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For a lot of people, mornings flat out suck. However, having an efficient and calm morning can set the tone for the entire day. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, have consistently hectic mornings, or always feel in a rush to get out the door, here are the 10 night time habits you need for a better morning.

1. Read Something

Reading something before bed is an easy way to wind down without using electronics. Even if you don’ t enjoy reading, a quick 2-3 minute read will calm your mind and set the tone for proper sleep. Try reading a chapter of a book, an excerpt from a devotional such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, or for anyone looking to learn something new, The Intellectual Devotional (my personal choice).

2. Do Your Skin Care

A night time skin care routine can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but is extremely important to at least create some time of skin care routine to ensure you wake up feeling and looking refreshed. Be sure to take off your makeup at the very least. My quick night-time skin care routine takes about five minutes. I start by removing my makeup with the Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes, my absolute favorites! Followed with a serum, The Ordinary Squalane Serum is inexpensive and great for moisturizing. Lastly, a light moisturizer, i’ve been using this Clinique one for years.

No matter how simple or complex your night time skin care routine is, it’s essential that you create one that works for you, and will leave you and your skin feeling refreshed in the morning.

3. Don’t eat close to bed-time.

Eating close to bedtime means that during the night, your body has to work on digesting your food, rather than the things it should be doing, like repairing damage and restoring health. It also means that it’s more likely you’ll need to get up to use the bathroom during the night, something that’s not only annoying, but interrupts your necessary sleep.

Avoiding food 2-3 hours before going to bed gives your body time to digest, and means that you’ll likely fall asleep easier, and wake up feeling refreshed.

4. Have a set bedtime.

Having a set bedtime that you stick to on most nights will help you fall asleep easier. Teaching your body what time is bedtime means that you will likely start to be sleepy around this time, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, instead of falling asleep at random times. This will also make waking up easier (especially if you have a set wake up time, yes, even on weekends), because you will likely be getting the same amount of necessary sleep each night.

5. Create Something to look forward to in the morning.

For most people, getting out of bed is the hardest part, but once awake, getting up early isn’t so bad. If you create something small that you look forward to every morning, you are more likely to get up and out of bed and get your day started.

Here are some simple things you can look forward to in the morning; choose which ever excites you the most:

  1. Yummy morning coffee
  2. a cup of tea
  3. morning yoga session
  4. a chapter of your favorite book
  5. delicious breakfast
  6. a warm shower
  7. planning your day (weird, i know, but some people, like me, LOVE this)

The trick is to pick something little that you LOVE, and be sure to incorporate that first thing every morning. When your alarm goes off instead of thinking “ugh i have to get out of bed” switch your mindset to “yay i get to do this little thing that i love now”.

6. Plan your day the night before.

If you don’t LOVE hyper-planning your life like i do, it’s likely that keeping running to-do lists and schedules in your head can be stressful and clutter your mind, keeping you up at night. Simply taking 5-10 minutes in the evening to write a to-do list, list out important appointments, and decide what you truly need to get done the next day. This will clear your head and give you a sense of calm that you have a plan of attack for the coming day. Having clear intentions and a vivid idea of what your day will look like will give you more motivation to get out of bed and get started. This is especially helpful for people who work from home, are self-employed, stay at home moms, or anyone without a 9-5 schedule.

7. Set out everything you need in the morning.

This is especially helpful if you have to leave the house early in the morning, or if you have exceptionally busy mornings. Decide what you’re going to wear the night before and have it ready to go (included all pieces, undergarments, socks, shoes, etc.). If you have to take a lunch with you for the day, make it the night before. Need something quick to eat? Decide the night before. Pack your bag and put it in your car, along with anything else you can’t forget to bring with. Pro tip: if you have to bring something that you can’t keep in your car, set it underneath your keys or something you can’t leave the house without, that way you know you won’t forget it. Preparing the night before makes it that much easier to get out the door calmly and be sure you don’t forget anything.

8. Do something to shut your brain off.

A good nights sleep is essential for a good morning. Having trouble falling asleep is often related to having too much on the mind, do something to turn your brain off. Planning your day the night before as mentioned earlier can help, as well as journaling or simply “brain-dumping” onto paper can help to make sure anything you’re worrying about won’t be forgotten, put it on paper instead of keeping it in your head.

Anything that helps you relax is beneficial, choose what works best for you and incorporate it nightly, whether that’s yoga, a cup of tea, meditating, white noise, whatever works for you.

9. 10 minute tidy-up.

Physical clutter often leads to mental clutter. Set a timer for 10 minutes and do a quick sweep through cleaning. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in 10 minutes. A quick clean up in the evening will allow for a more relaxed morning, and help cross one thing off your to-do list. Doing this every day will help keep things from getting out of hand, and put your mind at ease for a better nights sleep and a better morning.

10. Go to bed at a time based on your wake-up time.

Our sleep cycles operate in roughly 90 minute increments, with the halfway mark being the time of REM sleep, the deepest sleep. If you time your morning alarm and bedtime so that you are waking up at the end of one of those 90 minute cycles waking up will be easier and you will feel more refreshed. If you try to wake up in the middle of REM sleep, you’ll wake up feeling groggy and getting up will be hard.

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