Starting your day off right is important. Whether you need to rush off to an early meeting or just want to get things done around the house, waking up feeling energized and on track can make all the difference. Unfortunately, many people have morning habits that work against them. If you want a more productive morning, avoid doing these things when you wake up.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, it's tempting to roll over and hit the snooze button. However, sleep experts warn against doing that. The short bursts of sleep you get are generally low-quality and restless, which can actually leave you feeling even more groggy than just getting up with the alarm.
Consider whether you're just being lazy or you actually need to be sleeping longer, and adjust your approach accordingly.
Most people are in the habit of keeping their phones by the side of the bed. Sometimes, this can negatively affect your sleep hygiene, when you develop a habit of waking up and immediately flipping through texts, social media, or email. This can make your bed feel like a less restful place, so it's best to save screen time for other rooms of the house.
Throwing open your curtains and turning on the lights right away may seem like a harsh way to wake up, but it can help you feel energized and ready to go. That's because your body is naturally tuned into daylight cycles, so light acts as a cue that it's time to get rolling.
Once you're up and about, it's a good idea to get in the habit of making your bed. Not only do many people find that this routine helps them mentally prepare for the day, but it may help you get a better night's sleep the next night. Unmade beds can collect small but irritating particles of dirt or allergens that may make it difficult to sleep, plus there's just something about throwing back the covers and crawling in at the end of a busy day.
There's nothing wrong with a bit of caffeine to help you get started in the morning, but consider holding off until you've had a big glass of water. You can even sip it while you wait for your coffee to brew. Remember, in the morning, your body has gone at least eight hours without fluids, so you're slightly dehydrated. That glass of water can help your body recover and wake up the digestive system. Staying hydrated can also help you feel more naturally energetic.
People have different feelings about breakfast, and if you hate eating it, that's okay. However, you may want to consider trying to eat at least a little something to start your day. Your metabolism is working faster early in the day, so breakfast can help you use those calories more efficiently. Some experts also recommend eating less in the evenings to help you fall asleep better at night, so switching your larger meals to earlier in the day may make it easier to get up in the morning.
It can be tempting to have a lazy morning while you slowly wake up, but research suggests that morning is the best time for most people to exercise. This doesn't mean you need to jump out of bed and directly into a 5k, but even some gentle stretching will help you wake up. Moving also releases endorphins — feel-good hormones — which can ensure you start your day in a good mood. Exercising too late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep for the same reason, which could also hijack your morning alertness.
It's tempting to open your work email just to check and see what's going on or to start seeing what your friends are up to on social media while you eat your breakfast, but this is often a bad decision. Not only can sad or bad news disrupt your day from the start, but it's easy to get caught up in those activities and lose track of time, which can put you behind for the day. If you can't opt out of this practice, consider setting a timer and making yourself put the phone down after five or 10 minutes.
Much like falling into the trap of scrolling endlessly through social media, not having a focused plan for your morning can mean you're rushed and anxious. It's best to create a schedule of activities so you can stay on track. This is can help avoid frantic last-minute adjustments and leave you feeling relaxed and ready to start the day.
It can be tempting to sleep in late on those days where don't have much to do, but if you struggle to get up in the morning, you may want to avoid the temptation. Creating and sticking to a standard sleep schedule makes it easier for most people to wake up on time. The occasional variation from routine probably won't hurt much, but don't make a habit of it. Even if you get out of bed just to nurse your coffee and a good book for an hour, your brain will still register that you stuck to that familiar bedtime routine.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.