Some people like to wake up early and enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee while reading the news, others prefer to sleep in as long as possible and hit the ground running. We all have different morning routines which (hopefully) make our mornings more enjoyable and less stressful. If you’re looking for some guidance on how to start your day, here are 5 Black Sheep tips on creating the perfect morning routine.
"IF YOU WIN THE MORNING, YOU WIN THE DAY"
- Tim Ferriss
READ TIME: 5 MINUTES
1. Wake up early and enjoy some peace and quiet
Many people find it difficult to wake up early in the morning, preferring instead to hit snooze a few times and stay tucked under the covers. But if you're willing to make a habit of waking up earlier than you need to, you can enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet time before beginning your day. Retraining yourself from being a “night owl” to becoming an early riser can improve performance and mental health, but we know it can be easier said than done.
If you find it very hard to wake up in the morning and dread hearing the sound of your alarm, it might be helpful to use a sunrise alarm clock. This special alarm gradually increases in brightness over a set period of time, simulating an actual sunrise in your bedroom. Particularly helpful in mimicking your circadian rhythm during the winter months, early studies even show that using a sunrise alarm clock can reduce burnout and improve sleep quality.
2. Make a high protein breakfast for all-day energy
A high protein breakfast can make a difference in mood, alertness, attention, and general performance throughout the day. There are many ways to make a protein-packed breakfast that will help you start your day off right by using foods like eggs, meat, nuts, and avocados, which can help to regulate your appetite and keep you full until lunch time. Additionally, Greek yogurt and protein shakes contain high levels of protein but can be low in calories, making them a smart choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight or diet.
Another important aspect of eating a protein-rich breakfast is the role of hormones in regulating hunger and food intake. Studies have shown, a higher protein diet lowers the hormone, ghrelin, which plays a key role in telling your brain that you're full or hungry, so it's important to keep these levels in balance by avoiding excess carbs or sugar.
In short, there are many ways to make a filling, protein-packed breakfast that will give you energy all morning long!
3. Take a walk in nature
If you're looking for a way to start your day off on the right foot, try taking a walk in the morning. Being out in the fresh air and getting some exercise is an effective way to jump-start your mood and energize your mind.
It’s been shown that walking not only stimulates creativity (making it easier to tackle whatever challenges the day may bring) but can also have a positive effect on sleep. So if you're feeling weighed down by stress, take a walk and let yourself be refreshed by all that nature has to offer. You'll be glad that you did!
4. Exercise to get your body moving
& your endorphins flowing
Whether you are a morning person or not, starting your day off with a little bit of exercise is a great way to get your body moving, boost your energy levels, and fire up those endorphins. It’s also been shown to help with sleep! (We have to throw that one in there).
No matter what type of exercise you enjoy – whether it be light cardio, weight lifting, jogging, or dancing around in your living room – getting your blood pumping first thing in the morning can really help to wake you up and put you in a good mood for the day ahead. You don’t need much - even thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week (like a brisk walk) can be enough to feel health benefits.
The best part is that there are so many different exercises to choose from – and whatever works for you is the perfect choice. Whether you prefer jumping jacks and stretching or running on the treadmill for a few miles, all types of exercise have been shown to benefit mental health. Also, working out in nature (otherwise known as “green exercise”), particularly in the presence of water, specifically boosts self-esteem and mood.
So if you're looking for an easy way to start each day off on the right foot, why not get moving with some light exercise? Just a quick warm-up can have huge benefits for both your physical and mental health!
5. Set yourself up to get a good night's sleep
There are many things that can impact how well we sleep at night, from our diet and exercise habits to the amount of blue light we expose ourselves to during the day. Although we live in a workaholic society, sleep shouldn’t be thought of as a luxury but a vital component of a healthy lifestyle, especially considering that limiting the amount of sleep you get can adversely affect your health. Getting a good night's rest, however, might be easier than you think - all it takes is a little planning and preparation. (And the right mattress, wink wink).
One key factor in achieving quality rest is limiting blue light exposure before bedtime. Computers, TVs, phones, and other devices all emit blue light, which has been shown to disrupt circadian rhythms and make it harder for us to fall asleep. To avoid blue light buildup before bed, try turning off your screens at least an hour in advance or using blue light blockers like glasses or screen filters.
Planning for the day ahead by setting clear goals and making a to-do list can also be helpful, as it prepares you for whatever may come your way. Doing this before you sleep means you know what needs your attention first thing in the morning and this can prevent disruptive problem-solving during the night. You’ll wake up feeling less stressed about sleep and more focused on tackling your goals.
Overall, practicing good sleep hygiene like keeping to the same sleep schedule, making sure you’re not thirsty before bed, and reducing environmental noise can all contribute positively to sleep quality. Picking up a good book (preferably a real one vs. an ipad) and going to bed as soon as you feel sleepy are simple habits that can work wonders when it comes to getting a restful night's sleep.
So whether you're looking for quick tips or long-term changes, there are plenty of ways to get the rest you need and deserve!
6. Invest in a new mattress
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people should plan on replacing their mattress every 6-8 years. While this isn’t the case for everyone, if your mattress is starting to show signs of wear and tear, or if you find yourself waking up with aches and pains, it might be time for an upgrade. Investing in a new mattress that is well-suited to your specific needs can help you sleep better and feel more rested in the morning, giving you a fresh start to your day.
We might be biased but here are a few shopping tips, from us mattress experts to you:
- Choose a local company.
- Tell the salesperson your sleep habits and preferences, including what you like and don’t like about your current mattress.
- Pick a mattress that is flippable to ensure longevity.
- Make sure to try multiple firmnesses to pinpoint the right one for you.
- Choose natural (when we’re talking about health, there’s really nothing better!).
By following these simple tips, you can set yourself up for a great day full of energy and productivity.
Just remember that mornings are all about setting the tone for the rest of your day, so take your time and enjoy the process!