5 healthy habits to maximize your morning routine

Waking up can sometimes be downright painful. Here are simple steps you can take to cultivate a healthy morning routine.

We all know how difficult mornings can be. The alarm clock goes off and you are jolted awake. Your immediate reaction is to press snooze and snuggle into the soft comfort of your bed. While waking up can sometimes be downright painful there are simple steps you can take to cultivate a healthy morning routine that will start your day off on the right foot.

Turn on the light or open those blinds

A big problem faced by many people is waking up in darkness, “because your body’s internal clock is sensitive to light and darkness,” Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation’s environmental scholar, tells Huffington Post.

Studies have shown that waking up in light is better for you — it can promote better cholesterol and put you in a better mood. Try turning on a bedside light immediately after waking up or leave the blinds open.

If you wake up before the sun rises or live in an area that’s usually overcast or cloudy in the mornings consider trying a Wake-Up Light. These lights are basically like the light version of an alarm clock. You set it to when you want to wake up and it mimics the soft light of dawn, building with intensity so your body can wake up more gradually.

Drink water before coffee

Though you might not feel thirsty immediately when you wake up, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do. Think about it. While you were sleeping you weren’t drinking any water. So drinking 16oz of water in the morning will hydrate you, fire up your metabolism and helps your body flush out toxins. Staying hydrated is also a great way to prevent UTI’s.

Scrape your tongue

Taking a few extra seconds to scrape your tongue in the morning when brushing your teeth will get rid of dreadful morning breath, help your body wake up and will allow you to taste your food better! Scrapers are easy to find wherever you buy toothbrushes and some toothbrushes have a built-in scraper on the back.

Eat a nutritious Breakfast

Go for a breakfast high in fiber and high in protein. Breakfast will give you the much-needed energy to start your day.

A study conducted by Kamada et al. showed that the type of food consumed for breakfast was important. They found that breakfast foods specifically lower on the glycemic index and higher in protein were associated with higher energy levels through the day. Eating a breakfast filled with protein consistently could result in better long-term health and prevent metabolic disease.

If you have kids, studies suggested that healthy breakfast habits in children showed evidence in better test scores than children who did not eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast with your family every day will also build the beneficial habit of eating breakfast every day.

Create a night routine

A huge part of having a good morning is determined by how much sleep you got the night before. Create a bedtime routine complementary to your morning routine. In general, stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine late at night. Try cutting back on your screen time, time spent watching TV or on your computer or phone. The blue light in these devices actually tells your body to wake up and make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, try and do something relaxing before bed like reading a book, meditating or listening to calming music.

Let your past-self do your future-self a favor by preparing for the morning. For example, putting the coffee beans in the coffee maker or picking out your outfit the night before are easy steps that will save time and energy in those early mornings. With a little foresight, you can maximize your mornings and set yourself up for the rest of the day.

Originally published at uqora.com.