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88: A peek at my morning routine

sleep Dec 09, 2023
My 6 morning routine items

Ensuring a restful night's sleep is one of the most powerful ways to bolster your overall well-being. It's linked to improvements in productivity, stress management, mood, appetite, mental clarity, and general health. 

But once you've had your share of shut-eye, what's the best approach to kickstart your day? Here's a peek into my carefully curated morning routine, rooted in scientific insights, which might offer you some valuable takeaways.

Early Riser: I'm naturally up between 4 am and 5 am, even though I have a 5 am alarm for back-up. Checking my sleep data on the Oura app and scanning my daily schedule provides me with a quick overview and a burst of blue light from my phone. Sometimes I do a 10 or 15-minute meditation to gather my focus for the day ahead.  Even though I don’t feel fully alert when I wake up, I don’t fall asleep during the meditation.  It’s a sign that my sleep time is sufficient!  Somewhere between 7 and 7.5 hours is enough sleep for me.

Morning Exercise: I begin with a trip to the bathroom followed by a quick weigh-in, which helps me monitor any weight fluctuations and stay on track with my health goals.  Then I tiptoe down to the kitchen so I don’t wake up my sons.  I get an energy boost by doing squats while I heat up a cup of decaf coffee.  I usually do about 40 squats and I had to work up to that over time. 

Light Exposure: With a cup of decaf coffee and a bottle of sparkling water in hand, I make my way to my home office, where I switch on a full-spectrum desk lamp. This deliberate exposure to bright light gives a wake-up signal to my body's internal clock and will also enhance sleepiness about 16 hours later.  Being mindful of your light exposure in the morning and at night is one of the best things you can do for your sleep/wake schedule!  

Productive Work: I dedicate the next hour and a half to work, drinking my coffee and then the water.  This initial morning clarity feels really productive for me, and I find that it sets the tone for organizing the rest of my day.  

Energizing Walk: After getting my sons ready for school and kissing them goodbye, I get outside for a brisk 2-mile walk with my dogs, Korben and Leeloo.  I don’t wear sunglasses so I get natural sunlight in my eyes and the “optic flow” of the neighborhood scenery going by.  This is my minimum daily dose of nature!  Tuning into an inspiring podcast during this walk invigorates my spirit and readies me for the day's meetings and tasks.

Intermittent Fasting: Upon returning home, I enjoy a cup of caffeinated coffee and more water.  Typically I’ll have 2 cups of caffeinated coffee, max.  No breakfast for me– I adhere to an 18:6 intermittent fasting schedule, with lunch at noon and dinner at 6 pm. 

This approach to my morning sustains my energy levels and supports my productivity throughout the day.  

On weekends, I use the time before my sons wake up to do things I enjoy.  This includes reading, painting, or catching up on my personal correspondence.  I love having “me time” in the morning when I feel fresh and alert.

Establishing a morning routine that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences may require some trial and error. Remember to stay patient and consistent with any adjustments you make. With the right mix of mindfulness, physical activity, and a balanced diet, you can set yourself up for a successful and energized day ahead.



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