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Creating a Morning & Bedtime Routine Changed My Life

Having a Few Important Habits Improved My Mental & Physical Health

By Jared SheetsPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Creating a Morning & Bedtime Routine Changed My Life
Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

I am by no stretch of the imagination a morning person; waking up and getting going was always the hardest part of my day. I would wake up groggy and felt like I was on autopilot for the first few hours of the day.

Going to bed was no better as I would go from staring at my computer or phone screen all evening straight to bed without letting my brain rest. I found myself tossing and turning for a while before I was finally able to go to sleep.

It was a vicious cycle that I felt trapped in until I heard of multiple fitness gurus share this secret: Having a morning and bedtime routine will vastly improve your quality of life.

At first, I was skeptical and hesitant. How could something so simple have such a big impact, right? However, after establishing and sticking to both a morning and nighttime routine, I can confidently say the benefits are astounding.

I no longer dread waking up and starting my day. If you start the day on a positive note it helps snowball productivity and attentiveness into the rest of your day.

The same goes for evenings. Giving my brain a chance to decompress and wind down both helps me fall asleep faster and has increased my quality of sleep.

Morning Routine

1. Drink Water

The first thing I do after waking up is drink a glass of water with 1/8th teaspoon of Himalayan salt and juice from half a lemon. There are many reasons I do this, but the main one is for rehydration. While sleeping, we lose water vapor from respiration and perspiration.

This usually wouldn’t be an issue, but during the 8 hours or so we spend sleeping we aren’t getting any fluids. Also, if you wear multiple layers of clothing or use blankets, this may add to your sweating. Starting your day off with a glass of water rehydrates your body and helps reduce the grogginess and fatigue that comes with waking up

In addition to losing water while we sleep, we also lose electrolytes and minerals. This is where the Himalayan salt comes into play. Himalayan salt is different from your average table salt. Himalayan salt isn’t processed and contains over 80 trace minerals.

These minerals are important for supporting the processes of your brain, organ systems, and muscles. Adding lemon greatly helps improve the taste as well as help balance your body’s pH and assist with digestion.

2. Eat Healthy Fats

I then consume good, healthy fats from almonds, eggs, avocados, or MCT oil. Eating dietary fat in the morning is better metabolically because these enzymes are most active when you wake up and least active at night. This means that the first meal of your day programs your metabolism for the rest of the day, so if you start your day with healthy fats, you will most likely be burning fat throughout the rest of the day!

3. Get Some Vitamin D

My next step is to take a Vitamin D supplement. Coming off my anti-depressants, two things became clear: gut health is important and seasonal depression sucks. Researchers believe that a person’s Vitamin D level may play a vital role in how they are affected by seasonal affective disorder.

Our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D from sunlight, but in the winter months, especially in the Midwest, it is near impossible to see the sun, let alone be outside when it does shine. By supplementing Vitamin D, I have been better able to manage seasonal affective disorder and improve my overall mood

4. Working Out

After my supplement, I exercise by either doing yoga or weightlifting. Working out in the morning helps bring stillness before a long day and gets my blood flowing. I have also noticed that if I work out in the mornings, my general anxiety levels are much lower throughout the rest of my day.

5. Take a Cold Shower

I then take a cold shower. I know this sounds crazy, especially in the winter, but it has numerous benefits both mental and physical. Firstly, cold showers release endorphins which in turn increase your mood (take that, seasonal depression!). It also helps kickstart your metabolism to increase the fat you burn throughout the day. Lastly, they help improve circulation to get your blood flowing properly which is especially helpful after a workout.

6. Meditation

After being revitalized from my cold shower, I meditate for 20 minutes, and then journal. Meditation has tons of advantages, the primary one for me is that it decreases my anxiety. Having those 20 minutes to myself really helps increase my self-awareness and reduces my negative emotions. I am also able to identify what is stressing me out and manage them more effectively. Once I am done meditating, I journal about what was I reflected on and get it down on paper.

Nighttime Routine

1. Wind-down Period

I try and start my wind-down routine an hour and a half before I go to sleep. This really helps my brain relax from screens and gets my melatonin flowing. The first thing I do is write about my day. By doing this, I am able to tap into my emotions and articulate what I wasn’t able to during the day and release what stress has been compiled.

2. Light Reading

I then read either a fiction or spirituality book as they let my mind calm down before sleep. If I read a fact-based non-fiction book, I usually end up waking up my brain instead of relaxing it.

These routines have honestly changed my life immensely for the better; I am no longer dreading my mornings or just laying in bed with random thoughts racing through my head until I eventually fall asleep.

The benefits speak for themselves, and I highly recommend everyone try and find routines that work best for them. The best part Is there isn’t a one stop shop for everyone, so we can explore different methods until we find one that works!

self help

About the Creator

Jared Sheets

My insights and thoughts going through life.

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