How to improve your morning routine
Whether you're a morning person or self-confessed night owl, making sure your day starts smoothly will set the bench mark for the day ahead. Here's how to make the most of your mornings:
1. Get a good night's sleep
On average, we need around 8 hours of sleep every night1, we spend up to one third of our lives asleep (or trying to be asleep)2. So why do so many of us still feel tired? Busy lifestyles and work commitments mean our sleep health suffers and not getting enough quality sleep can impact on our health, both mentally and physically. That’s why making every ‘z’ count – with a few easy changes to routine - will make you feel happier and healthier.
While it might not always be possible, sticking to a sleeping schedule can help your body’s internal clock - also called a circadian rhythm (body clock) - allowing you to get accustomed to a new bedtime. Also think about how you wake up. Harsh sounding alarms can startle you into consciousness, so try a softer sounding ring tone for a gentle awakening.
If you’re a troublesome sleeper, be sure to relax before you get into bed. A warm bath before slipping between the sheets can help to relax you.
2. Have breakfast
It's been said time and time again, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. The key is to eat the right foods to give your body the nutritional kick start it needs first thing in the morning. Stay clear of sugary cereals and instead opt for eggs for a good source of protein and team with salmon and nutrient-dense avocado.
Or, if you'd prefer a less heavy option; fat free Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit will give you your first of your 5-a day.
Many of us are against the clock in the morning, meaning exercise is bottom of our list of priorities. While an hours work out may not be realistic, a 10-20 minute yoga session is achievable. Yoga teacher Adriene3 - whose YouTube videos are watched by avid fans worldwide - proves less is more with her short yoga sequences. Her 20 minute morning videos encourage mindful breathing and gentle movement to help your day begin with ease and joy.
While yoga will allow you to focus on breathing, the art of mindfulness encourages you to be in the present moment. Paying more attention to your own thoughts and feelings and to the world around you can improve your mental wellbeing4. Before you look at your phone or switch on the TV, take a moment. For example, if you find it hard to focus daily meditation has been shown to have positive effects, for reducing stress5.
5. Take daily vitamins
Despite eating a healthy balanced diet, it’s important to know which important vitamins and nutrients your body needs. For instance, many people do not get enough vitamin D due to lack of exposure to sunlight. As a result, the government recommends everyone needs 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day during the autumn and winter months, to support bone and muscle health.Taking asupplement like Seven Seas Simply Timeless Omega-3 fish oil plus capsules, in addition to your diet provides a source of vitamin D.
5 Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011 Volume 2011, Article ID 960583, doi:10.1155/2011/960583), attention control (ref: Moore A et al, 2012 Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6:1-15 doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00018), sleep (Hulsheger UR et al.Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (2015), 88, 464–489), etc.