Not everyone is a morning person. There are many reasons why this might be the case. However, it shouldn’t become a scapegoat for a sorry attitude and lack of productivity each morning. We can all do a little more to make our mornings manageable.
Many so-called “morning people” have found success through daily routines. The routine gets them into a groove that makes starting each day simple and easy. Developing your own daily routine can help you become more of a morning person or at least less of a morning monster.
The important thing to note here is that a strong morning routine doesn’t begin with the sound of an alarm clock. If you want each morning to be successful, you need to start things off the right way the night before. Here are just some of the things you should be doing at night and why they can help you have a great morning.
Stop Staying Up
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” While you won’t wake up with a couple of extra IQ points this way, this saying bears a lot of truth. With a regular job, you can’t control when you have to wake up in the morning. What you do have control over is when you get to bed.
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep a night. If you’re constantly waking up at 6:30 in the morning, that means you should be sound asleep by 11:30 P.M. To accomplish that, you might need to be in bed with the lights out by 11. Your evening routine should accommodate that timeline.
Try to estimate how long your nightly routine will take. You shouldn’t begin winding down at the time you wish you were asleep; it should start much earlier. You can even time your desired nightly routine to ensure you’re ready for bed in time to get enough sleep.
Turn Off Your Devices
Putting your phone away at night takes a lot of self-control. Admittedly, scrolling through funny videos while lying in bed can be pretty enjoyable. But, unfortunately, late-night screen time can ruin your morning routine before it even begins.
For starters, you can easily get sucked into social media and stay up much later than you originally intended. The later you are awake, the fewer hours of sleep you get. The fewer hours of sleep you get, the harder it will be to wake up in the morning. Feeling grumpy and sluggish in the morning will push your routine all over the place.
The second reason being on your phone at night is terrible for you is because of the blue light. This light, emitted by electronic screens, has been linked to increased rates of attention and reaction times. This is all well and good during the day, but it can get you wired up at night. An extra attentive brain is not going to settle down easily.
Watch What You Eat
If you usually eat an early dinner, right before bed is when you’re going to feel a little snackish. This can be dangerous if not handled properly. Late-night snacking can be bad for your health and your sleep schedule, making it more challenging to begin the next day on the right foot.
Your body doesn’t process food as well while you’re sleeping. So instead of burning calories through regular activity, you’ll store more fat and gain weight more quickly. This can also disturb your circadian rhythm, which is the natural way your body falls asleep and wakes up each day.
What you consume is just as important as when you do. For example, drinking caffeine or alcohol late at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and get enough rest for the following day. Food with high sugar content can also cause some issues, even if they are delicious.
Some foods and beverages are actually suitable for consumption before bed. Cherries, for example, have natural melatonin. Likewise, a cup of tea before bed can help you to relax as long as it doesn’t also contain caffeine.
Have you ever lay awake in bed stressing over the events of tomorrow? Unfortunately, this exercise doesn’t usually end up being all that productive. Instead of repeatedly experiencing an existential crisis each night, you should incorporate some planning into your nightly routine. This will help you follow a consistent sleep schedule and set the stage for a solid morning routine.
There are quite a few things you can do at night that make mornings easier. You can pick your outfit for the next day and have it ready and waiting. Pack up anything you’ll need for school or work, so you don’t forget something important during a morning scramble.
You can also go over your schedule for the following day. Got a meeting planned for the first thing in the morning? Get it confirmed the evening prior. A simple confirmation can put your mind at ease and allow you to drift into slumber free from worry.
Fall Into a Routine
Keeping a consistent schedule is perhaps more critical than when you go to bed and wake up each day. Your body cannot adjust to a sporadic sleep schedule. You won’t feel as rested when you wake up at different times each day on varying hours of sleep.
This is an essential point for those who operate on schedules that stray from the norm. Those who work nights, for instance, can’t be expected to wake up at 6 A.M. when that’s the end of their shift. Instead, these individuals will benefit significantly from a consistent sleep schedule that fits their needs.
After a few days, you can start to adjust your own circadian rhythms. Even though you’re working through the night or following another irregular schedule, you can feel awake and refreshed every day. Routines can also help you quickly adjust to different time zones while traveling for business or leisure.
Work on Your Timing
There are plenty of beneficial activities. Sometimes the problem lies in the timing of it all. Moving some activities from night to morning, or vice versa is a small yet simple way to make a huge impact.
Exercise is a prime example. Getting proper daily exercise is vital for your health. However, exercise right before bed can pump your body with adrenaline, making it difficult to fall asleep. So switch that routine to the morning instead, and you’ll wake up your body for the day.
Evening exercise, on the other hand, may be the best of both worlds. It’s early enough that you still have time to calm down for nighttime. You’ll also burn some extra energy, so by the time bedtime actually rolls around; you’ll be sincerely tired. It’s all in the timing.
Consistency cannot be understated when it comes to any one of these takeaways. If you don’t stick with a plan for long, you won’t reap the benefits. Craft a strategy using this guide and plot your progress over a month. You should begin to see how evening and morning routines start to help you feel progressively better.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Maria Tyutina; Pexels; Thank you!
The Key to a Strong Morning Routine Starts at Night was originally published on Calendar.com by Max Palmer.