Most of us wake up dehydrated to some degree after 6-8 hours of sleeping. We lose water from normal body functions as well as sweating in our sleep. Since we don't drink during this time, we become dehydrated. This is especially common for people that limit their water intake before bed to avoid waking up in the middle of the night. Being dehydrated can make you feel tired, cause headaches and make dry skin much worse.
So keep a glass of water or a water bottle next to your bed and get in the habit of drinking it when you first get up. This will help re hydrate everything and start your morning off better.
Yes your mother was right. Breakfast is important. Think about your day like a road trip and your body like a car. If you are going to spend the day out on the road, doesn't it make sense to 'fuel up' before you leave? Eating breakfast can have a lot of great benefits including kick starting your metabolism, making you more alert and keeping your appetite in check until lunch time.
Not only is it important to eat. It is important to eat a high quality breakfast. Coffee and a sugary muffin just aren't going to cut it. These foods may give you a quick boost of energy but it's like lighter fluid: you body burns through it fast and by mid morning you're looking for another boost.
An ideal breakfast should include some good quality protein such as eggs, low fat cheese or peanut butter to name a few. It should also contain carbohydrates (or sugar) but ideally they should be sugars that break down slowly. That way they stay with you and keep you going longer. Slow sugars/carbohydrates would include fruits, oatmeal and whole grain cereals.
So a couple of healthy breakfast ideas would include:
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with high fiber granola
- Scrambled eggs with whole grain toast and blue berries on the side
You may not be a huge breakfast lover now but if you can commit to the habit you can train your body to expect a meal first thing in the day. By doing this you will find your energy level through the morning is better and you will need less food at lunch time. Research shows people who skip breakfast often make up the calories and then some at lunch because they become too hungry.
If you smoke cigarettes or drink a lot of coffee, try to eat before you do either. Coffee and cigarettes both decrease your appetite making it harder to have breakfast.
What you put into your body and what you do with your body first thing in the morning are both important. A short stretching routine first thing can be a great way to boost your energy. Muscles can get tense over night and stretching it out can help not only improve your flexibility but encourage good blood circulation.
It doesn't have to be a bunch of elaborate yoga poses. Maybe try a couple of these moves in the morning if you are able:
- Reach for the sky
- Touch your toes
- Roll you shoulders backwards 10 times then forward 10 times
- Tilt your head from side to side
- Gently turn at the waist and look over each shoulder
- Wiggle your fingers and toes
- Make circles with your wrists, then with each ankle
There are lots of mini morning stretch routines you can find online. So try and find one that works best for you.
Small changes in your routine can make all the difference in how you feel. Commit to trying each of these ideas one at a time for three days each to make them part of your morning routine. If you find it hard to remember, try setting an alarm on your phone or putting sticky notes around the house to remind yourself. Every positive small change is one step closer to feeling healthier, stronger and happier.