Are you a night owl or a morning person? Chances are you one or the other at least most of the time. But due to the way our modern schedules are designed, we seldom have the luxury to sleep in or stay up as late as we’d like. There are ways, however, to begin to work with your body, rather than against it when it comes to waking up. Sleep seems to be the last thing on most peoples’ lists of healthy habits yet it’s one of the most important. Proper sleep can prevent obesity and weight gain, illness, premature aging of the skin, and even mood disorders. That’s why it’s #1 on my list for a great morning! There are other things you can incorporate into your daily routine and see what works best for you. Remember, a habit takes 16 days to become a behavior so start now and have better mornings every day!
1) Sleep Enough
Sleep enough for your body to be fully rested. Seems obvious but not so easy to do. We all have different requirements for the amount of sleep we need in order to feel refreshed and rested. The first step is figuring out your natural body clock. Try going to bed when you are tired (for real, not just going through the motions) and allow yourself to sleep until you wake naturally. This might take a few nights or even weeks to notice a pattern, but eventually you will be in synch with your body’s own natural sleep patterns. Don’t worry if it’s 6, 7, 8, or 9 hours; we are all different, and age, stress, and hormones can create changes in this as well.
2) Don't Jump Out Of Bed
Remain still upon first waking rather than jumping out of bed and tripping over the cat on your way to the bathroom with the radio blaring. Try lying in bed for a moment to reflect on your dreams and the day ahead of you. Saying some positive affirmations while connecting with your breath in this half-conscious state is a very powerful tool for setting a positive tone to your whole day.
3) Stretch Luxuriously
Gently and slowly awaken each body part with gratitude and intention by stretching luxuriously. Take some time to reach your arms overhead, standing on tip toes and lean from side to side. Open the sides of the body, the neck, and the core while inhaling and exhaling with the movements. Take cat and cow for several rounds on all fours, tilting the pelvis and awakening the spine. Hug your knees into your heart and rock and back and forth, massaging the back of the body eventually standing up for deep a forward fold, arms heavy and knees slightly bent. Let the blood travel to your head, stimulating the brain. If you already have a morning workout routine start with this before hand and notice the difference.
4) Drink Lemon Water
Drink a cup of warm lemon water before drinking coffee, tea, or anything else. This is a natural detox that cleanses the lymphatic system and stimulates the digestive tract. It is cleansing, comforting, and allows your body to start the day clean and full of vitamin C! It also helps equalize the alkaline levels in the body and flush out toxins.
5) Eat Right
Have a healthy breakfast. Have food prepared and ready the night before so you don’t have to rush out the door with a pop tart in your mouth. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism after a long night of no food and can prevent bingeing later in the day due to lack of nutrients and hunger. Try a smoothie for a fast, nourishing way to get protein, complex carbs, and fiber. Throw in some greens for extra credit! Or prepare overnight oats the night before with oats, nuts, fruit, cinnamon, and almond milk for a delicious, hearty meal that requires no cooking.