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Energizing Morning Routine Tips When You’re Not A Morning Person

9 Mins read

When you’re not a morning person, you’ll need some energizing morning routine tips to help you get through your mornings. One of the toughest challenges night owls or sleep-deprived individuals face is getting out of bed in the morning. People with a late chronotype or “night owls” are the polar opposite of morning people or “early birds” who naturally find it easy to wake up. When someone is always lethargic and slow-moving in the morning, they can end up having a very unproductive morning. If your mornings are a write-off because you’re that inept at mornings in general, you’ll end up having a less productive day because you wasted the morning in a state of brain fog.

Morning people find themselves with a good amount of energy in the morning and they’re able to check off tasks on their to-do list right when they wake up. They’re not night owls, so they go to sleep at a decent hour, and they’re naturally energetic in the morning.

When you’re not a morning person, your body may be awake and out of bed, but it takes longer for your brain to follow suit. It’s normal for those with a late chronotype to feel sluggish or foggy in the morning. It may take them a while to come out of a state of brain fog and feel mentally awake instead of groggy. The energizing morning routine tips in this article can help, though.

Night owls who stay up late will still often need to get out of bed early in the morning for a meeting, work obligation or some other responsibility. Below are some energizing morning routine tips that help get your brain working and the rest of your body pumping, so you can get your day started on the right foot:

1. Wash Your Face with Cold Water 

Cold water on your face (especially around the eye area) really helps wake you up. There’s a reason why in cartoons, someone’s often being woken up with a splash of cold water. It is scientifically proven that splashing your face with cold water increases blood flow to the area. Cold water is also the stimulating shock you might need to get out of snooze mode.  

When you feel sluggish the moment you get up, drag yourself to the bathroom and splash away to get your blood circulating. Additionally, increased blood flow in your face from the cold water will give your skin a healthier glow. Talk about win-win!

If you shower in the morning, it’s okay to use warm water, but you can still use the morning routine tip of cold water at the end of your shower. At the end of your shower, once you’re finished washing your hair and body, blast yourself with cold water for at least 30 seconds. This stimulating strategy works best if the cold water is mostly on your face. 

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2. Load Up on Water: Drink Water Before Coffee 

It’s not just cold water on your face that helps wake you up. Drinking plenty of water right when you wake up (often referred to as water loading) can help jumpstart your brain. Water (hydration) helps with brain function and alertness, and you’re going to be dehydrated after sleeping all night. Everyone is dehydrated when they first wake up, yet they often go for a cup of coffee before they think about drinking water. Your brain needs water to ensure neurotransmitters function well. You’ll feel more mentally alert and energetic if you load up on water first thing in the morning, even before your coffee.

3. Fix Your Bed First Thing in the Morning

Though some may counter that fixing the bed will add to morning stress as it’s another task that delays your day, there’s a lot to be said about making your bed in the morning. 

Making your bed is a quick, 5-minute task that matters. This small accomplishment in the morning helps you start your day on a good note, with a sense of accomplishment. It is mentally healthier to start your day with a completed task. The accomplishment of this small task makes you motivated to move on to complete another task. A tidy, fixed bed is also nice to look at and has a positive impact on your mental state.

In the book Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven, the author discusses that in his Navy SEAL training, he had to fix his bed first thing in the morning. Of making his bed in the morning, he explains, “It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task.”

4. Do a Quick Workout to Get Your Blood Pumping 

There’s nothing like a good workout to get your blood flowing and start feeling awake. A short workout in the morning will also help release endorphins, putting you into a more positive and energized mood. These happy hormones will set your mood for the entire day. 

If you’re tired in the morning, don’t worry, because this is one of those morning routine tips that is effective even if it’s minimally performed. 

A quick, 20-minute warm-up including some jumping jacks, squats, lunges and other calisthenics that require zero equipment is enough to get energized.

A short power walk outside in the fresh air also does the trick. Not only does fresh air help wake you up, but the walk itself gets your blood flowing to your brain and body so you can feel more awake both mentally and physically.

5. Energizing Music: Create an Uplifting Morning Playlist

Music is a powerful tool for feeling energized. One of the best morning routine tips to get in the habit of is pressing ‘play’ on your uplifting morning playlist each morning.

Choose upbeat songs that you love to sing to or songs that have an energizing and uplifting beat. 

You can listen to this uplifting playlist while you’re doing these other morning routine tips. You can listen to it while you wash your face with cold water and while you drink water. Listen to it while you’re doing your morning workout and while you’re making your bed. You’ll get pumped up with the right playlist, so be sure to select songs that make you feel motivated.

6. Eat an Energizing Breakfast 

Break your fast with an energizing breakfast. Grocery shopping and meal prep is key, so you don’t have to waste time thinking about what to eat. Instead, you want something you can grab easily first thing in the morning, to ensure you don’t skip breakfast due to an empty fridge. You can try the following easy-to-prep meals:

  • Overnight oats with fruits cut and prepared the night before
  • Greek yogurt with granola and berries, ready-to-go in your fridge
  • Prep smoothie ingredients the night before, and blend them when you wake up
  • Whole wheat toast with almond butter and organic jelly is easy to make in the morning
  • Keep eggs, spinach and cheese in your fridge so it’s simple to prepare a morning omelette

Of course, don’t forget your green tea or coffee with your breakfast if you need caffeine to wake up.

7. Breathe in Fresh Air

Not only do deep breathing exercises help wake up your brain and body, but doing so outside and breathing in fresh air is very invigorating in the morning. 

When you perform breathing exercises, you are getting more oxygen supply to your brain, which helps you feel awake and more mentally alert.

Try some of these breathing exercises when you wake up. For example, perhaps you’ll take your cup of coffee out onto the patio with you. In between sips of coffee, take some deep breaths and really concentrate on your breathing. Envision the oxygen reaching your brain and waking you up.

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8. Plan Your Day the Night Before and Stick To It

It can really help you wake up if you know your plan and purpose for the day. Before you go to sleep, prepare a to-do list for the following day, so you wake up feeling motivated and full of purpose. First, evaluate your current routine and assess what parts are the most stressful or difficult to overcome. For example, you may end up running late because you cannot decide what to wear. In this instance, it would be helpful to choose your outfit the night before and lay it out. If you know you’ll be presenting something to a client on a Zoom call the following day, prepare notes and organize your desk with these notes and your plugged-in laptop the night before. If you’re heading to a meeting the following morning, you could pack your work bag with the essentials you’ll be bringing with you the night before.

When you streamline everything the night before, you can spend less time in the morning stressing over details. You’ll get moving a lot faster, and you’ll hit the ground running as soon as you wake up. Planning things the night before also helps ensure you’re not running late, disorganized or unprepared due to being groggy in the morning.

9. Find an Accountability Buddy

If you’re not a morning person, it could be helpful to find an accountability buddy who is a morning person. If your mom, sibling, friend, or even significant other has an inspiring amount of energy in the morning, ask them for help. Since they care about you, they will gladly help you stay motivated. 

If you live alone, you can ask someone to call you in the morning and check up on you. This quick chat also gives you time to connect with a loved one and get a morning pep-talk.

Some people get their morning pep talks by watching motivational videos on YouTube, which does work as well. 

Or, perhaps you have a friend who lives nearby who you can schedule a morning walk with. When you have an accountability buddy, you know someone is waiting for you with expectations. It will therefore be easier to get yourself moving because you don’t want to disappoint them. Accountability buddies give you a reason to stick to your morning routine, stay motivated, and show up.

10. Get Some Sunlight

Sunlight signals to your body that it’s time to wake up and start your day. To function properly, your circadian rhythm relies on sunlight or daylight to understand that it’s time to be awake and alert. As soon as you wake up, you should open your blinds and let the light in. Or, go for a walk in the sunshine.

If it’s still dark out in the morning (which happens depending on the time of year and when the sun rises in your city) you can still utilize light to signal your brain to wake up. Many people buy sunlight simulating lamps, for example, which you can turn on in the morning.

Couple Your Morning Routine Tips with Healthy Bedtime Habits

Your mornings will get easier when you’re also in the habit of a healthy bedtime routine, also known as good sleep hygiene. Below are some important tips to remember when it comes to bedtime:

Eliminate All Forms of Distractions in Bed

It’s difficult to feel motivated in the morning if you are too tired and sleepy to move. This often happens when you don’t get a good night’s sleep. Start off on the right track by making sure you get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that screen time before bed can affect your quality of sleep and your ability to fall asleep. The blue light the screen emits disrupts your circadian rhythm, suppressing the sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin. Your circadian rhythm works best when darkness is the sensation at night time, not lights from TVs, laptops or smartphones.

Try not to have a phone, laptop or TV in the bedroom. You can buy a real alarm clock instead of using your phone as an alarm. Furthermore, by not keeping your phone in your bedroom at night, you won’t accidentally wake yourself up too early by reading a text or email during the night. It’s quite common to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and it’s natural to look at your phone. If there’s a new text message or email that stresses you out or even excites you, it can be difficult to fall back asleep. By removing these distractions from your bedroom, you’ll likely have a better sleep, and that obviously helps improve your energy in the morning.

Be Patient With Yourself

When you’re not a morning person or you’re a night owl, you have to be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself while attempting to change. 

You won’t master the concept of being more energized in the morning right away. It might take time. The morning routine tips in this article will start to work when implemented consistently for a couple of weeks. You’ll slowly start to realize you’re becoming more productive, happier and more energetic in the mornings. 

Don’t compare yourself with other morning people who seem to have their act together and their morning routines mastered. If you’re improving your morning habits, that’s something to be proud of. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for small victories and acknowledge that you are doing your best to set yourself up for future success.

You can discover your unique genetic sleep tendencies with a DNA test. This will help you understand your sleep habits. CircleDNA provides you with stress and sleep reports based on your DNA. You can find out if it’s in your genes to be a morning person or a night owl, as well as other genetic sleep tendencies by taking a CircleDNA test.

Erica Gordon
149 posts

About author
Erica Gordon is the Managing Editor and Director of Content at Circle Magazine. Erica majored in Psychology at UBC and has since founded The Babe Report and followed her passion for writing and journalism, with a focus on health and travel writing.
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