You don’t need to be a morning person to start your day feeling energized and refreshed. If you usually wake up feeling sluggish, you might just need to make a few healthful changes to get you on the right track for a better day. Kick-start your morning by adding these hacks to your morning ritual.

Start Your Day the Night Before

If you want to wake up bright-eyed and avoid rushing through your morning, get a head start the night before by planning your day and limiting activities that decrease your quality of sleep.

  • Take some time to plan for tomorrow – Plan your meals and snacks for the next day, thinking about what you’ll eat and what you’ll wear the next day. Writing out a short to-do list can help. Also, gather all the things you will take with you when you leave home, so you don’t need to rush around looking for them in the morning.
  • Pay attention to your diet – Limit coffee and caffeinated beverages after 3 p.m. Stay hydrated during the day, but don’t drink too much water late at night or you’ll wake up for bathroom breaks. Also, avoid large meals or alcohol late at night.
  • Limit blue light before bed – Blue light from electronic devices may disrupt your circadian rhythm. Limit screen time and exposure to blue light from electronic devices before bed to get a more restful night of sleep.
  • Take a bath earlier – Give your body time to cool down before bed. Bathe no later than an hour before your bedtime so your body temperature is not elevated when you try to fall asleep.
  • Try melatonin and magnesium – You should aim for about six hours of sleep a night. Sleep quality is important, so if you struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep, you might want to try taking melatonin supplements or magnesium supplements. Read more about magnesium for sleep.

Have Protein for Breakfast

Eating protein in the morning will leave you feeling more satisfied and provide a steady supply of energy for your day, which may help curb cravings. Protein-rich breakfast options beyond cereal include eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, oatmeal with milk, nut butters and chia seeds. This doesn’t mean you can’t have cereal, just look for higher-protein options like Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Cereal instead, and skip sugary carbs.

Drink Match Tea as a Coffee Alternative

Not only is matcha green tea easier to make than most coffee drinks, it delivers more antioxidants and nutrients than traditional green tea. Matcha green tea provides a calm alertness with less caffeine than your average cup of coffee. As a bonus, you’ll also avoid having morning coffee breath.

Get Your B Vitamins

Energizing B-complex vitamins help your body convert the food you eat into cellular energy. Vitamin B-12 and other B-complex vitamins provide energy support, stress reduction, free radical protection, and support your immune system. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, helps support bone growth and mineralization, including the absorption of calcium. A vitamin D3 supplement can help keep bones and teeth, plus your immune system, healthy. For more details on the essentials vitamins for whole-body health, featuring a list of B vitamins for boosting energy and vitality, read The Amazing Alphabet Vitamins: The Six Vitamins You Need to Know.

Be Intentional Each Morning

Set yourself up for a successful day by being intentional and mindful right from the start. When you wake up in the morning, don’t let your mind immediately race ahead to all the things you need to do that day.

  • Stay in the moment — be present, pausing to take a deep breath and center yourself as needed
  • Make conscious choices — remain in control of your day, setting priorities so you don’t lose focus
  • Take care of you — make time to take care of yourself, remembering to support your fitness and relaxation goals

Following these tips should help you kick-start your morning, especially those tough Monday mornings, with more energy and vitality.

Source: Amy Sunderman, MS, RD