Plant Based Bride

One woman's thoughts on the science and morality behind the choice to live without animal products. And possibly a blog post or two about centrepieces.

How To Start Your Day Off On The Right Foot! Becoming a Morning Person

Everyone wants to start their day off on the right foot, right?  You want to wake up refreshed and energetic, ready to go!  Unfortunately I'm not a morning person, and often when I need to wake up earlier than 10 am my whole day can get a bit thrown off by grouchiness and brain fog.  Most of the time I don't get high quality sleep and wake up often throughout the night, every night.  But no more!  I've gone on a rampage lately reading all of the articles on becoming a morning person and getting better sleep that I could possibly find and making lists of things that I've noticed help me to wake up feeling more rested and ready to start my day.  I decided to compile these things into an article for myself and anyone else who may be struggling with the same issues as I have, with the hopes that it will help at least one other person.  I hope not only to be able to wake up at 8am every single morning, but to want to!  If that's you, too, read on!


Gunas New York

Prep the night before.

Set out your clothes and pack your lunch.

Whether you're working out first thing, heading into an office, or working from home, set out your clothes the night before so that you can quickly get dressed and start your day!  Packing your lunch the night before, if you'll be away from home for the midday meal, will save time in the morning for more important tasks.  I like to pack my lunch from leftovers from dinner.  As soon as we finish eating, I'll split the leftovers into tupperware for myself and Jason.  Quick and easy!

Do the dishes.

I know you don't want to, but do them.  Not only will they be easier to clean right away, but when you wake up in the morning you'll have a clean kitchen to eat breakfast in!  If that isn't a mood booster, I don't know what is.

Go to bed early.

This one is so hard for me, but makes the biggest difference.  Go to bed early!  It doesn't have to be before 10, but if you're regularly up past 1 am you're probably not going to be feeling energetic and awake by 7 or 8.  Start incrementally adjusting your bed time earlier until you reach a time that works for you:  not so early that you feel it's interrupting your life, but not so late that you can't comfortably wake up at the time you want to.  What would you rather spend your time doing?  Staying up late watching Netflix or waking up early and feeling focused enough to get things done?  Give it a try.  The results may surprise you!

Don't drink caffeinated beverages too late in the day.

Different people react differently to caffeine, but no matter what it acts as a stimulant.  Drinking coffee or caffeinated tea too late in the day can really affect your sleep, making the next day a drowsy one.  I've tried to avoid all caffeine past 2 pm after some sleepless nights,  but for you the cut off time may be different.  If you're having trouble getting to sleep or sleeping well try reducing caffeine and/or moving its consumption to earlier in the day and you may notice an improvement! 

Stop eating 12-16 hours before you want to wake up.

Need to reset your biological clock?  Try fasting for the 12-16 hours before you'd like to wake up!  New research from Harvard Medical School has shown that this method is very effective in quickly adjusting a person's sleep-wake cycle.  Read more about why this works here.

Set your alarm and mean it.

Set your alarm for the time you actually want to get up, not earlier to allow for snoozing.  Doing this will help train you to get up when your alarm goes off, rather than struggling to get out of bed after hitting the snooze button 3 times and almost being late to work!

Put your alarm across the room.

Put your alarm across the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.  Any time I've done this in the past I've found myself falling back asleep much less frequently!  It's a great, simple, way to get yourself up and moving right away, with no snooze!  

Stay off electronic devices an hour before bed.

I know I don't have to tell you, but I know that I can always use a reminder on this one.  I can be pretty attached to my devices, and have fallen asleep with my phone in my hand more times than I'd like to count...  But, I'm starting a new rule for myself:  no phone, iPad, or laptop an hour before bed.  I can set my alarm on my phone and put it across the room from my bed and just focus on spending quality time with my fiancé, with no distractions.  Give it a try!  The light from our devices is proven to reduce melatonin production and throw off sleep cycles.  Try setting your phone to airplane mode to discourage you from using it.  Following this rule just might make your mornings brighter!

Make your bedroom an ideal sleeping environment.

Keep it dark, and slightly cool for the best sleep possible.  You'll also want to make sure that your mattress and pillows are supporting you properly while giving enough support.  Try Loom & Leaf for incredible plant based memory foam mattresses! 


In the morning...

Don't hit snooze.

First things first.  Don't hit snooze!  Once you get up to turn your alarm off (you did put your alarm across the room, right?) stay up.  Don't let your warm, comfy bed call you back.  You have things to do and a life to live!  So get to it.

Smile.

When you smile, you get happier.  Use this to your advantage!  When you wake up early and need a kick to get going, get your smile on.  It's guaranteed to make you feel a little bit peppier, and isn't that the only real difference between a morning person and a not-so-morning person?

Drink water.

If you're anything like me, you wake up dehydrated.  I always fill a large glass of water and drink the whole thing before I even get out of bed!  Many people are chronically dehydrated, causing them to feel weak, lightheaded, constipated, and to struggle with headaches.  Try getting yourself a large glass or water bottle and tracking how many times you refill it  in a day.  Challenge yourself to drink more than you did yesterday!  You'll quickly notice an improvement in your focus and energy when your water consumption reaches appropriate levels.  

I have two of these 32oz Mason Jar Tumblers and LOVE them!

Keep your phone on airplane mode.

This is a REALLY hard one for me, but it can really change the course of your day.  If you followed my advice for the night before, your phone SHOULD already be on airplane mode.  This makes it easy!  Just leave it like that until your finished with your morning routine.  For me that means getting up, having a coffee, spending time with my fiancé, eating breakfast, working out, doing some yoga, and having a shower.  I try to get all of these things done before checking emails, going on social media, or responding to texts.  It's nice to have dedicated time each day to be in the present moment, with my man, without distraction.  I find that when I succeed at this step I am a much happier person all day long!

Have a cup of coffee.

Opinions on coffee vary, but I find that a nice black cup of joe in the morning is a great pick me up with no noticeable ill effects.  There is even evidence that coffee helps to burn fat and reduces muscle soreness when consumed before a workout!  I like to add some cinnamon to my coffee for a bit of flavour and lots of positive health benefits, then hit the mat!

Workout.

We all know that physical activity is good for us.  So why do so few of us do it?  It can be so easy to fall out of a workout routine, but regular exercise keeps us fit, happy, healthy, and energetic!  It also improves your sleep at night, which in turn improves your days, making you more likely to workout! (See how awesome this cycle is?)  If you're out of shape or not a fan of exercise, try a morning walk with your significant other, kids, or pet.  On days I'm not feeling up for a tough resistance workout or extended cardio I like to roll out my mat and escape into yoga.  The great thing about practicing yoga is that it can be whatever you need it to be, and however strenuous you want!  I love to buy nice workout gear for motivation.  Give it a try!

Meditate.

Try meditation!  It can reduce stress, improve brain functioning, increase happiness, improve metabolism, increase attention span, and so much more!  Give it a try, even for only 5 minutes a day, and see if it impacts your life for the better!

Eat a great breakfast.

Make sure to fuel your body properly, right from the get-go.  I like to fill up on lots of fresh fruit like bananas and apples for energy and a whole host of nutrients!

Play music you like.

Still not enjoying your earlier mornings?  Try creating a happy, upbeat playlist of songs you love to put on as soon as you wake up, or even as your alarm!  Music can really effect your mood, so use its power for good and get your morning vibes on!

I hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming a morning person.  I'm on that path myself, and will be checking in to let you know how it's going and share more tips and tricks as I discover them!

Until next time,

Plant Based Bride

Are you a morning person or a night owl?  What's your favourite part of your morning routine?  Let me know in the comments below and on social media! (@elizabethturn on instagram and twitter!)

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