Having an effective morning routine sets you up for a great day. The right kind of stimulation wakes up your brain, gets your digestive fire going and activates your heart so all systems are go.
When you don’t switch your body clock on, you can feel hazy and half asleep and rely on stimulants like caffeine and sugar to keep you going. This causes a roller-coaster of energy highs and lows and makes concentration difficult.
If you follow the guidelines below, you’ll feel energised throughout the day and unwind with ease in the evening. That’s because when you switch yourself on properly in the morning, it’s much easier to switch off in the evening. Don’t take my word for it: Give this routine a go for the next week and see how great it makes you feel. If including all of these habits seems too difficult at once, just add one or two at a time and notice the positive difference.
When you haven’t slept well, this routine will help you feel energized despite the lack of sleep, and will support your body to return to a state that’s conducive to sleeping well.
Wake up at the same time every morning
The time you wake up impacts the time you get sleepy at night. If you create a steady wake-up time, you’ll support your body to switch off at a regular time at night. Choose a time to wake up and stick to it—even on weekends. Between 6 and 8am is best because it is in tune with the natural rhythm of your body clock. Wake up later, and you’ll feel sluggish.
This might seem difficult in the beginning, but it will get easier as your body adjusts to the new time, which can happen very quickly. If you’re currently waking up later than 8am, I suggest gradually waking up earlier in 15-minute increments.
Look ahead into your day with a positive attitude
How you think about the day ahead affects how you act and what you experience. Look ahead into your day with a positive attitude. See things going well and imagine yourself making choices that help you feel good during the day and sleep well at night.
Staying hydrated is an essential key to staying healthy and sleeping well. We lose body fluid while we sleep through the simple act of breathing, so we need to re-hydrate every morning. This improves digestion, contributes to clear thinking and also helps alleviate joint pain and headaches. It’s fine to drink coffee or tea, but only after two glasses of water at room temperature (because caffeinated drinks are dehydrating). Cold drinks and foods deplete your digestive fire. When your digestive fire is low, you feel tired after eating and take a long time to digest food, so drink room temperature or warm water.
Get a good dose of bright light
One of the most important things you can do to support your body clock in maintaining a consistent rhythm of wakefulness and sleep is to expose yourself to the brightest light possible every morning. Light activates your body clock and the production of wake-up hormones, which gives you a natural surge of energy and alertness. Artificial light works, but sunlight is best. Just a few minutes with your face to the sun with eyes closed will do it.
Move your body
You haven’t moved all night and your systems need to get going, but it’s hard for the engine to start if you don’t move it. Anything that gets your blood pumping will improve your circulation, get your digestion system going, and bring you to life. Even just five minutes of stretching, swinging your arms, running on the spot or walking around the block will do it. If you can make a little more time, 15-20 minutes would be even better. When I make movement a priority in the morning, I notice that I feel much more alive and mentally clear throughout the day.
Eat a balanced, protein-rich breakfast
This tip has made all the difference for many of my clients.Eating a protein-rich breakfast stabilizes your blood sugar, gives you sustained energy, feeds your brain so you can think clearly and reduces cravings for stimulants. Skipping breakfast, or eating one high in refined carbohydrates and sugar makes you feel tired, unfocused and irritable by mid-morning. When you start the day with protein, you’ll stay off the blood sugar rollercoaster, and will have stable energy and clarity throughout the day. Then the body doesn’t get stressed with hunger and produce adrenaline to keep you going, which creates a jittery, nervous energy.
Keeping your body fueled well during the day will keep you calm and reduce stress hormones, which will help you sleep better at night.
If you’re not used to eating breakfast, I implore you to give this a go for at least a week and feel the difference. Just two eggs and some spinach on whole-meal toast would be a great start.