The majority of Americans are sleep deprived. More than two-thirds of women in the United States report that they don’t get enough sleep on a consistent basis. We are also at risk for more health trouble than men when we don’t get the rest we need.
Sleep deprived women have a higher risk of weight control issues, high blood pressure and other heart problems, diabetes, and mood disorders such as depression.
The Ripple Effect
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can make it difficult to wake up. Lack of energy and focus can impact your entire day. You can end up feeling out of control, frustrated, and even disappointed in yourself.
If you’re one of the millions of women who doesn’t sleep as much as you should, establishing a healthy morning routine can help you stay on track.
The important thing to remember is keeping things as calm as possible when you first open your eyes. Everyone is going to have a bad day where you wake up late, have a sick child, or some other one-off situation that scrambles the usual flow. That’s okay!
Moms and wives on television make it look so easy, don’t they? There is always a big breakfast, a spotless house, and an almost joyful greeting of the day.
Real life is nothing like that for most of us!
As long as you deal with the (hopefully temporary) chaos and get back on track as soon as possible, you’re going to feel so much better about getting out of bed. You need something simple and practical that can be easily adapted to your own life and personal responsibilities.
Make sure you stick to your new system seven days a week for at least a month so it becomes a strong, reliable habit. Psychologists estimate that larger habits take 3-4 weeks to settle into the brain so they become second nature. It might seem insane to follow it on your days off at first but in the end, you’ll be so glad you did.
A Healthy Morning Routine for Anyone’s Life
- Try to determine how you will wake up. Do you use a harsh alarm? Do your kids come screaming into the room? Is there an insistent pet licking your face? Believe me, I understand. I’ve experienced all those ways of waking up and I spent more than 15 years completely sleep-deprived and stressed from the moment I opened my eyes.
I finally discovered my best alarm clock…the sun. I set an alarm on my phone, something less grating that gets steadily louder, but the last thing I do before climbing in bed is open the shades so the sun helps bring me out of sleep. During the winter months, this is harder so I set two alarms on my cell phone 20 minutes apart. No more crazy beeping, no more loud music. I want to bring my mind gently into the day. There are still mornings where the choice is taken out of my hand but most days, this system works for me. Determine the best (and kindest) way that you like to awaken and do what you can to make it a habit.
- No matter your morning beverage of choice, pick water first. This was hard for me to get used to. When I discovered that we’re more dehydrated first thing in the morning, I slowly made it part of my healthy morning routine.
One glass while coffee brews, tea is set to boil, or before your shower will wake up your brain in ways that will shock you. It will start your internal systems going, raise alertness, and generally make you feel so much better. Then you can pour that lovely cup of deliciousness.
- Take 5 minutes to stretch your body. With small children, this is something we generally neglect to do. Even if you have to do it before your shower, give yourself this gift. Loosening your muscles gets your blood pumping and sends signals to your brain that it’s time to get to work.
I can’t handle “high energy” movement first thing in the morning but I love to take a few minutes to stretch my limbs, my back, and my neck gently. Don’t force it! Being gentle is very important. Note how you’re breathing and bring oxygen deep into your lower lungs while you stretch. Stretching combined with deep breathing is fantastic for your lymphatic system! If you’re feeling motivated, select a “meditation” mix from a media app and use the time to center your mind as well.
- Eat something but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make a “TV” breakfast. The important thing to remember is that you need some protein, a bit of healthy fat, and this is a good time to have your daily carb but make it a strong one. Avoid the empty carbs if at all possible because they’ll bump your energy for a short time then send it diving into exhaustion.
Scrambled eggs with some real cheese and veggies is my personal favorite. I also make organic sausage over the weekend that I use during the week so I’m not rushed. If you don’t have time to make eggs, consider a green smoothie or boiled eggs you’ve made ahead. If I opt for a carb, I choose an organic English muffin or bagel. In a rush, I can put cream cheese, sausage, and sliced boiled egg on my bagel, bag it, and carry a decent breakfast with me in under 3 minutes.
- Remember that you are in control. What doesn’t work today may work tomorrow. If you need to tweak your healthy morning routine, you’re able to do that. Embrace your day with positive thinking, a clear idea of what you need to accomplish, and kindness toward yourself when things don’t go as planned.
Naturally, I’m going to tell you to get plenty of sleep the night before because that’s going to repair any cellular damage, reinforce your basic functions, and make you feel amazing.
I know that isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it isn’t even an option if you care for others, work a night shift, or suffer from a sleep disorder.
That’s why it is critical to find the healthy morning routine that is exactly right for you (whether your morning starts at 6am or 3pm). Consistency is the key. You’re going to love the way you feel when you take back your start to the day.