The fastest way to guarantee a tough day is to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Your morning routine can often set the tone and mood for the rest of your day, which is why you usually feel super cranky after pressing snooze 10 times and scrambling out of bed to catch the train without eating breakfast. But if you incorporate a few life hacks for a better morning, then you can turn your day around before you even leave your apartment.
Before you start going on and on about how you're not a morning person, you should stop yourself right there, because you're not doing yourself any favors. It doesn't matter if you like mornings or absolutely despise them. Changing an aspect of your wake-up routine or coming up with a new one altogether will no doubt put you in a better position to conquer the day. Oh, and it just might make you hate mornings a little bit less.
Most of the ways you can change your morning outlook are free; plenty of them are just a matter of recognizing and tending to your mental health. Here are six easy ways to have a better morning, all backed by science.
1Wake Up Earlier
Don't look at me like that. Pretty much everyone you would ever want to emulate (think Michelle Obama or Tim Cook) wakes up at the crack of dawn — like, 4:30 a.m. kind of early.
The science of waking up early is part biological, part psychological: Hitting snooze repeatedly usually leads to fragmented, unsatisfying sleep patterns, but generally speaking, waking up early allows you more time to get sh*t done in your day without feeling overwhelmed or crammed. If you go to sleep earlier, you won't even lose those seven to eight necessary hours of sleep.
2Drink Cold Water As Soon As You Wake Up
Drinking a glass of cold water in the morning will boost your metabolism and wake you right up so you feel ready for the day. Studies show that drinking water in the morning will actually make you feel better in the long-run — better than coffee will. I'm personally pretty attached to my coffee, but I can't argue with science, I guess.
Think about it this way: Your body is about 60 percent water as it is, so replenishing your system in the morning will increase your hydration, boost your energy, and help you feel ready as ever to tackle the day ahead.
3Start Your Day With Deep Breathing
Starting your day with some deep breathing exercises is an excellent way to center your mind, body, and soul before the chaos of your day begins.
Deep breathing will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which will lower your heart rate and stress levels. In my opinion, that's the best possible way to start any morning.
4Wake Up To A Cool Environment
Waking up to a cooler environment in the morning — and going to sleep in that cool environment — will not only help you snooze through the night, but it'll also allow you to wake up feeling more well-rested and ready to greet the day.
Ideally, your room should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit — any hotter or colder and you might risk disrupting your sleep, thus leading to a more groggy and cranky morning.
5Go To Sleep An Hour Earlier
The best way to have a good morning is to have a good night. Going to sleep an hour (or even two) earlier to get those much-needed seven to eight hours is the best thing you can do for yourself for the following day.
If you're having trouble falling asleep, try getting rid of any screens before bed, taking a hot shower, or doing some deep breathing exercises in bed.
6Remember Your REM Cycle
Your rapid eye movement (REM) cycle — one of the main phases of your whole sleep cycle — is 90 minutes long, and ideally, you want to wake up at the end of one of those cycles rather than disrupt a deep sleep stage and wake up feeling groggy as hell as a result.
I know it sounds kind of complicated, but planning your sleep so that it fits into a 90-minute cycle-based schedule is a lot easier than you think. For example, if you go to sleep at 10 p.m., and you want to get seven and a half hours of sleep (which is ideal), then set your alarm for 5:30 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. It sounds ridiculous, but the reality is you'll wake up at the right part of your REM cycle, and you'll most likely feel better and more awake than you would if you slept an extra 30 minutes.