Sleep and Morning Hygiene

And I’m not talking about brushing your teeth.

Your morning routine starts with the night before.  

Let me walk you through the old me… I would come home super tired from a full day’s work (which meant seeing 20 patients, working through lunch, and commuting back home), scramble to get some dinner, rush through it, put Gia down, and get right into bed to watch a show. Finally, freedom. I haven’t taken a break since 6 am. It is now 9 pm. Let’s watch a show. Oh, the ending has a cliffhanger. I’m going to watch the next episode. Oh damn, that one has a good ending too. I need to know what happens next. Aaaaaaaaaand now it’s midnight. I have to wake up in 6 hours and do this whole thing over again.

I used to start my morning sitting in bed browsing my phone – bombarding my brain with bogus emails, Instagram, and news. Because I subconsciously internalized everything I just saw and read – picture-perfect IG selfies, flawless skin, amazing looking toned, tanned, thin, photoshopped bodies, beautiful clothes, new beauty regimens, the best, the newest, the trendiest, the now, all must occur now because it’s a limited edition or a sale, or there is a discount code that I can’t pass up, or I need to be the first to have it. 

The news – why oh why??

Wars, murders, robberies, deaths, disease, politics, fights, shootings, natural disasters… that reminds me… I need to restock my earthquake bag in case… because Cali… And now, we can’t forget the email. Taking up time to delete marketing crap because I hate email clutter, but I don’t have time to unsubscribe because I’m late for the morning, and now I am late to get Gia up and ready, who needs at least 15 minutes to poop in the morning… So, with that chaotic mess in my head, I get out of bed to start getting ready.

The morning stress continues…

While brushing my teeth, I would pick apart my face, thinking, “Omg the wrinkles on my forehead! It’s time for another botox sesh. Damn, those dark circles under my eyes are darker. Skin discoloration, uneven skin tone. I should make an appointment with my esthetician and dermatologist. Wait, do I have time for a quick face mask? No.”  

Does this sound familiar?

You’re ending the day with stress and starting it off with stress (like I was). 

Ending the day without rest.

Starting the day without rest.

The most important parts are how you start your morning and end your day the day before. Now, I know this can be overwhelming. Overhauling bad habits is frustrating and takes patience. But start somewhere. Small moves lead to significant moves. Being a morning person has shown benefits in mood, productivity, weight, and concentration.

Here’s how to prepare your mindset to be a morning person 

  1. BE PATIENT. It does take work. It can take 2-6 weeks for our bodies to form new habits. Consistency is key. 
  2. Keep your expectations REALISTIC! If you have tiny babies at home, irregular sleep patterns, and irregular work schedules, it’s not an all-or-nothing mentality. On the days you can prioritize a morning routine, do it. Otherwise, you can put the tips into practice as best you can.
  3. Keep your goals small. You can’t go from having no routine to a regimented one in one week. Overhauling your life is overwhelming. Start with small goals first, stay consistent with them for a few weeks, and build on them. 

Tip #1: Wake up at the same time or at least get the same number of hours of sleep per night.

Try to wake up around the same time every morning, even on weekends. If you have trouble sleeping, try to get the same number of hours of sleep each night. When you wake up at the same time every day, your body gets into a rhythm, and you’ll find it easier to get up in the morning.

Tip #2: Want to wake up earlier? Do it. But not all tomorrow.

If you want to start waking up earlier, don’t try to do it all at once. Change your wake-up time gradually by moving it five minutes earlier every few days or so. This way, your body has time to adjust to the new schedule, and you won’t feel like you’re punishing yourself.

Tip #3: Change your alarm habits.

No more snoozing! Instead of using the snooze button, set your alarm to soothing music or something from your personal playlist. It will help you wake up feeling more relaxed and energized. 

Tip #4: Let light in.

Turn on the lights and open up the curtains in the morning! Natural light tells your body to wake up. If it’s too dark outside, consider investing in a light therapy box. It mimics the effects of natural sunlight and can help you wake up feeling refreshed.

Tip #5: STAY AWAY FROM YOUR PHONE.

Turn off your alarm. And leave your phone. Make your morning routine pleasant. Give your body time to ease into the day. That stuff on your phone isn’t going anywhere. There is nothing that important. Remember – good morning routines are dependent on healthy sleep hygiene, so your nighttime routines are just as important!

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