How you start your day sets the tone for the entire day ahead. If you are stressed and tired in the morning, you can assure that the remainder of the day will only be more stressful. And if you feel fresh and energized in the morning, you will be ready to tackle whatever comes your way during the rest of the day. How you wake up and what you do as soon as you wake up not only affects your mood but your health too. If you do the right things, you will be able to make yourself more creative and productive at work or at home. Each time the sun rises, you are given a chance to turn your life around. And if you have some bad morning habits, it takes only 2 weeks to get rid of the habit and to engrave new and healthy habitual actions. Here are some morning habits that may be damaging your health.
1. Hitting The Snooze Button
Hardly anyone ever jumps out of bed and springs into action as soon as the alarm goes off. Your general tendency is to hit the snooze button so that you can lie in bed for another 5 or 10 minutes. The sound of the alarm actually pulls you out from your natural sleep cycle and when you try to give yourself some extra minutes of sleep, your internal body clock may think that you are beginning a new sleep cycle. This will make you want to sleep longer and if you force yourself to wake up from it, you end up feeling tired the rest of the day. Instead of trying to catch up on lost sleep in the morning try and hit the bed earlier during the night so that you can wake up feeling fresh as soon as your alarm goes off the first time.
2. Starting Your Day With Coffee
Most of you may instinctively reach for a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up in the morning. Some of you may even be addicted to the jolt of energy your caffeine gives you. But in the long run, starting your day with caffeine does not have any health benefits. In fact, it leaves you with an energy crash around mid-day and you are left craving for more. Caffeine is also very acidic and has a dehydrating effect when you drink it on an empty stomach. When you drink caffeine for an extended period of time, it can affect your adrenal gland and can deplete your natural energy reserves. So instead of coffee, try starting your day with a refreshing glass of hot water and lemon, which will not only energize you but will also hydrate and detox your system.
3. Skipping Breakfast
You may be in the habit of rushing through your mornings due to which you end up skipping your breakfast. But breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since your body and your brain have been fasting the entire night, they need to refuel in order to get some energy to make it through the rest of the day. When you don’t have your breakfast, you feel starved and exhausted by the time you have a real meal at lunch, which increases your chances of reaching for unhealthy snacking options. By starting your day with a nutritious breakfast, you will feel more energized and less hungry till you have your lunch and your blood sugar levels will be more stable.
4. Waking Up In A Dark Room
Your body’s sleep-wake cycle responds to the solar cycle. When it gets dark, your body takes the cue that it is time to sleep, and when the sun rises, it knows it’s ready to wake up to start the day.1 Although you may like waking up slowly in a dark and cozy room, it ends up delaying your body’s natural ability to energize itself with the solar cycle. If you open up your curtains and brighten your room first thing in the morning, you will feel much more energized to take on the rest of the day.
5. Starting Your Day Cold
If you are in the habit of getting up slowly from your bed, dragging yourself to the kitchen for some breakfast, lazily brushing your teeth and taking a shower, and then dallying to work, you know very well how the rest of your day is going to be like. Instead, stretch and twist as soon as you get up to get your heart pumping. It will release endorphins and will energize your body and mind. Though it may seem difficult at first, it may end up being more addictive than drinking coffee in the morning.
|↑1||Skeldon, Anne C., Andrew JK Phillips, and Derk-Jan Dijk. “The effects of self-selected light-dark cycles and social constraints on human sleep and circadian timing: a modeling approach.” Scientific Reports 7. 2017.|