Morning Routine Dos and Don’ts

How can your morning routine affect the rest of your day?

SARAH ZEHNDER, STAFF WRITER

   The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to maintain optimal health. How many of us can claim to have logged that many when our alarms buzz on a school morning? The CDC reports that 72.7% of high schoolers do not log the recommended amount of hours on school nights. For those who don’t jump out of bed ready to ‘carpe diem,” there are some best practices to follow and pitfalls to avoid to ensure a successful day.

Do:

   Budget your time

   Everyone is familiar with hectic mornings where you lose track of time and have to rush out the door. However, this can easily be avoided if you plan ahead and budget your time. 

   Making use of the night before is crucial for a smooth morning schedule. Once all school work is finished, take the time to pack your backpack. This will save time and effort in the mornings trying to hunt down assignments from the night before. Also, try packing your lunch the night before to avoid wasting morning time deciding on and preparing the day’s lunch. 

   Sophomore Mia Parker believes that getting things done the night before gives her more time to herself in the morning.

   “When you are rushed and stressed in the morning, that’s how you are going to feel the rest of the day,” Parker said. “That’s why I get things done the night before.”

   Make your bed

   To some, making your bed feels like a pointless task. However, taking a few minutes each morning to make your bed can leave you feeling motivated and organized. Performing a task as simple as making your bed sets a productive tone for the rest of the day.

   “Above all, I always try to make my bed because it makes sure I feel productive and makes sure I don’t get back into bed,” Parker said.

   In fact, making your bed provides significant improvements to mental health. Completing a simple and achievable task first thing in the morning promotes a productive attitude for the rest of the day.

Get enough sleep

   A productive morning and school day all depend on the amount and quality of sleep you get the night before. An average of eight to ten hours of sleep is recommended for teenagers each night. Obviously, this takes willpower and organization. But the benefits of waking up well-rested are invaluable.

 

Don’t:

Hit snooze

   Although hitting snooze when the morning alarm sounds can be tempting, it actually does more harm than good. Not only could hitting snooze make someone potentially late for school or work, but it also negatively impacts the REM sleep cycle. This can lead to a deprivation of sleep and fatigue later in the day. In severe cases, hitting the snooze, and therefore disrupting REM sleep, can lead to greater health problems including cardiovascular complications.

   According to a survey of 274 Trinity students, 28% consistently hit snooze every morning or very often. Trying to squeeze in at least another 15 minutes of sleep is not beneficial. Instead, going to sleep 15 minutes earlier the night before provides more restful sleep.

Check your phone

   According to a study from IDC Research and an article by the Huffington Post, 80% of smartphone users look at their device within 15 minutes of waking up. Trinity students have a similar statistic. According to a school-wide survey, 46.5% of students check their phones immediately after waking up. Of those, 62.3% pick up their device to open social media and 26% check Canvas or schoolwork. 

   Checking the news and social media can induce stress early in the morning, leading to a more stressful day. Looking at social media immediately after waking up can be overwhelming and can even negatively affect learning later in the school day.

   In an article by Elite Daily Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi says, “the information overload that hits [you] before you’re fully awake interferes with your ability to prioritize tasks.”

   In addition, the blue light emitted from your screen can strain your eyes while you are still adjusting to the morning light.

 

   Following this advice will hopefully lead to a great day … until the alarm clock buzzes the next day.