I believe structuring your morning so that you have energy the rest of your day is an important element to productivity and happiness. The morning is your chance for a fresh start. And if have a lot of energy in the morning, it gives you momentum for the rest of your day. So how does one get energy in the morning for the rest of the day? Here are things I found to be extremely important in order to wake up with energy in the morning.
Get Plenty of Quality Sleep
This is by far the most important ingredient for having energy in the morning. You may think that you can “get by” with just 4-5 hours of sleep. But in reality, only 3 percent of the population can perform optimally with less than 6 hours of sleep.
You should always aim to have 6.5 to 8 hours of sleep. Pay attention to your body. What is the optimal amount of sleep you need in order to perform optimally? I feel that getting 6.5 is the right amount of sleep for me for me to be at my best.
Not only should you get the right hours of sleep, it needs to be quality sleep. If you are waking up 3-4 times a night, that’s not quality sleep. You should strive to sleep through the night without waking up. So how do you do that? Avoid laptops and smartphones in the hours prior to sleeping. Smart phones and laptops emit a lot of blue light; and blue light emission and how it affects our circadian rhythm has been well-documented. The more blue light you are exposed to in the hours before sleep, the less quality sleep you get. It’s as simple as that. And if you suffer from insomnia, I previously wrote about a great way to solve it.
Exercise in the Morning
People who exercise in the morning have more energy and sleep better than people who exercise in the afternoon or don’t exercise at all. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise releases all kinds of “feel good” chemicals that charges you and give you energy. These chemicals gives you increased attention and focus to battle through your work. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, I suggest doing some high intensity interval training in the morning. It will take as little as 10 minute but is more effective in burning calories and will elicit the same biochemical response as doing over 30 minutes of steady state cardio.
Don’t Eat a Big Breakfast and Don’t Eat Meat for Breakfast
I was never a proponent of breakfast. Researchers used to think that breakfast was an important and necessary element to weight control. But new evidence suggests that may not be all that important or necessary. But if you do eat breakfast, make sure it is a breakfast that is small in size and easily digestible. I don’t recommend eating meat during breakfast as meat can be hard to digest, thereby make you feel bloated and sluggish. Stick to fruits and vegetables for breakfast. I don’t recommend a lot of foods high on the glycemic index either as it can mess with your blood glucose levels, which can also make you feel sluggish.
Hydrate After Waking Up
It is important to hydrate yourself after waking up because your body has gone through the whole night without water. The body needs water more than it needs food. So the first thing you should do when waking up is to drink some water.
Along with aerobic exercise, you should spend the fist 5-10 minutes stretching. This will help loosen up the body which has been immobile the whole night. Stretching enables better blood flow and loosen up your muscles and joints so that you do not feel as stiff.
Don’t Check Your Social Media Accounts in the Morning
We have limited capacity for attention and focus. Do not spend that on social media in the morning if you can help it. When your attention and focus is zeroed in on social media in the morning, it takes away energy for more important stuff in the day.
Get Something Done in the Morning
The morning is your time and your time alone. No one can bother or interrupt you at this time. Use this time wisely to set up the rest of your day. Plan your day. Do some personal projects. Get ahead at work. Read. Work on a hobby. Doing this ensures that you get to do what you want before the day starts, and you feel productive for doing so.
Get Up At Least 2 hours Before You Have To
The morning is your time. You should get up well before you have to. This ensures that you are able to get ahead of the day, instead of rushing and playing catch up. When you play catch up, you are stressed, worried, and pressed for time. All this does causes you to burn out easily. If you are ahead of schedule, you can take things slow and you are calm. Your body doesn’t elicit a chronic stress response that will ultimately wear you out physically and mentally.