For many people, mornings are the most hectic time of day. This is especially true if you don’t get up early enough. However, you can change this with a little pregame preparation.
You know how it goes. You’re running around trying to get ready for work, which means showering, finding the right outfit, dressing, getting all your things together, and trying to squeeze in some food or coffee. Rushing to do all of these things and get to work on time means you don’t have time to do something you actually enjoy. This is why mornings can be the worst.
If you wake up a little earlier, though, you give yourself more time. If that sounds awful, you can still make your mornings a bit easier by preparing the night before.
If you spend a little time getting ready for the morning before you go to bed, it can have a huge impact on your day. Not sure where to start? The products below can help you transform into a morning person, at last. Or, at least, tolerate them a bit better.
The Perfect Bedtime Routine
You’re never going to have a good morning if you’re not getting enough sleep. You’ll simply be too tired and, probably, in a pretty bad mood.
The right bedtime routine is essential to get a good night’s sleep and get yourself out of bed in the morning. Here are some tips to improve yours:
- Put away the electronics: You’ve probably heard that using your phone or computer right before bed isn’t ideal, and then promptly ignored it. Seriously, though, staring at your phone until you shut your eyes harms your sleep. The blue light from a phone, laptop, or television can affect your body’s production of melatonin, which can alter your natural sleep cycle. At least one hour before bed, shut off all electronics.
- Do something relaxing and enjoyable: Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or binge-watching Netflix, do something else that relaxes you. Reading a book, meditating, doing yoga, or just chatting with your significant other would all be good pre-bedtime activities.
- Go to bed at the same time each night: We all need about seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you need to wake up at 6 a.m., go to bed around 10 or 11 p.m. If you have to wake up at 5 a.m., go to bed around 9 or 10 p.m. If you stay up until 1 a.m. and you have to get up at 6 a.m., it’s no wonder you’re having a rough time.
- Make your sleep environment as comfortable as possible: Do what you need to do to be comfortable! This will be different for everyone, but there are some basics. The first is to block or minimize light. Keep your phone in dark mode at night, leave the TV off, or use a sleep mask. If you need white noise to fall asleep, get a white noise machine. Invest in a great pillow and mattress, and ensure the temperature is right, so you’re not too warm or cold.
Make a To-Do List: Day Designer Notebook
In 2018, a small study found that writing a to-do list before bed could be beneficial. Participants who wrote one slept better than those who didn’t. The idea is you’re mentally off-loading all the things you know you need to do by writing them down. It’s like lifting a weight off your shoulders, if only for a bit.
And, hey, there’s no harm in trying it out! Each night before bed, sit down and write out the top five or six (any more than that will overwhelm you and defeat the purpose) things you need to do the next day.
The Day Designer To-Do Notebook is perfect for this because its pages are specifically designed for to-do lists. It’s straightforward, easy to use, and a bit more organized than a regular notebook. Not only will this help you sleep better, but it also gives you one less thing to do in the morning and keeps you organized.
Day Designer for Blue Sky Today To-Do Notebook, 160 Ruled Pages, Twin-Wire Binding, Hardcover, 5.75" x 8.5", Black Stripe
With the Day Designer notebook, you can write as many to-do lists as you need.
Prepare Breakfast: “Damn Delicious Meal Prep” Cookbook
A healthy breakfast is an important way to start your day, but making it also takes up a lot of time. If you want your mornings to be a little less hectic and more relaxing, try to prep your breakfast the night (or even the weekend) before.
The Damn Delicious Meal Prep cookbook by Chungah Rhee is a great introduction to meal prepping. There are plenty of breakfast recipes in here, but there are also some for snacks, lunches, and dinners, so you can use it for everything.
Make your breakfast the night before and wake up to food you just have to heat up.
Damn Delicious Meal Prep: 115 Easy Recipes for Low-Calorie, High-Energy Living
The Damn Delicious Meal Prep cookbook gives you lots of ideas for preparing your breakfast the night before.
A Good Night’s Sleep: Pluto Personalized Pillow
Again, to get really restful sleep, you have to be comfortable, and that means you need a pillow you love. The Pluto Pillow is absolutely worth looking into. Just answer the questions on the website, and the company creates a pillow based on your responses.
This is a nice way to get a custom pillow for a good price ($75). It includes a 100-day trial so you can make sure you like it. I ordered one and was pleasantly surprised to receive a pillow that wasn’t too firm or soft—it actually does feel great under my head at night.
Get Your Coffee Ready: Cuisinart Brew Central
What’s better than waking up to the smell of fresh coffee wafting through your home? Even if no one wakes up early enough to make it, you can get a coffeemaker that will do it for you! You can program the Cuisinart Brew Central to automatically start brewing at a specific time.
Not only does this mean your coffee will be hot and fresh the moment you get up, but it’s also extra motivation for you to get out of bed. Because, really, how can you go back to sleep when you know some delicious hot java is waiting for you?
Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black/Silver
With the Cuisinart Brew Central, you can schedule your brew time for the next morning.
Organize Your Work Bag: Dagne Dover Classic Tote Bag
A big way you can make your mornings better the night before is by doing all the little things. One that can make a big difference is to pack your work bag before you go to bed. Make sure everything is in there before bedtime so you can just grab it when you head out the next day.
If you have a bag that’s already super-organized, that’ll only help you out further. The Dagne Dover Classic Tote is a favorite for this reason. It’s not too large, will hold most 13-inch laptops (it comes in a larger size if you need it), and it has several pockets to hold essentials.
There’s a phone pocket, pen and lipstick loops, a large zipper pocket, a padded tablet/laptop pocket, a water bottle holder, and a key leash. It’s basically impossible not to be organized with this bag. On top of all of that, it has a classic, streamlined look that’s both stylish and simple.
Wind Down and Relax: Natrol Melatonin Gummies
Again, you’re not going to wake up early in a good mood if you’re exhausted. Ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep all night so you feel properly rested. If you need a little help, that’s fine! Melatonin is a really popular sleep supplement that might help you get more relaxed, better sleep. Melatonin supplements are supposed to boost your body’s natural production of melatonin, which signals to your body it’s time to go to sleep.
Natrol Melatonin Gummies are effective and taste delicious. They also don’t contain any artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives. I used them for months and found that my sleep did seem to improve—I felt like I wasn’t waking up as often.
Natrol Melatonin 10mg Gummy, 90 Count
Natrol Melatonin Gummies are effective, taste good, and help you get a better night's sleep.
A Morning Light Alarm: Philip’s Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock
Waking up early during the winter is extra miserable because it’s still dark outside. Your body thinks it’s still the middle of the night. That’s why a clock like the Philip’s Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock is helpful. It mimics natural sunlight in the morning to help you wake up in a much more natural way.
Not only does the natural light lamp help you feel like it’s light outside, but it also plays morning noises (like chirping birds) to really help you wake up. You can even set it to play music from your favorite radio station if you want. There are personalized light settings, and it acts as a dim light at night.
Philips SmartSleep HF3520/60 Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock with Colored Sunrise Simulation and Sunset Fading Night Light, White
Philip's Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock simulates natural sunlight to help you wake up easier.
Pack Your Lunch: Srise Insulated Lunch Bag
Preparing your breakfast the night before is super-helpful, but so is preparing your lunch It’s one less thing you have to do in the morning, and it’s really nice to just grab your lunch before you walk out the door.
Having a great lunch bag is a huge bonus here. The Srise Insulated Lunch Bag is the perfect size to hold your lunch and some snacks. It’s insulated, so it keeps everything the right temperature. Fill it up the night before, and then stick it in the fridge. Then, when you wake up, just grab it and go!
Srise Lunch Bag Insulated Lunch Box, Wide-Open Meal Prep Lunch Tote Bags Durable Nylon Snacks Organizer for Men and Women - Grey
The Srise Insulated Lunch Bag is essential for packing your lunch in advance.
Meditate: A Headspace Subscription
Meditation is known to calm you, and while it’s a great way to start your day, many people like to do it before bed to ready themselves for a good night’s sleep. You don’t have to be a pro to do it, either—you can download an app and learn everything from the comfort of your own bed.
Headspace is an amazing meditation app with so many different guided meditation options. Get a subscription to get access to short (or long, depending on your preference) guided meditations you can do right before bed. It even offers Sleepcasts to help you fall asleep when needed.
Journal: The Five-Minute Journal
Journaling before bed is an excellent way to relax yourself and get rid of some daily stress and anxiety (similar to writing out a to-do list). Many people are intimidated at the thought of sitting down and writing about their day.
That’s where The Five-Minute Journal comes in. This notebook is full of prompts and questions to make journaling easy—and it also gets you thinking about things you might not have, otherwise.
The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day | Original Creator of The Five Minute Journal - Simple Daily Guided Format - Increase Gratitude & Happiness, Life Planner, Gratitude List
The Five-Minute Journal is an easy way to start journaling before bed for better sleep.
Always Have Water: Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle
One of the first things you should do in the morning is gulp down some water. While you’re sleeping, you’re obviously not ingesting water, so you might feel a little dehydrated when you first wake up. Plus, taking a few big sips of water can help you feel more awake—it gives your metabolism a nice boost that kick-starts your body.
Fill up a water bottle before you go to sleep and leave it next to your bed so you can grab it right away. The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle is popular because it keeps water cold for hours and is easy to drink out of when you’re only half-awake.
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle, Straw Lid - 32 oz, Olive (W32SW306)
The Hydro Flask keeps water cold overnight so you can take a big gulp first thing in the morning.