You’ve probably heard of having a night time routine to help induce better quality of sleep. But did you know that having a morning routine can also set you up for the day ahead full of energy and feeling less fatigued? And the best part, possibly even set you up for a better nights sleep that night! Yep, your morning routine can affect your night!
We can quite easily take waking up for granted. After reading ‘Own The Day’ by Aubrey Marcus, I have learnt that it’s what you do from that very moment that can actually impact your day drastically. Are you one who hits snooze one, two, three, four, five or a dozen times? Do you turn off the alarm then scroll through your social media before a foot even touches the bedroom floor? Or do you have purpose in your actions and take control from the word go? After reading this, I hope it becomes the latter.
You see, there’s 3 simple things we need to do within the first 20 minutes of waking: WATER. LIGHT. MOVEMENT.
Think of our body like a car. As a general rule of thumb, ideally we allow our car to idle first thing in the morning for at least 60 seconds to allow the fluids and oils to circulate and come up to temperature. Does everyone follow that rule? No. So how many people do you think follow a similar rule for their own body? Not many, if any! We can always trade in our car, but we can’t trade in our body! Instead of paying the mechanic, we pay the doctor.
Let’s look at the first ‘hack’ above… WATER. We know it’s important. We know it’s crucial. First thing in the morning it’s absolutely critical! Lets say you’ve slept well for 7-8 hours. Thats 7-8 hours without a single drop of water! Now, if you’re in a dry climate, worked out the previous afternoon, or partied hard the night before, you’re already in a fluid deficit before your head hits the pillow. Couple that with sleeping under blankets in combination with vapour from respiration and perspiration, there’s a good chance you’ve lost up to half a kilogram of water overnight, a lot of which contains important minerals and electrolytes. As a result we wake up feeling extremely parched and dry. At this point, you would think the logical thing to do would be to get up and drink some water, however, the common trend is to bash the alarm button like you’re playing a set of bongos, snooze a little longer, realise its time to get up, rush around like a headless chook, get the coffee cranking (which dehydrates you more) and head out the door. Only one in seven people report waking up feeling refreshed after sleeping.
So what can we do? Well there is a simple little ‘cocktail’ we can drink first thing, and I mean VERY FIRST THING upon wakening. Health coach and sleep expert Shawn Stevenson calls that first glass of water in the morning a “cool bath for your organs.” Another way of putting it, it’s priming your internal fluids before hitting the road. So here it is:
350ml of filtered water, MUST be at room temp.
A pinch of good quality pink Himalayan salt
1/4 lemon, squeezed
That’s it! Simple! Give it a go asap!
Next, let’s look at light. And I’m talking about blue light. We know that to get a better sleep we should avoid blue light before bed, but in the morning it is what we need! More specifically, environmental light, aka, sunlight. You can give a plant all the water it will need yet if it isn’t exposed to enough light, it just won’t grow! This one for me is tough! Being in a job that requires me to wake up when it is still dark outside, makes it near impossible to do. So I be sure to do the following on weekend mornings, and at first chance I get on weekdays: GET OUTSIDE, GET IN THE LIGHT! This is extremely important for our circadian rhythm and it’s this step which can actually improve our sleep that same night! You can kill two birds with one stone and drink your mineral cocktail in the light. Perfect!
Lastly, we need movement. And I don’t mean movement in the form of previously mentioned headless chook running. I mean methodical, purposeful movement. Now you don’t need to go blasting yourself to smithereens first thing, just enough to get blood flow happening and maybe a slight heart rate elevation. For me, I have started doing 20 push ups with 15 squat jumps. Thats it! You may prefer some light, 3 minute yoga routine. Or 10 burpees. It doesn’t matter. Just 1 – 3 minutes of something that you know you can do without fail, every day! If you choose something too challenging, you wont keep it up.
So there are my 3 hacks to kickstart your day! Overall, I think they’re pretty sustainable for all of us! Starting your day this way will bring purpose. It will bring energy. And it will bring a better nights sleep! So the next time your alarm goes off, kill it and get up! Don’t think. Just do! Your body, your energy and your sleep will thank you!