BY TIFFANY AYUDA
It doesn’t just take quality sleep at night to make you a morning person. Everything you do leading up to your bedtime and breakfast the next morning can impact the way you’re going to feel about starting your day.
What you eat and the habits you adopt as part of your morning routine play an important role in how you feel,” says nutritionist Diana Rodriguez, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. “Getting recommended amounts of physical activity throughout the day is also an important component to overall health.”
So if you’re one of the many who hit the snooze button several times before actually getting up, you might benefit from following a routine. Here, wellness experts share what they do morning through night to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.
1. Move Your Body
If a cup of joe isn’t enough and you’re looking for another way to knock out grogginess, try working out. It can jumpstart your day with some feel-good endorphins and get your day started with some physical activity! Exercise can help support your energy levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s because exercise supports delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs, helping them function.
Holly Roser, a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, likes to start her day with a HIIT workout. “Boxing mixed with strength training is an absolute favorite as I feel it makes the time go by faster and helps me let out any stress before the day starts. My favorite time to train is 7 a.m.,” Roser says.
Any type of movement, whether it’s walking, running, or lifting weights, can help rev up your body. Exercising first thing in the morning can also give you the solo time to strategize about your day and think through the tasks you need to get done.
2. Eat With Purpose best?
Eating a nutritious meal that contains protein, carbs, and fat can give you energy, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, M.A., R.D.N., C.D.N., author of Read It Before You Eat It—Taking You from Label to Table and founder of BetterThanDieting.com.
Taub-Dix suggests avoiding eating foods high in sugar for breakfast and instead focusing on trying to incorporate a nice balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, such as oatmeal with fresh berries, and nut butter.
In addition to carbs, protein, and fat, Rodriguez recommends also aiming to include fiber in every meal as it can help curb hunger. “These nutrients can help fuel your body so you’ll have the energy and satiety support you need to keep going until your next meal or snack,” she says.
3. Stay Hydrated
Your body needs water to function, and you lose fluid throughout the day through urine and sweat. So if you’re feeling a little more sluggish than usual and haven’t been sipping on that H2O, it could be a good indication that you need to up your fluid intake. In fact, fatigue is one of the common signs of dehydration, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You could keep a reusable water bottle by your desk and refill it as needed to help you stay hydrated. Smoothies, soups, and salads can help you add hydration at mealtimes. Cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, and oranges are a few other foods with high water contents.
Rodriguez suggests drinking a glass of water before starting your day. “Water is essential for overall health.” she says.
4. Put Pen to Paper
Mindfully winding down from a busy day may be a useful tactic to add to your bedtime routine. So if you have your daytime routine down pat but your evening rituals are less organized, it may be time to re-evaluate what you do before bed.
Need to settle your thoughts before your head hits the pillow? Creating a to-do list may help you ease into sleep at night, Rodriguez says.
At the same time, journaling your daily wins can help you feel better about tomorrow. “Making time to journal, even if it’s just a few lines of gratitude, helps me feel grateful for the day and go into the next day with a positive experience,” says Nadia Murdock, a mindset and movement expert and founder of Nadia Murdock Fit.
Journaling is also a nice way to set intentions for the next day, Taub-Dix says: “It helps you look back at what was wonderful that you hope to repeat, as well as the things that you can learn from.”
Avoid reading and responding to emails in bed, and scrolling through Instagram and other social media, Taub-Dix says, as this may not be the best way to prepare for sleep.
5. Practice Some Self-Care
After a long, hard day, your body and mind could use some TLC. “Running around and taking care of others all day can sometimes leave me feeling depleted,” Murdock says.
Putting some self-care practices in place can help you de-stress and recover before jumping into the next day. For example, Murdock will put on a face mask and do some face rolling or hand massaging. “As a barre instructor, if I taught a lot of classes, I will include some simple stretches before bed. This really supports my recovery,” she says.
6. Prioritize Sleep
Most people need around seven to nine hours of sleep at night. And getting quality shut-eye can be essential for processing new information from your day, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
If you’re having trouble falling and staying asleep at night, consider your environment, Rodriguez says. Is the temperature in your room cool? Is it dark enough? Do you have comfortable bedding? Rodriguez also recommends dimming the lights and turning off all electronics two hours before bed, as blue light from devices has been known to reduce the production of melatonin—a sleep hormone.
“On some occasions, I will listen to music to help me go to sleep, unwind, and gather my thoughts from the day,” Murdock says. “This helps me mentally prepare for the following day.”
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