Updated: Feb 17
Your morning routine can be just as important as your evening wind-down routine when it comes to improved quality of sleep at night. Why not try improving your sleep by changing up your morning routine?
What does your morning routine look like right now? I am NOT a morning person so for most of my life my mornings have always been rushed, stressed that I am going to be late for something. I still have days like that, we all do. It is part of being human and not being perfect. BUT
My mornings are no longer designed that way. Yours could be the same. What difference do you think it would make to your day if you built time into your morning routine so that you don't feel as rushed as you do now? What do your mornings look and feel like when you are on holiday? Would you rather they felt like that instead? Depending on how much time you can spare first thing in the morning. Have a think about what things you could adjust or add (yes I did say add) that would make your routine easier. 12 ways to improve your morning routine:
Switch from a standard alarm clock to a daylight alarm. By bringing yourself around slowly without the shock of a shrill alarm you may just finish off your last cycle of sleep and feel more refreshed.
Let light into your room to welcome in a new day. Rather than hide in the dark as you get dressed, open the curtains and let in the light so you acclimatise to natural light levels earlier. Exposure to light early in the morning can improve the quality of your sleep later refer to my blog post on how to reset your body clock naturally.
When you brush your teeth, have a go at doing it mindfully. Mindfulness is a proven way to calm your mind and help you set yourself up for a more positive frame of mind ready to tackle whatever is thrown at you today.
When you brush your hair, apply cream, makeup, whatever it is, do it as if you were doing it for someone you love the most in the world, with care. Not in a rush without thinking about it. We can all be our own worst critics. Sometimes you may catch yourself chastising yourself in a way you would never speak to or treat others. Why do we do that? The simple act of treating yourself with as much care and respect as you would others will rub on on how you feel and throughout your day.
Eat breakfast mindfully. Why not take it outside to eat it. This is a double wamy, more light exposure earlier is great, fresh air and time just to be before launching into chores, work, chatting on the phone, online and rushing arround trying to remember where you put your car keys.
Make having your morning drink a ritual and pleasure. Use the time while the kettle boils to think of something you would like to do for yourself today. Taking those moments for yourself are so important. How often does your drink never even touch the sides, do you even remember drinking it or allowing it to infuse or do you sweeze a tea bag against the side to make it brue quicker or not let the water cool slighty before adding it to coffee. Why not introduce lemon water before a caffiene drink to cleanse and revive you. See what difference that makes to your day.
If you are rushing around for others normally. Why not find some extra time to serve yourself first, eat your breakfast before you even get the children out of bed and sorted, sort out yourself before you care for anyone else. If you lack time to yourself, grab it whereever and whenever you can for own wellbeing. If you are a parent or carer, caring for yourself too is so important. Every moment to yourself counts.
Do your exercises in the morning. Studies suggest that when you excercise can be just as important as how much you exercise when it comes to sleep. Early exercise or mid to late afternoon is better than exercising late at night. Why not give changing up when you exercise a try. If you don't exercise, pinning an activity to something you already do like boiling the kettle is a great way to motivate yourself to do some while waiting for the toast, waiting for your turn in the bathroom or while your tea or coffee is bruing.
Think of 3 things you are grateful for. It is impossible to feel angry when you are feeling grateful, try it! So on those days you really feel like you have got out of bed on the wrong side, remember to find 3 things to feel grateful for and see how quickly that feeling disipates and is replaced with lighter happier thoughts. Watch what difference it makes to others arround you too. It may surprise you what difference it makes.
Once you begin to sleep better and for longer see if you can get up 30 mins earlier than usual (Only if you have slept enough). Don't be tempted to add any more of your todo list activities into that time (unless they are wellbeing ones!) Use that time to allow yourself to be less rushed, stressed and give your body and mind more time to wake up. We all want that extra 5 minutes don't we but if we can get more sleep in earlier and wake slightly early to give ourselves that little extra breathing space and contingency time for when things don't quite go according to plan it all helps.
Try some morning meditation. Ever popular, meditation is becoming more of a mainstream activity with apps and prerecorded sessions to follow along with. Try Headspace, Calm, Insight timer or a Youtube recording and find your calm before you start your day.
Add 5 minutes of exercise in before you even get out of bed: Here is a simple stretching exercise for you to try.
Instead of jumping out of bed in a fluster. Lay back and stretch out like a starfish and breath first instead. Yawn, stretch and come too in your own time.
Flex your ankles and point your toes up and down and breath deeply.
Slowly slip down your bed until you have enough room above your head to stretch your arms up above your head and breath.
Venture out from under your duvet/blankets or laying on top of them in the same position of arms above your head and knees bent keeping your back still, drop your knees to the left, from your hips, back to the centre and then right.
Breath with each move and allow them to drop further as gravity does its job for you.
Bring your knees back to the centre and then allow them to open with your feet together, breath and let gravity do its job for you.
Bring your knees back to the centre.
Push yourself back up the bed and put your knees back down and just lay there looking at the ceiling for a moment, breath and then get up.
Have a try at changing up some of these things. See if you have a better day as a result and notice what difference it makes to your sleep in the evening. If you think Reflexology will benefit you, do get in touch and book in an appointment.
Shelley Mason MAR