I have recently begun reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, a book which professes the importance of building the structure of your morning around set routines and practices which can help you feel more grounded, less stressed, and lead us to being more productive throughout the day. A morning routine is something I’ve always considered important, and this book has provided me with a platform with which I can formalise this routine and the methods you can put in place to achieve a solid structure. But what key elements does the scientific evidence say we should include in our morning routine?
Getting out of bed at the same time every morning is paramount, according to several studies. Xander and Spall in 2018 interviewed 300 successful people and found that they the average waking up time across all 300 participants was a very precise 6:27am every day. Participants reported that getting out of bed at the same time every day allowed them to feel grounded and in control, whilst also giving them time to prepare and plan for their day ahead.
Whilst it may seem almost impossible to do, resisting the urge to hit snooze and instead getting out of bed when the alarm first goes off is an excellent way of setting yourself up for the day. Research has shown that by dozing back off, the body is preparing itself for another sleep cycle, which, when we eventually get out of bed 15 minutes later, is interrupted and leaves us feeling groggy and tired. We can counteract this and wake up feeling fresh by depriving ourselves of that extra 10 minutes (despite how nice lying in bed that little bit longer may seem!)
No matter which study has investigated morning routines, nearly every single one has highlighted the benefits of exercise in the morning. By running, cycling, swimming or hitting the cross-trainer, we’re preparing ourselves both physically and mentally for the challenges that may lie ahead. Studies have shown this needn’t be for hours at a time either; just 10-15 minutes can dramatically improve our mood and increase productivity throughout the day.
Whilst these steps may seem difficult to implement initially, getting into the routine of undertaking these relatively simple tasks every morning will allow us to feel less stressed, be more productive and ultimately lead happier lives.