Health | 03.23.2022

How to Make an Energizing Morning Routine, According to Science

By Franki Hanke

You don’t have to be a morning person to find joy in your morning ritual. 

Waking up can be hard, but the morning is our chance to affect the rest of the day. With a well-crafted morning routine, add some extra energy to fuel the rest of your day. 

But, what should that routine have? Some people live by a cold shower. Others love a scoop of collagen powder in lemon water. We’ve found a consensus through which tips are verified by scientific knowledge. So, here’s how to have a good morning with the best morning routine for energy according to science.

Fix Your Nighttime Routine

You need enough sleep or you’ll struggle with any routine. A one-off bad night of sleep is survivable. However, your nighttime routine will affect the next morning. Make sure you’re sleeping enough. A massive 100,000+ participant study of adults 40 to 79 years old found that the optimal sleep duration is seven hours. 

Then, before you get that sleep, automate your morning for a wake-up with light. If you have a smart home, put your blinds on a timer that rises with the morning sun so you can sleep in darkness, but wake up with natural light. Otherwise, try the Philips SmartSleep alarm for a gentler wake-up. 

If you want to continue improving your sleep, read our Sleep Guide for all our tips on improving your sleep. 

Be Realistic & Stay Consistent

While it’s aspirational to include a thirty-minute journaling session, a long jog, and a home-cooked breakfast in your routine, it might not be possible. Instead, aim to create a routine that is realistic. Repetition is the core of a routine. Numerous studies have reiterated the benefits of any, familiar routine on your entire day. 

A study with in-depth observation and interviews with older women found that routines helped with the following:

→ Maintaining a healthy activity level

→ Balancing between work, rest, and play

→ Viewing themselves positively 

When routines were interrupted, additional research linked a disrupted routine with negative moods later and less engagement with their work. 

“Our results indicate that the ramifications of morning routine disruptions ripple through the rest of the workday.”

Once you have a routine in place, stay consistent to avoid negatively affecting the rest of the day. 

Wake Up Your Body (Slowly)

Before you swing out of bed, spend a few minutes letting your body adjust from static sleep to wakefulness. Rather than hitting the snooze button, do some gentle stretches to wake up your body and get your blood flowing. Do these laying flat before leaving the bed. 

Lengthen Out

First, stretch your arms overhead and lengthen out your entire body. This signals the change in energy levels and kicks off your first movement of the day. 

Supine Twist

Wake up your spine with a gentle twist. On your back, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the bed. With your back and feet flat on the mattress, lower your knees to one side and then the other. Move slowly and limit the motion where there’s any discomfort. 

Pelvic Tilt

Turn on your core muscles. From the same position as your twist, slowly tilt your pelvis forward. Then, return to neutral before tilting backward. Keep the movement subtle and only on the pelvis. 

Knee to Chest

If you wake up with a stiff back, this is the one. From the same position on your back, pull your knees up to your chest. You can grab your legs behind the thighs or wrap your arms around the front of the legs. Slowly pull your knees towards your chest. For a deeper stretch, lift your upper body up to round your back into a ball shape. 

During these stretches, bring mindfulness into the moment. Practice deep, full breaths and let yourself wake up without extra stimulation (from social media or the rest of your phone). 

Once you’ve done these, exit the bed. If you have time, seek out an energy boost and some extra endorphins from a longer stretch. Build from there with additional stretches or follow along with live guidance from Yoga with Adriene

Seek Out Natural Light

Natural light is nature’s alarm clock. Sunlight (and to a degree any light exposure) suppresses the body’s production of melatonin. High melatonin preps the body for sleep while low melatonin levels make us alert and awake. 

Additionally, natural light supports our circadian rhythm which is the internal clock that dictates our immune system and schedule throughout the day. 

So, open up the curtains, get outside, and soak up the sun. 

You might guess the best morning routine for energy includes coffee, but really it should include water.

Drink Water (Before Coffee)

Many of us turn to coffee first thing, but after the dehydration of sleep, our bodies need water. Whether you drink cold water or warm water doesn’t matter. The difference for your body between a warm or a cold glass of water is negligible. Enjoy your water however you like it.

Then, enjoy your cup of coffee later. 

Have a Healthy Breakfast

To fuel yourself for the day, you need to have breakfast. Our daily schedule includes intermittent fasting while we sleep. The first meal of the day is essential to break that fast and give us the fuel we need to focus and operate.

From a scientific review compiling decades of research, they summarized the benefits of eating breakfast. 

→ Superior mental performance

→ Enhanced nutrition

→ Successful reduction in weight

→ Increased hunger satisfaction

→ Control over the entire day’s calorie consumption

→ Maintenance of a health routine 

A good breakfast should include more fiber and protein, but less sugar and fat. 

“Skipping breakfast increases obesity, body mass index and reduces activity and performance during a day.”

If you’re not sure what to eat, we’ve got 20 ideas for you. 

Customize Your Best Morning Routine for Energy

Ultimately, everyone is different. While there are physiological effects for certain behaviors, not everything is the same for each person. 

Ask yourself, “What wakes me up?” or “What would make my morning enjoyable?” 

By prioritizing your wellness with dedicated time for yourself in the morning, you manage your stress levels before the day begins. Many successful people find an early morning wake-up does this, but we all know someone who would never benefit from a 5 AM alarm clock. 

Choose some additions to your routine for your well-being, personal growth, or mental health. Consider what prepares you for your day or brings you joy in the morning. 

→ Tidy up your workspace. 

→ Listen to a morning podcast. 

→ Practice positivity with a mantra. 

→ Schedule your day in a planner. 

If you’re building this routine from scratch, give yourself time to adjust. Start with these core tips before adding on extra things like a full workout or that meditation session. Then, create the perfect morning in the time you have.

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