Waking up can be rough. We all know too well that dreaded feeling of hearing the alarm sound just as we’re deep into an awesome sleep. So how can we make waking up a little more bearable? It’s all about having a productive routine—and not hitting the snooze button.
You might not want to do all of these suggestions in the morning, so focus on one or two (or all five if you’d like) that you can integrate easily into your day. They’re all simple, though, and they’ll have you in the swing of a productive morning routine in no time.
1. Get seven to nine hours of sleep
A productive morning begins with a good night’s sleep. If you wake up feeling groggy and out of sorts, you’re in for a difficult morning. The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, but most people need anywhere from seven to nine hours each night to fully rest and restore their bodies. Sleep is a time for the body to process information and retain memories in addition to rejuvenating the body, so ample sleep is important to have not only a productive morning but also a functional day.
2. Wake up at the same time every morning
The most productive mornings involve developing routines. The best way to establish a routine is to wake up at the same time each day. It also trains your body to wake itself at that time, so you’ll feel less groggy as you adjust to your new alarm. Along with that, try to go to bed around the same time each night. Establishing a firm sleep routine helps your body adapt to the start and end time of your sleep.
3. Get some exercise in
You’re probably thinking, “Who in their right mind wakes up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym before work?” But the truth is, you don’t have to wake up that early to get your blood pumping. It’s easy to fit in a 30-minute workout at home and avoid wasting time driving to and from the gym. You can snag a great HIIT workout on Pinterest or just go for a walk on mornings when you don’t need to break a killer sweat. Either way, getting your blood pumping in the morning will set you up to be more alert and ready to start the day. Plus, it’s one less thing you need to worry about when the work day is over.
4. Meditate for at least 10 minutes
Meditation readjusts your mindset for the busy or stressful day you might have ahead. When you wake up, you should immediately start the day with your mind in a good place. Meditation can be daunting, but you don’t need to spend an hour of your time focusing on your breathing. You can even meditate without leaving your bed. Spend at least 10 minutes each morning focusing on your breathing or trying a few yoga poses. It will relax you and reset your mind for the rest of your day.
5. Eat breakfast
Do not leave the house without eating breakfast. And no, a granola bar on your way out the door doesn’t count. Carve out at least 20 minutes to eat something substantial. Wake up, meditate, go for a walk, eat breakfast, and go to work. That is the perfect routine to set you up for a productive morning and a fulfilling day.
Try to get whole grains, protein, and fiber into your breakfast — this will help keep you full and focused all morning. Eat some avocado toast or a one-egg omelet with veggies. On days when you’re running late, a bowl of whole grain cereal will do as well. It’s the most important meal of the day because it improves your memory, keeps your metabolism in check, and gives you more energy.