We’ve head it time and time again: Morning routines are very important. Whether it’s our parents telling us how crucial a hearty breakfast is, or various online articles that talk about “the best morning routines,” the notion that efficiency is crucial when we start our day is a much echoed one. But the real question is whether or not there is actually any science behind these claims. What is happening to our brains when we first wake up? How does that effect our morning routines? We answer these questions in this comprehensive article.
The first thing you need to understand is that morning routines are often out of your control. A theory that many psychologists share is that genetics determine whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. That means that no amount of organization, planning, or getting up early is going to make your mornings routines easier to handle if you’re a night owl. Instead of fighting against your genetics, you should try to work with them instead. This is a premise shared by Till Roenneberg, who wrote a book on the subject called Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired. He and other psychological writers have popularized the belief that each person is better at certain tasks at different times of the say, and so it’s up to you to learn about yourself and organize your day accordingly.
The Night Before
Your morning routines should start the night before. This is especially true if you know that you’re more effective in the evening as opposed to the morning, although it can be used to your advantage even if you’re a morning person. If you don’t function well in the mornings, you can save yourself a lot of stress, and more importantly time, by setting things up the night before. This could include setting out your outfit for the day, packing your lunch, and making sure you have everything you need in your bag, ready to go.
You should also allow yourself to relax in the evenings – don’t work until the moment you decide to go to sleep. Leaving some relaxation time before bed will leave you feeling more well-rested, allowing you to function better in the morning. And of course, getting lots of sleep will also help immensely with your functionality during your morning routines. But what’s overlooked is the importance of setting a regular bedtime. A study published by Cardiff University in 2017 showed that sleeping at the same time each night reduces stress in teens.
Choose Your Meal Carefully
One thing that your parents were right about is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having a good breakfast in the morning will not only aid your body during the day, but also your mind. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed the importance of eggs in a good diet. They studied more than 1400 men and women, and those who consumed choline, which is a vitamin B in eggs, performed better in memory and verbal tests. Blueberries are another great option for a strong breakfast. They contain tannins, which protect your brain cells and could even help them communicate with each other.
The antioxidants and phytochemicals contained in blueberries have also been linked to increased memory and other cognitive skills. Finally, almonds are a a great addition to a strong breakfast. The American Journal of Epidemiology released a study that shows that vitamin E, which almonds contain a lot of, can help with reducing cognitive decline, especially with elderly people. European Journal of Nutrition also released a study that showed that men and women who ate almonds early in the day were less likely to feel hungry later in the day, meaning almonds do an excellent job in satisfying your appetite.
Get Your Stressful Tasks Done In The Morning
There are actually three different types of people when it comes to their preference for the time of day. The first is the standard type – who work equally well during the night and the morning, and have no preference for when they work and function well. These people’s circadian rhythms are normal. The second type, the so-called “morning person,” functions well in the morning and they fit in perfectly with the typical work day of 9-5.
The last type are the night owls, who function best in the night, meaning they’re fighting a constant battle against society’s norm of getting up early and finishing work before the evening. These people are more likely to develop stress and emotional instability. The only type of job that would lead to less stress for a night owl is one that involves starting work late and and working even later; the so-called “graveyard shift.”
Despite all these differences, these distinct personalities might have more in common than previously thought. A German study done by the University of Wurzburg showed that although night owls had poorer sleep quality and were generally less healthy, both night owls and morning people could not handle stress very well in the evening, and were much better equipped to deal with it in the morning. So whether you are a morning person, a night owl, or anything in between, try to get your stressful tasks done during the morning routines. According to studies, this will be a lot easier than trying to do it at night.
How To Be Creative In The Morning
Recent studies have called into question the logic of rushing and being as efficient as possible during out morning routines. These studies have shown that organizing your mornings down to the most minute details can actually be detrimental to your creativity. In the psychological journal Thinking and Reasoning, researchers Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks presented evidence that creative thoughts are most likely to occur when we’re groggy, unfocused and tired. In other words, you’re most likely to come up with new ideas when you first wake up.
So maybe we should stop putting so much focus on “waking ourselves up” in the morning. Maybe we should stop placing so much emphasis on increasing our focus levels right after we wake up by doing exercises and “getting ourselves in the zone. If you really want to be creative in the morning, take your time, and don’t be afraid to just zone out for a few minutes. I think as a society we think it’s very important to be rushing around 24/7, and that can be very detrimental to our minds.
This can be seen on the roads during morning rush hour, when people go from their beds to their cars in less than an hour in most cases, flinging themselves into the bustling, beeping mayhem of traffic. Another interesting fact about morning creativity is that coffee actually helps with creativity as well as making us more alert, increasing dopamine levels which makes us feel more rewarded when we stumble upon an amazing idea.
If you want to add one thing to your early morning routines that will really help your functionality during the day, you should seriously consider meditating each morning. This isn’t just some new age nonsense, as the power of meditation is backed up by science. Many studies have shown the incredible effect that meditation can have on the brain. One study by William Marchand was released in 2014 called Neural mechanisms of mindfulness and meditation. The study showed that meditation stimulated the medial cortex, default mode network, insula, amygdala, lateral frontal regions, and basal ganglia, all areas involved with higher brain function.
This article was inspired by another article by entrepreneur.com
You can find it here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242171
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