Five morning habits that won’t take much time — promise

By Staff Writer • Published: September 20th, 2016
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The Internet is full of suggestions about what to do during your morning routine in order to optimize your day. But science also reminds us that a full night’s sleep is good for you, too.

So how should you optimize both your sleep and your morning? Here are some healthy morning habits that won’t take very much time.

First, stretch. Your body has been prone for hours. Bounding out of bed — or even dragging yourself reluctantly out of bed — may be asking too much of your muscles. Check out morning yoga routines to get your body ready to greet the day.

No. 2: Drink water. You’ve been asleep for (hopefully) seven or eight hours, during which time you’ve ingested no liquid. Studies suggest drinking 16 ounces of water can combat muscle fatigue and keep your digestive system working … smoothly.

Third, take a hike. If your schedule allows it, a 20-minute stroll or brisk walk can help ease stress during your workweek. One study, which followed overweight women aged 50-75, showed that walking four hours per week in the morning helped the women sleep better at night.

Fourth, eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast with lean proteins — eggs are a good source — can help you feel more satisfied through the morning. Participants in a study who ate an egg for breakfast lost 18 pounds over the course of the study, and those who added a slice of lean protein such as Canadian bacon had more lean muscle than those who ate less protein.

Lastly, caffeinate in small doses. A large jolt of coffee will boost you for an hour before filtering out of your brain over the following three to four hours. A study published in the academic journal Sleep showed that hourly doses of caffeine — what you would find in a two-ounce shot of brewed coffee — were optimal in keeping the study subjects alert. Bonus: you can sip your coffee throughout your work morning, extending the caffeinated treat.