Benefits of Having a Morning Routine

Written by: Pard Bharaj



Time to read 8 min

Image of Pard, the Author

Author: Pard Bharaj

I am a dedicated researcher with nearly a decade of experience in investigating health best practices. My journey in the health and wellness field has been driven by a passion for understanding and sharing the most effective ways to maintain and improve health. Over the years, I have delved into a wide range of topics, constantly seeking out the latest research and insights. My commitment is to provide well-researched, accurate, and trustworthy information to help readers make informed decisions about their health.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” — Marcus Aurelius


It took me some months to begin enjoying getting up earlier. However, taking the time to get into a decent state of mind before starting the day has become essential to my productivity and quality of life. There is a sense of calm confidence that I could carry into the rest of my day. Challenges still arose, but dealing with them became easier with time, and it felt like a cumulative effect. After some time, a good morning routine eventually becomes a habit and even addictive.

In this article, we will explore the 8 main benefits of having a morning routine, all backed by scientific studies. Plus, I'll share details of my own personal routine, demonstrating how it contributes to my productivity and overall well-being

Benefits of a Good Morning Routine

Benefits of Having a Good Morning Routine:

1. Enhances Productivity:

Morning routines set a foundation for productivity by leveraging our circadian rhythms, which naturally prime us for higher cognitive function and alertness in the early hours. By capitalising on this biological predisposition, individuals can tackle complex tasks more efficiently, making the most of the brain's peak performance times. This alignment with our internal clock can also mitigate the mid-afternoon slump, sustaining productivity levels throughout the day.

This study found that early risers, (early chronotypes), exhibited significantly better cognitive and physical performance in the morning compared to late chronotypes. Early chronotypes had a more consistent performance throughout the day, and  maintained more consistent levels of cognitive function and physical strength. This suggests that individuals with an early chronotype are less impaired by the time of day and can perform well during morning hours, highlighting the impact of individual biological rhythms on daily performance levels.

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2. Energy Boost:

Crafting a thoughtful morning routine holds immense sway over your energy levels throughout the day. By establishing healthy habits from the moment you wake, you're paving the way for a day brimming with vitality and productivity.

Ensuring quality sleep by sticking to a consistent wake-up time syncs your body's internal clock, fostering restful sleep and sharp cognitive function. Hydrating with a glass or 2 of water upon rising replenishes lost fluids (add some unrefined salt such as Celtic Sea Salt for better hydration and energy), jump-starting metabolism and banishing grogginess. 

Fueling your body with a nutritious breakfast provides sustained energy, while morning exercise boosts blood flow and releases feel-good endorphins, setting a positive tone. Sunlight exposure regulates circadian rhythms and enhances mood, further invigorating you for the day.

In essence, by integrating these vital elements into your morning routine, you're laying the groundwork for a more energised day.

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3. Increases Focus and Clarity: 

A structured morning routine can clear the mind, preparing it for the day's tasks. This focused start reduces decision fatigue by establishing a clear plan for the day ahead. Engaging in activities such as meditation or exercise in the morning can enhance mental clarity and attention span, aiding in better task management and concentration.

This study of older Australians found a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves cognitive performance like decision-making across the day compared to prolonged sitting without exercise. It also shows that a morning bout of exercise combined with brief walking breaks to frequently disrupt sitting throughout an eight-hour day can boost short-term memory compared to uninterrupted sitting, according to the study.

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4. Improves Mental Health:

Regular morning routines can significantly impact mental health by establishing a sense of stability and control. This predictability can lower stress levels and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. Morning light exposure has been linked to improved mood, thanks to its role in increasing serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.

This study "Happy as a Lark: Morning-Type Younger and Older Adults Are Higher in Positive Affect" explores the relationship between chronotype (morning or evening preference) and positive affect (mood) across different age groups. It found that both younger and older adults with a morning preference report higher levels of positive affect compared to their evening-type counterparts. Interestingly, morningness partially explained why older adults generally report higher positive affect than younger adults, suggesting that the tendency to wake up early may contribute to better overall well-being.

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5. Encourages Better Sleep:

Consistency in waking times, as part of a morning routine, helps anchor the body's internal clock, leading to improved sleep quality and duration. This regularity can enhance deep sleep phases, which are crucial for physical restoration and memory consolidation. Better sleep contributes to overall health, including reduced stress and improved immune function.

This study found 351 genetic spots linked with chronotype (the preference for morning or evening activity) in a large group of 697,828 people. These spots are related to genes controlling the body's circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock governing sleep-wake cycles) and brain pathways. It also showed that being a morning person is connected to better mental health, but it didn't affect body weight or type 2 diabetes risk. The study provided new insights into the influence of circadian rhythms on health.

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6. Promotes Healthy Habits: 

Embracing a morning routine fosters a holistic approach to health and wellness, prioritising essential habits that lay the foundation for a more contented day. 

Exercise takes precedence in morning routines, with individuals engaging in physical activities that invigorate the body and energise the mind. Whether it's a brisk jog, walk, HIIT or strength training, incorporating movement at the start of the day jumpstarts metabolism, enhances mood, and boosts overall vitality.

Healthy eating habits also take center stage during morning rituals, with individuals prioritising nourishing foods that fuel their bodies for the day ahead. From enjoying a wholesome breakfast packed with nutrients to sipping on hydrating beverages like water or herbal tea, the morning serves as an opportune time to replenish and revitalise.

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7. Builds Discipline and Self Control:

The commitment to a morning routine fosters discipline and self-control, qualities that are beneficial across various life aspects. This practice of self-regulation can improve personal and professional development by enhancing one's ability to set and achieve goals, manage time effectively, and make healthier choices.

This study looked at how being an early bird or a night owl affects self-control and the habit of putting things off in 308 psychology students. It used special surveys to measure self-control, procrastination, and whether someone is morning or evening-oriented. The study found that night owls tend to have less self-control and procrastinate more. Parts of self-control like being reliable and having a good work ethic were linked to whether someone prefers mornings. So, liking the evening might impact how well someone can control their behavior, but the study didn't prove that one causes the other.

A sign pointing left with the word "DISCIPLINE."

8. Enhances Creativity:  

The tranquility of the morning offers a unique opportunity for creative work free from distractions. 

The fresh perspective gained after a restful night can inspire innovative thinking and problem-solving. Additionally, engaging in creative activities can set a positive tone for the day.

Exploring artistic pursuits or brainstorming new ideas during this quiet period can unlock hidden potential and lead to breakthroughs in various aspects of life. The unhurried pace of the morning can allow for deep exploration of one's imagination.

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My Personal Morning Routine:

My personal morning routine involves waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 am. I don’t worry too much if I sleep in a bit longer sometimes; the body occasionally needs extra rest. Once I’m up, my routine typically includes the following:

  1. Hydrating with one to two glasses of filtered water, adding a pinch or two of unrefined salt (like Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt) to optimise hydration and provide an energy boost.
  2. Enjoying a cup of coffee, and spend a few minutes with my family.
  3. Warming up and engaging in some form of physical activity, such as walking, HIIT, or a weights session. At least four times a week I will also include a cold plunge or take a cold shower (before or after my workout). Some studies suggest that cold water therapy before exercising can enhance testosterone levels.
  4. Meditating for 10 to 15 minutes, focusing on my breath. This practice clears my mind of irrelevant thoughts and prepares me to focus on the day ahead. I sometimes use this time to set positive intentions and affirmations.
  5. Start my day.

Occasionally, I change up my routine by heading to the gym for a workout. There’s something about waking up early and having a destination that provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Since I often work from home, getting out prevents me from feeling stale and helps stimulate the mind.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can someone stay consistent with their morning routine?

Staying consistent with a morning routine can be challenging, but here are some strategies that can help:

  1. Set Clear Intentions : Know exactly what you want to achieve with your morning routine and remind yourself of the benefits it brings to your day.

  2. Start Small : Begin with a few simple steps that are manageable and gradually add more components as you get comfortable.

  3. Prepare the Night Before : Lay out your workout clothes, prepare your breakfast ingredients, or place your meditation cushion by your bed to make it easier to start your routine.

  4. Stick to a Schedule : Try to wake up at the same time every day to regulate your body's internal clock, which can make waking up early a habit.

  5. Be Flexible : Life happens, and sometimes you might miss a morning routine. Be kind to yourself and get back on track the next day.

  6. Track Your Progress : Keep a journal or use an app to track the days you complete your morning routine. Seeing your success can motivate you to keep going.

  7. Accountability : Share your goals with a friend or family member, or join a group with similar interests to help you stay accountable.

  8. Reward Yourself : Celebrate your successes. Rewards can reinforce the positive habit you’re building.

  9. Reflect on Your Experience : Regularly reflect on how your morning routine affects your day. Adjust as necessary to ensure it meets your needs.

  10. Eliminate Obstacles : Identify and remove any barriers that make it difficult to stick to your routine, like staying up too late.

How long should a morning routine last?

The length of a morning routine can vary widely depending on personal goals and schedules, but a general guideline is anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (depending on how much time you have that particular day). It's important for the routine to be long enough to set a positive tone for the day but not so long that it becomes a burden or causes stress. The key is finding a balance that fits into your lifestyle and contributes to a productive and fulfilling day.

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