7 Bedtime Routines That Guarantee A Better Morning

Sponsored by WHNT

Like it or not, our quality of sleep affects every aspect of our lives — and like most things that require structure and attention, we ignore the necessary steps for success. In fact, 40% of Americans don’t get the amount of sleep necessary for performing their best.

Fortunately, a few simple adjustments to your nightly routine can completely transform your physical and mental well-being. Here’s how to nail your bedtime ritual.

Let’s face it, getting ready takes valuable time! That’s why two out of three women worry about what to wear in the morning, making one in four late for work. In fact, women spend an average of an hour and a half a week deciding what to wear. That’s three DAYS every year, and almost 20 weeks between the ages of 18 and 65. Who has time for that?!

A study of 2,000 women found 49 percent admit they lie awake planning their outfit for their next day. A little pre-planning can prevent last-minute panic. Plus, you’ll shock your boss by arriving on time.

Sleeping in on Saturday might feel great after a long week, but the habit is actually causing disruptions to your internal body clock. If you’re a person who wakes at 6am Monday through Friday but sleeps in until 10am on the weekends, you’re forcing your body’s internal clock to readjust two days every week. Deviating from your pattern causes grogginess, performance shortcomings and moodiness (aka the reason why Mondays are so rough).

Pick a bed and wake-up time and stick to ‘em— even on the weekends. In just two weeks, your body will normalize the sleep pattern and you’ll be feeling optimal every day of the week.

Environmental control is far more essential to good sleep than most people realize. Ideally, your sleep space should be cool, dark and quiet. Set your thermostat to a comfortable room temperature (around 67 degrees Fahrenheit) and drown out your noisy neighbors with a fan or noise maker. The trick is to keep the sound levels low and consistent.

For most, getting out of bed in the morning is a feat comparable to climbing Mount Everest—and the only way to get to the top is with loads of coffee. But drinking caffeine too close to bedtime does exert a negative effect on sleep quality. In fact, a recent scientific paper indicated that even morning caffeine consumption can mess up your sleep.

And we’re not just talking about coffee—soda, tea and some medications have caffeine too. If you want to set yourself up for a productive morning, be mindful of what you’re consuming and avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime.

Your bed should be a sanctuary. So if you make it a place for late-night emailing or proposal writing, your brain will be wired to associate that place with work—i.e. the opposite of a sanctuary. When you wake in the morning, eat some breakfast, work out, get centered and THEN take the plunge to checking email. You’ll be more productive after a long reset.

Alcohol is a depressant, so it’s true that it makes people fall asleep quicker, but it also reduces REM sleep and affects blood sugar levels for the following day.

Disruptions in your REM sleep can cause daytime drowsiness and poor concentration. These effects, coupled with irregular blood sugar levels, lead to a particularly tough and anti-productive morning.

During the bustle of our very busy lives, we don’t always have time to keep up with current events. But staying informed is incredibly important—and not just for water cooler talk. Watching the news helps you form your own opinions and connect the dots in the bigger picture.

WHNT’s 10pm evening broadcast is the perfect way to do just that—just be sure that TV isn’t near your bedroom. Gotta respect that circadian rhythm!

All custom illustrations by Ines Vuckovic at Dose.