You might wonder if it is important to wake up early in the morning to start a morning routine. Most of us are not morning persons by default and one of the main reasons many of us lack a morning routine is the lack of time in the morning. But why do we lack time in the morning? This can be contributed to a myriad of reasons depending on differences in individuals, the environment we live in and even our age.
Different people have different habits and what works for someone does not work for everyone. Some people are naturally night owls whereas others can be considered early risers. Our obligations during the day also determine our pattern, a night nurse has a significant different day structure than let’s say a teacher. Likewise your morning routine depend on a lot of different factors and most important is what works for you and what you should and/or want to accomplish during your day.
But first let’s talk about sleep
Whichever category you belong to, contrary to what some believe, we all need around 7-8 hours of sleep per day to perform well. Thomas Edison was famous for his claim that sleep was a waste of time and he would go by on 3-4 hours of sleep per day, yet he did ‘make up’ for his lack of sleep by taking frequent naps throughout the day.
In order to understand different sleep cycles, patterns and habits we have to consider melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in anticipation of the daily onset of darkness. In a simple explanation, one could say that melatonin prepares our body to sleep. Typically we start to produce melatonin six to eight hours before bedtime. If our body produces too little melatonin we might have more trouble to fall asleep. The reason some people are considered night owls is because their body naturally starts to produce melatonin at a later stage in their day compared to, for example, an early riser.
The production of melatonin is triggered by the decrease of light. The lack of decrease in light could create a melatonin disorder that could cause insomnia, or significantly decreases the quality of your sleep. These days a lot of people spend a lot of time behind a screen (phone, laptop, etc.), which is often a big source of bright light. This light could have a direct impact on our sleep so be sure to have screen off time in the hour before you go to bed.
How to fit a morning routine in your day?
Different people have different patterns and everything depends on your personal situation. A morning routine is not about waking up as early as possible. Don’t feel intimidated by the thought of having to wake up early in the morning to start a routine. More important is how it fits in your day and what works best for you. If you work a day job, have children and follow a fairly normal routine you would be awake somewhere between 7 a.m. and 11.p.m. and you catch your eight hours of sleep in between if you are lucky. Of course this could be different if you work night or irregular shifts for example.
Say you work a 9-5 job and normally you would wake up at around 7:30 a.m. in order to have breakfast and prepare to go to work. In this case, you would have little time to focus on yourself and for a morning routine, considering that your commute to work takes you around 30 minutes. Waking up before 7:30 a.m. would free up additional time in the morning so you could concentrate on other things that you would want to achieve. In this particular case, you could have great benefit by waking up at around 6 a.m., for example, to fully prepare yourself for the rest of the day.
But what if in general you have your peak energy at a later stage of the day, or if you for example work from home? Maybe in this case you have plenty of time and focus to concentrate on your routine a little later during the day. Truth to be told only you can know and it is worthwhile to experiment with what works best for you.
We all have different obligations during our day and not all of our days start at the same time. Ultimately there is no golden rule on what time to exactly start your morning routine. More important is that you do make time in your mornings to focus on your routine in a way that makes sense within your schedule. You will reap the benefits of a morning routine if you commit yourself to make it a habit to start your with, in the end it does not matter if this is at 6 a.m. or 10 a.m.
If you already are pumped up about waking up early in the morning to start your routine, how about starting with implementing a morning workout!
When do you normally start your day, and how do you make sure to free-up time for a morning routine? Leave a comment below to share your own experiences of what works for you and what doesn’t!