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Your Morning Ritual: 7-Point Checklist

Rosanne Ullman | February 17, 2017 | 2:51 PM

If you think your sleeping patterns are pretty good but you’re still kind of tired during the day, it may be your morning routine that’s tripping you up.

“We have been told how important sleep is to wellness,” says Dr. Ric Saguil, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group. “But our wellness begins each morning when we open our eyes.” Saguil offers these seven tips to start the day off right:

  1. When you wake up, get up. Spending an extra 20 minutes in bed on your phone or just daydreaming tells your body that it should stay sleepy. If you fall back to sleep and snooze, you further risk the chance of waking up in the middle of REM sleep, which can leave you disoriented and even more tired.
  2. Don’t check the Fitbit yet. Seeing a “bad” sleeping score may cause you to think you are already having a bad day! Give yourself time to start a good day before you review how well the Fitbit thinks you slept.
  3. Rehydrate. After a full night of sleep, your body is thirsty. Although the caffeine may be your motivation for reaching for that first cup of coffee, the liquid itself will help prevent irritability and tiredness, which are common symptoms of dehydration. Water and tea work, too.
  4. Take a shower. Morning is a better time to shower than at night, because showering raises your body temperature and, in order to sleep, your body needs to lower its temperature. So rise and wash!
  5. Move. Working out or taking a brisk walk within your first waking hour has been shown to help energize the body to prepare for the rest of the day. Moving increases your endorphins and gets the oxygen and nutrients flowing in your body.
  6. Go Outside. Start your day by exposure to the sun, or at least take a vitamin D supplement. Low light throughout the day encourages your body to feel sleepy and less responsive.
  7. Love your noise. If you wake up to any type of alarm or listen to the radio first thing, make sure you’re hearing pleasant sounds that get you awake and energized. Avoid music and sounds that make you either sleepy or stressed.

Saguil notes, “These steps may help you feel less tired and possess a healthier, positive outlook throughout the day.”

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