Six Nightime Routines for Great Mornings
We all struggle to get out of bed sometimes, but if you wake up feeling tired, anxious or discombobulated most mornings, your problem may be rooted in your nighttime habits. What you regularly do before you hit the sack has an outsize influence on how you feel when you wake up. Want to change how you start your mornings? Consider cultivating these routines.
- Create a Work-Life Boundary and Stick To It
If there is no separation between your work and the rest of your life, you may end up taking the stresses of your job to bed with you and, as a result, having a bad morning. For this reason, you need to establish a work-life boundary and adhere to it. To keep the line clear-cut, set a cut-off time for work-related emails, messages and calls.
- Establish the Right Eating and Drinking Habits
Your diet influences the quality of your sleep and, as a consequence, how perky you feel in the morning. For instance, if you tend to have coffee after 4.00pm, you may struggle to fall asleep - and thus be out of sorts in the morning - because the body takes up to six hours to clear caffeine from your system. Alcohol also makes it harder to get good quality sleep and should be avoided for at least two hours before bedtime. And steer clear of rich meals - all large meals, actually - just before you go to bed to avoid indigestion and discomfort; you should have your dinner several hours before your bedtime. If you feel hungry before you hit the sack, snack on something light and healthy. Finally, take plenty of water late into the evening as dehydration can make you feel listless when you wake up.
- Take Time To Reflect on the Day's Successes
As part of his nighttime routine, Benjamin Franklin looked at how he had spent his day to see 'what good he had done,' and you should too. Celebrating your wins before you go to bed can provide the encouragement you need to face the next day with confidence and may even change your perspective of certain setbacks, helping you see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
- Clear Your Head and Wind Down with Your Favorite Activity
It is almost impossible to fall asleep if you are wound up, as you have probably found out. For this reason, the habit of clearing your head and winding down before you go to bed is arguably one of the most important nighttime routines you can cultivate. There are various ways of doing this, including meditation, listening to soothing music, watching a nonviolent movie or television show, playing a fun game, taking a short walk, and journaling, which has proven therapeutic benefits.
- Prepare for Tomorrow
Make a list of the things you plan to do the next day to build clarity and foster an uplifting sense of anticipation. Once that is done, prepare everything you need to use the next day; knowing that things are in order can do wonders for your mood when you wake up. Check the weather forecast and pick a suitable outfit. Organize your MinkeeBlue bag for work the next day with extra pair of shoes and other items. Prep the coffeemaker and prepare the lunch for the next day. You get the idea.
- Cultivate Good Sleep Habits
It is hard to have a great morning if your sleep was inadequate - you need between six and ten hours of sleep to function optimally - so go to bed in good time. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. We sleep more comfortably in a cool room, so keep your thermostat at between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius). Avoid using your smart devices in bed because the blue light that their screens emit interferes with the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. If you have to use your smartphone or laptop in the sack, use night mode to minimize blue light emissions.
Cultivating new nighttime routines is not necessarily easy, especially when you are starting out. You may need to rely on alarms and reminders and start small to improve your chances of success. As you work to establish these routines, keep the benefits - better quality sleep, feeling like a million dollars when you wake up, improved productivity, and more - in mind; that will help you overcome any setbacks and obstacles you encounter.
All the best!