For many of us, getting up in the morning is a hassle. We often start our days on autopilot and go through our daily routines, forgetting about our well-being.
There are certain morning habits that can ruin your mood, zap your energy, and set the stage for an unproductive rest of the day.
I have checked out what scientists and other experts had to say about making the most (and the least) of the first 60 minutes after you wake up.
In this article, I’ve rounded up 12 common wake-up mistakes that you’ll want to avoid!
1. Hitting The Snooze Button
Sometimes, your alarm goes off and you’re just not ready to face the day yet. Most sleep specialists believe that you should resist the temptation to put off the inevitable by 5 or 10 minutes.
The reason for this is quite simple. If you hit the snooze button, you might enter into a sleep cycle you likely won’t finish. As a result, you’ll wake up groggy, rather than refreshed.
The second reason is more about motivation: When you hit snooze, you’re telling your hopes and dreams that they can wait.
Successful people don’t do this. The best thing for an alert day is to avoid the temptation completely.
Instead, opt for going to bed a little earlier the night before, to get sufficient rest – you’ll rise with ease and won’t need to hit snooze.
2. Checking Your Phone
Most of us sleep with our phones just within reach – either under our pillows or on the bedside table.
But wellness and work-life balance experts recommend that if you like to start your day right, you should try your best not to look at your phone until after you’ve had some time to wake up and collect yourself.
Whether it’s checking e-mails, text messages, or even your social media accounts, you should make it a habit not to grasp your cellphone right after you open your eyes – because doing so can send you into “panic mode,” before your day has even begun.
So do yourself a favor and stop checking. Your inbox and social media accounts can surely wait a couple of hours.
3. Remaining Curled Up
During sleep, your spinal discs absorb fluid as part of a natural rehydration process.
This causes the discs to expand, which is why you can actually be a few centimeters taller in the morning.
However, this natural process also limits the movement of the vertebrae and causes the spine to stiffen.
So instead of staying all curled up, GENTLY stretch while you’re still in bed.
Stretching out not only gets the spine and muscles limbered up, but it is also a way to build confidence as you begin your day.
According to research, people who wake up with their arms in a V-shape “are super happy, like annoyingly happy.” On the other hand, there is evidence that people who wake up in the fetal position “wake up much more stressed out.”
In fact, there is evidence that stretching first thing, helps to increase flexibility, improve circulation, and relieve tension. So remember to stretch!
4. Forgetting To Hydrate
Upon waking up, your body is in need of hydration. After all, assuming you had a good night of sleep, you’ve gone for seven to eight hours without water.
Drinking water not only helps you wake up, but it can also get your metabolism moving in the right direction.
If you don’t like plain water, you can add some lemon or lime, which also helps to flush out the liver.
Drinking water first thing in the morning can also help with constipation, prevent UTIs, help with weight loss, boost your immune system, battle bad breath, and strengthen the brain, among other things.
Experts suggest drinking water at room temperature though because cold water can shock your system and prevent the many health benefits from taking effect.
So start your day with a large glass of water. It’s one of the best things you can do for your body!
5. Drinking Coffee First Thing
If you think you can’t function until you’ve downed a cup of coffee, think again!
Scientists have found that your body naturally produces higher amounts of the energy regulating stress hormone cortisol, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
By drinking coffee before or during that time, the caffeine will force your body to produce less cortisol in the early morning.
So enjoy that warm lemon water instead, and wait until after 9:30 to pour that perfect cup of coffee.
6. Leaving Your Bed Unmade
It seems that people fall into one of two groups: the bed makers and the unkempt bed keepers.
I mean, who’s going to notice if you don’t make your bed, right? Besides, you’re just going to get back in your bed in a few hours and mess it up again.
Regardless of whether folks pull up the covers or leave them in a heap, they are convinced that THEIR WAY is the right way.
Some people suggest that it might actually be cleaner to keep the bed messy because an unmade bed is less hospitable to dust mites.
But most experts disagree, since dust mites are everywhere, so an unmade bed isn’t going to do much to fend them off.
Instead, they suggest washing the sheets every other week and vacuuming the mattress regularly.
In addition, forming good habits – including making your bed in the morning, is associated with increased productivity throughout the rest of the day.
In fact, making your bed is a keystone habit that can spark chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.
So, if you haven’t already made it a priority, making your bed in the morning is a really good habit to start.
7. Getting Ready In The Dark
This has nothing to do with making bad fashion choices… Our bodies’ internal clocks are so sensitive to light, that getting ready in the dark can send a signal to your body that it’s still nighttime.
This will keep you feeling groggy and out of it, rather than alert, energized, and in a really good mood.
Continually getting ready in the dark may even make you feel depressed. So if you’re up before the sun, make sure you turn those lights on!
8. Skipping Exercise
We all know how important exercise is for our health and well-being, but many experts say making exercise a part of your morning routine is particularly beneficial.
There are added benefits to working out in the morning rather than later in the day. In addition, morning exercisers tend to stick with their exercise habit.
By working out in the morning, you get your exercise in before other distractions can intrude – and that’s something we can all relate to because once the day gets going, it’s hard to get off the treadmill called life.
9. Brushing After Breakfast
Common sense would dictate that brushing your teeth after eating breakfast is the right thing to do because you generally clean off all the stuff and gunk from your meal.
But this is actually counter-intuitive: brushing your teeth right after eating can actually do a lot more harm than good – especially if you’ve downed acidic stuff like fruit or coffee.
Likewise, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid when you eat, and this weakens the enamel of your teeth.
If you brush your teeth while they’re in this ‘weakened state’, you can actually brush away enamel from the surface of your teeth.
So brush your teeth after you rise, but before you eat. Then afterward, you can floss your teeth and rinse with water to make your mouth feel cleaner, and wash away any food particles.
And if you really can’t stand to skip brushing after breakfast, hold off for half an hour after you eat.
10. Steaming Up Your Shower
The pulse of hot water feels great on your body, but it might be lulling you back into la-la land.
Heat tells your nervous system that it’s time for your muscles to relax, and for your heart rate to slow down.
As a result, you start to feel calm – and sleepy! If you want to feel more awake, take a quick cold shower. It sucks a little bit, yes.
But it will signal the release of the energizing hormone adrenaline. It will also boost your mood.
Research shows that cold showers can flood the body with feel-good endorphins.
11. Calling Anyone
Newsflash: nobody wants to talk to other people first thing in the morning!
Almost everybody needs a few hours to get their head around the day, and phone calls before 9:30AM just aren’t appropriate.
If you need to talk to somebody, just send them a text first, detailing the context. Ask them to call you when they’re ready – it’s just the polite thing to do.
12. Watching TV
If your instinct is to reach right for that remote, you might want to think again, especially if you like to tune in to the news in the morning.
It’s just noise and negativity – not a healthy way to start the day after a restful night’s sleep.
Instead, aim to have quiet time in the morning and maintain a sense of peace and calm for as long as possible before the day begins.
If you ever feel like you don’t get enough done throughout the day, perhaps you’re doing some things you should not be doing in the morning.
Sometimes, these habits are inevitable, and some of these suggestions may seem really challenging.
But, if you can keep your mornings more calm and restful, experts say you’ll feel better throughout the day.
Of course, not every morning is going to be perfect, but if you make some effort to avoid these morning mistakes, you might find that the remainder of the day turns out a lot better than you expected.
How do you start your day? Are you guilty of any of the things mentioned on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
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