When it comes to getting a better night’s sleep, we’ve probably heard all the advice about what to do (and what to avoid) before bed. But what can you do in the morning?
It turns out that many morning habits can have just as much of an effect on sleep as afternoon habits. Our circadian rhythm, which is probably the most important factor regulating our sleep, is literally a 24-hour cycle. Morning habits and routines can help reinforce that rhythm and make sleep easier to come by at night.
get up at the same time
We may have heard that sticking to a consistent bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep. But sticking to a regular wake-up time, even on weekends, is just as important.
Predictable bedtime and wake times play an important role in reinforcing the body’s sleep-wake cycle. We don’t have to get out of bed at 7:00 am every morning. But we will try to stay in a time frame of 30 minutes or an hour.
Do not delay the alarm
The temptation to sleep a few more minutes can be strong. But it won’t do us any favors, because hitting the snooze button can prolong that newly awakened groggy feeling.
The snooze button lasts seven to nine minutes, so the average person can’t get into a deep stage of sleep in that amount of time. Instead, it delays us from waking up and feeling refreshed, leaving us sleepy or sluggish in the morning.
Get 15 minutes of sunlight ASAP
Raise the blinds, or better yet, go out on the terrace with your coffee or tea. Exposure to natural light within waking hours helps regulate your circadian rhythm, making you more alert in the morning and more sleepy at bedtime.
Light stops the production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, which helps clear morning brain fog. Getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposure will provide the most benefits.
Make the bed
We will straighten the sheets and blankets, rearrange the pillows, and pick up any clothing or mess we may have left behind the night before. People who make their beds in the morning report that they sleep better at night. That could have to do with the fact that cluttered spaces can be distracting and even increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Also, walking into a neat and organized room at the end of the day is more likely to promote feelings of calm, which is exactly how we should feel before bed.
Eat a nutritious breakfast
Those who eat breakfast tend to feel more alert in the morning and report a better quality of sleep at night compared to those who fast.
Just like consistent wake-up and bedtimes, consistent meal times also play a role in regulating our circadian rhythms. Additionally, starting your day with a healthy habit can encourage other healthy behaviors throughout the day that can also promote better sleep, like going to bed on time.
Move the body
There is no debate about the general benefits of exercise. But we will sleep better if we exercise in the morning instead of late in the day. And if we perform the training session outdoors, we will get the additional benefit of exposure to sunlight.
Morning exercise seems to improve the body’s sleep drive, which builds throughout the day and helps us fall asleep at night. Exercise has also been shown to decrease stress, which may also make it easier to fall asleep.