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Morning Routine

I’ve been an early riser for most of my adult life, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always made the best use of my time. In recent years, I’ve tried to be more intentional with the “why” in the things I do each day. I believe that it is crucial to have a regular morning routine that is easily repeatable so you can perform it without thinking.

Below is an outline of what my mornings typically look like that combines some scientifically backed reasoning along with what works for me and my lifestyle. A system that works on both the weeks I have my kids and I’m a single parent and also the opposite weeks when I’m a bachelor.

Start your morning routine the night before

Each night before I head to bed, I take time to fill up a bottle with lemon water and salt and place it on my bathroom counter beside my vitamins. My yoga mat is set out in living room ready for my stretching routine, my book and highlighter are placed beside the couch and my outfit for the day is laid out. It’s amazing how labour intensive all of this feels in the morning versus the 5-minutes it takes to do it before heading to sleep.

Wake up at the same time every day

I aim to get up between 5:30am and 6:30am each day. It doesn’t matter if I stayed out late the night before, if I’m on holidays and regardless if its a weekday or weekend.

Waking up at the same time each day allows your circadian rhythm to accurately predict when things are going to happen. While this might not seem overly important, not living in alignment with our circadian rhythm can have big consequences. Dr. Satchin Panda, the author of The Circadian Code, explains:

“Almost each and every one of our cells contains one of these clocks, and each is programmed to turn on or off thousands of genes at different times of the day or night…. When these daily rhythms are disturbed for as little as a day or two, our clocks cannot send out the right messages to these genes, and our body and mind will not function as well as we need.”

“A disrupted clock is the mother of all maladies, and, conversely, in most chronic diseases, clock function is compromised.”

Turn on the lights

Ideally, you want to expose your eyes to sunlight as early as possible as it plays an important role in both stability and alertness.

Along the same line as waking up at the same time, these cells in your body tell time by measuring the signals which come from body temperature and, crucially, light. Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning helps keep these “clocks” in harmony so that your sleep, energy, and mood, can all remain stable.

Not only does his light routine promote stability, but it also helps him to wake up earlier and more alert. 

A circuit between the circadian clock and the adrenals triggers the release of cortisol to wake you up, which promotes a low stress alertness. This pulse is especially strong when you view light in the first 30 minutes of waking up.

Natural light can be be difficult to come by early in the morning here in Manitoba. Though not quite as effective, artificial lighting can be effective in producing the same effects. I turn on all of my lights immediately after waking and have a light panel in winter months.

Stretching & breathwork

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Quiet your mind

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Delay caffeine intake

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Reset your space

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