As a kid, did you think adult mornings would be like Cinderella? (Not the evil stepmother and stepsisters thing, but the getting dress with the help of cute little animals.) Was it a rude awakening when you became an adult that, more often than not, mornings are a hectic explosion of spilled coffee, wrinkled shirts and screaming partners/spouses/children? Here’s the thing: We’re not going to say everyone should be a morning person (society needs night owls too, hello?), but we are saying that there are little tweaks you can make to your morning—and nighttime—routine to make the hours between 7 a.m. and noon a little less hellish.
You’re Waking Up Wrong. Here Are 5 Ways to Energize Your Mornings
1. The Problem: You Don’t Prioritize Breakfast
The Fix: Plan a Meal You’re Excited About
Now, there’s been some debate about whether the whole ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ thing is actually true. Still, if you’re someone who does eat breakfast, taking a few minutes to plan a morning meal you’re actually excited for will make waking up a whole lot easier. The best part is, you don’t have to wake up two hours early to make a fresh batch of croissants to turn your breakfasts around. Here, for example, are 31 on-the-go breakfasts that will make you forget the existence of those crumb demons known as Nature Valley granola bars.
2. The Problem: You’re Sleeping on Your Side (Or Worse, Your Stomach)
The Fix: Sleep on Your Back
A good morning really starts with a good night’s sleep, and fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure your eight hours are as restful as possible. First, sleep on your back. Sleeping in a supine position (on your back) is best for your spine and neck, meaning you’ll have fewer aches and pains the next day. (Sleeping on your back is also best for preventing wrinkles, so there’s that.)
3. The Problem: Your Room Is a Mess
The Fix: Do a 10-Second Tidy Before Hitting the Hay
Waking up to a super-messy room is kind of a bummer, so take a few extra seconds each night to clean up a bit. A less important but still lovely trick is to make your nightstand pretty. Considering that’s probably where you keep your glasses, water bottle or alarm clock, it’s most likely the first thing you see when you open your eyes. We’re not suggesting major design renovations, but you’d be amazed at what a simple vase of flowers or a pretty candle can do.
4. The Problem: You Check Your Emails Before You Even Get Out of Bed
The Fix: Keep Your Phone in a Different Room While You Sleep
It doesn’t seem like there’d be any harm in a quick scroll through your new messages while in bed, but checking emails before you’ve gotten ready for the day is typically a waste of time—and a stressful one. Most attempts at “just checking in” morph into responding to things that definitely could’ve waited another 30 minutes and getting worked up over everything you have to accomplish before having a chance to really wake up.
5. The Problem: You ‘Catch Up’ on Sleep Over the Weekend
The Fix: Wake Up Around the Same Time Every Single Morning
Getting into a routine of waking up at the same time every day stabilizes your circadian clock, which in turn improves the quality of your sleep and how productive you are during waking hours. It can be tough to set a sleep routine and stick with it, but it’s super important. And according to sleep scientist Matthew Walker, sleeping until noon on the weekends won't actually make up for a week of bad nights. "Sleep is not like the bank, so you can't accumulate a debt and then try and pay it off at a later point in time," he told NPR. "So the brain has no capacity to get back that lost sleep that you've been lumbering it with during the week in terms of a debt." And while we’re on the subject of alarms, consider switching up your alarm tone from the unforgiving Apple default tone to something a touch more soothing, like chimes or birds chirping.