Setting yourself the right pace in the morning is very important. But some seemingly harmless habits prevent us from having a good and useful day. Let’s find out what we have to stop doing so that we don’t have to worry about wasting time in the evening.
1. Rearrange the alarm clock.
“Just five more minutes! – we think in the morning. – Or better yet 10 or 15!” And we reset the alarm clock again and again. But this way we risk not only oversleeping, but also damaging our health, both physical and mental.
When we switch off the alarm clock and fall asleep, a new sleep cycle begins, which will be interrupted 10 minutes later by another bell.
And so – several times. As a result, instead of proper rest we get fragmented sleep. And thus expose the body to stress – because with each ring of the alarm clock cortisol enters the blood. Therefore, it is better not to reset the alarm clock and get up at once. Or, if you really want to sleep a little more, give yourself a full 30 minutes.
2. Don’t make your bed.
According to habit-forming expert Charles Dahigg, if you make your bed right after you wake up, your day will be more productive. Admittedly, it’s not clear where the cause and the effect lie. Maybe it’s not making the bed that makes people productive and organized, but disciplined and productive people are more likely to make the bed after bedtime.
Either way, Charles Dahigg considers bed-cleaning to be one of the cornerstone habits – that is, the kind that brings about change in all areas of life.
3. Start the morning with coffee
A cup of coffee in the morning has become for many a ritual, without which the day won’t start. But neurophysiologists believe that it is better to give up this habit. The thing is that with a more or less stable morning routine, our blood levels of cortisol – a hormone that, among other things, gives us vigor and makes us energized.
So we don’t really need the extra invigorating effects of caffeine.
More than that. Caffeine supposedly confronts cortisol, the production of the latter is suppressed, and one no longer feels energized in the morning. That’s why it’s so hard for coffee drinkers to wake up without a cup of their favorite beverage.
Cortisol release peaks between 8 and 9 a.m. And not to interfere with natural processes, it is better to drink the first cup of coffee after half past ten. Before that, limit yourself to a glass of water, herbal tea or any other non-caffeinated beverage.
4. Grab your phone right after waking up
Four out of five people do this. And that’s not surprising at all, since most of us use the alarm clock set in our smartphone. But then, instead of putting the gadget down, getting out of bed and starting a new day, we start checking email and messengers, updating our social media feeds, scrolling through the news.
As a result, we lose our reserve of motivation and waste the time that we could devote to sports, meditation, books, or just calmly getting ready for work.
And often we also spoil our mood right from the morning: there is little joy in the news, and other people’s posts in social networks sometimes cause envy. That is why it is better to start the day without a phone. Buy a regular alarm clock, leave the gadget in another room at night, and set services that limit the use of your smartphone.
5. Getting ready in the dark.
In fall and winter, when the daylight hours are shortened, you have to get up while it’s still dark outside the window. And if you don’t turn on the bright lights, your brain will think it’s nighttime and you don’t have to wake up at all.
At night, the epiphysis produces the hormone melatonin, which, among other things, helps us sleep. In the morning after waking up, the adrenal glands synthesize cortisol, which is needed to make us feel active. The balance of melatonin and cortisol is linked to circadian rhythms and ensures a healthy alternation of sleep and wakefulness.
By going to bed in the dark, we postpone cortisol production, which means we prevent ourselves from truly waking up. And to prevent this from happening, we need to turn on the bright light when we get out of bed.