series of activities that makes it easy for you to slip into a deep slumber.
Unfortunately, many people have poor bedtime routines which get in the way of their ability to benefit from proper sleep. For instance, they continue checking their emails, playing games on bright screens or, in some cases, getting into arguments with their partners.
However, once you adopt a healthy bedtime routine, you can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Clear your mind and improve your memory
- Release melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep
- Relax your muscles and nerves
- Lower your blood pressure and heart rate
All these physiological factors make it much more likely that sleep will just “happen” instead of being something you struggle to achieve.
For instance, a healthy bedtime routine could include meditating or doing breathing exercises, listening to soothing music or doing some easy yoga poses. Don’t do things that could stimulate your brain or prevent you from getting the sleep you need, such as watching TV, using your phone, checking social media, or eating a big, heavy meal.
Set An Alarm
If you’re like most people, you probably use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. But not all alarm clocks are created equal. If they are too loud or annoying, or make it easy to snooze, then they could disrupt your sleep patterns.
Remember, historically people woke up with the sun. Natural sleep ended when morning light interacted with the retina and caused a change in the body’s hormones.
You can mimic the same effect in your home. You’ll notice that when you tell yourself to get up by a certain time, you do.
However, if you decide to go with an alarm clock, make sure you choose one that wakes you up slowly and gradually. You also want one that motivates you to get out of bed and on with your day. It should align with your personal preferences and goals, and your personality. Don’t get something obnoxious, for instance, if it doesn’t match your personality.
Use A Sunrise Alarm Clock
Sunrise alarm clocks mimic the natural light of dawn. These are great options if you are a shift worker and you operate at unusual times of the day. These tend to be gentle on the mind and body and prepare you for your next stint at the office.
Try various different kinds of alarm clocks and find the one that works best for you. Research individual products until you get something you love.
Hydrate And Nourish Your Body
After sleeping for several hours, your body is dehydrated and low on energy. That’s why it’s crucial to hydrate and nourish your body as soon as you wake up. For instance, proper nutrition can replenish fluids lost overnight, kickstart energy production and metabolism, and boost your immune system, helping you detoxify your organs.
If you have a speciality coffee, it may also enhance your brain function and mood. You may feel more willing to take on the day.
But what, exactly, should you be consuming in the morning? Here are some ideas:
- Water with lemon or apple cider vinegar. This combination helps to flush out your system and lower blood glucose spikes after breakfast, thanks to the acidic content of the mal
- A cup of green tea or coffee with healthy milk, such as almond milk or soy milk
- A high-fibre breakfast containing a combination of healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Oatmeal with flax seeds and berries is a great option and keeps you full all morning.
- Supplement with vitamins, particularly vitamin D if you don’t get much sun exposure, and vitamin B12 if you eat plant-based
Another great way to master your morning routines is to plan ahead and get things going the night before the following day arrives. This way, your mornings will feel less chaotic and more seamless and you won’t feel as stressed about them.
For instance, choose your outfit and lay it out somewhere. This way, you immediately know what you’re wearing when you wake up. Also, pack your bag and organise your essentials. Make sure you have everything you need for work, school, or any other activity you have planned. You can also make a checklist to avoid forgetting anything important.
You should also make a to-do list and prioritise your tasks. Write down what you need to accomplish during the day and rank them by urgency and importance. This way, you can do what matters and pretty much ignore everything else.
Lastly, you can try to prepare your breakfast and lunch. Make your meals ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer, saving you money and time in the morning and ensuring you have something decent and healthy to eat, not a last-minute processed item.
Get Up Early
Nobody is saying you need to wake up at “ridiculous o’clock,” but getting up an hour earlier could benefit most people. Waking up early has numerous benefits, including boosting your creativity and productivity and improving your mental health. For instance, studies have shown that early risers tend to be more creative and productive than late risers, as they have more time and energy to work on their goals and projects. Research also suggests that waking up early can help you reduce stress and anxiety, as you have more time to relax and meditate before facing the day’s challenges.
It can even have beneficial effects on your physical health. For example, early risers tend to have a better immune system, metabolism, and blood pressure, thanks to the effects it has on their circadian rhythms.
Lastly, waking up early can have a tremendous impact on your mental health. People who get out of bed at a sensible hour are often more optimistic and grateful, as they can enjoy the beauty of nature, the silence of the morning, and the opportunity of a new day. It’s worth a shot, in our view.
Don’t Hit The Snooze Button
The snooze button is one of the worst inventions of the 20th century. It gave people an excuse not to get out of bed in the morning when the alarm went off. All they needed to do was hit snooze and they could have an extra five minutes in the sack.
That’s not a good way to live life, though. While it might seem like a convenience, it trains your body not to get out of bed the moment you wake up. Ideally, there should be no delay between the two. Once you are awake, you should stand up and get on with your day. But the snooze button made staying in bed more tempting by postponing the alarm.
Avoid Checking Your Phone
Lastly, you should try to avoid checking your phone or email first thing in the morning. These can cause massive stress and distract you from your morning routine. Instead, go through the steps involved in your routine and then when it is time for work to start, check your devices. This way, all the benefits of your morning activities will accrue without interruption.
So, there you have it: some of the ways you can master your mornings and make the most of your day.