It can be easy to develop bad morning habits, so let us help you kick them & start the day right
The morning alarm goes off and you’re suddenly thrown into your - probably too early - morning once again. If mornings are a struggle for you, there are little things you can do either in the morning or the night before, that can help rid the bad habits and welcome the new. This way, you can try to be the best possible version of yourself each morning.
Stay away from the snooze button
You’re woken up each morning at least three times because of the constant snoozing – sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people think they need to snooze so they can wake up properly. But by pressing the snooze button, you’re actually disrupting your natural sleep pattern as your body prepares to go back to sleep after each snooze rather than waking up. This can cause your body to become confused and go into a state of sleep inertia – a disorder that makes a person drowsy, groggy and have decreased cognitive ability. This can make you less refreshed when you eventually do wake, leading to a negative morning. If you’re a serial snoozer, try decreasing the amount of snoozes you have gradually and take note of the difference it makes. Or it could be worth putting your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to switch it off – just don’t get back in afterwards!
Welcome the sunlight
Studies show that waking up to natural light helps us feel more refreshed, alert and happier. So in the summer months try sleeping with the curtains open to let that light in. This can be harder in the winter months though, with the lack of morning light there to help you wake – one of the reasons why some people may suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. If you find you’re struggling during these months, try cheating a sunrise with a light-emitting Lumie Bodyclock. If you feel this doesn’t help and you need some extra support, visit your GP for help and advice.
Start the day with a smoothie
Try a morning smoothie as it can help set you up for the day, especially if it contains bananas as they slowly release energy. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body uses to help make serotonin which helps modulate mood.
If smoothies aren’t your thing, try something else for breakfast. Boots nutritionist Vicky Pennington says, "Don't skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast will give you energy to face the day, a top-up of essential nutrients and help you concentrate. Try a wholegrain cereal, wholemeal bread or fresh fruit for slow releasing carbs that keep you going for longer." Eating breakfast is especially important in the winter months. Vicky says, "Though it may be dark in the mornings and breakfast is the last thing you feel like, look out for breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin D which all play a role in supporting your immune health." So even if you grab a healthy breakfast bar for on-the-go – something is better than nothing!
This won’t work for everyone, but if you consistently exercise you’ll probably find that you wake up feeling better than those who don’t. Exercising in the morning has its benefits too, but if you don’t have time to go to the gym in the mornings (or you just don’t want to) try parking further away than usual and have a brisk walk into work – anything you can do is great.
Cut down on caffeine
Whilst most of us may need endless cups of coffee before we feel we’re truly alert, this heavy intake of caffeine could actually be causing us to need more and more to get through the day. Vicky says, "While small amounts of caffeine (found in tea, coffee and cola drinks) can give us a much-needed temporary boost, too much caffeine (and this is a different amount for each of us) can lead to feelings of irritability and sleepless nights. Limit to no more than three or four cups of coffee or equivalent a day." So limiting coffee can help get a good night's sleep, and we all know that can lead to a good morning.
Before getting out of bed try putting a smile on your face! Smiling releases endorphins which lift your mood, helping you start your day on a positive note. If you can’t smile as soon as you wake up, try smiling and laughing in the shower whilst thinking about what you’re grateful for.
So you’re not running around in a mad dash first thing in the morning making sure you have everything ready, try doing as much as you can the night before. There are a few things you can do to help make your morning run more smoothly like making your lunch the night before, picking out your outfit, taking a shower before bed and making sure you have everything you need in your bag ready. That way, you can get up knowing you have everything in order.
Get to bed early
Getting enough sleep the night before can really make a difference to how you wake up and feel throughout the morning. As an adult, you should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night to help prepare for the next day. Try sticking to this, even at weekends if you can, as too little and too much sleep can be damaging to your health. So if you’re feeling tired, step away from your phone and go to sleep!