3 Rituals To Do Every Morning For Better Sleep At Night, From A Functional MD
While most sleep advice is geared toward nighttime, functional medicine doctor Frank Lipman, M.D., knows that better sleep starts in the morning.
The deep and restorative sleep you've always dreamt about*
When the author of the new book Better Sleep, Better You joined a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, he reminded us that since sleep is dictated by the body's natural rhythms, there's plenty we can do earlier in the day to set the stage for more restful evenings.
So in addition to maintaining a tech-free wind-down ritual, keeping a comfortable sleep environment, and if necessary taking a relaxing supplement (he's a fan of mbg's sleep support+) come bedtime, Lipman has some tips for setting yourself up for a deeper slumber the moment you roll out of bed.*
Here's the doctor's formula for a rest-enriching morning routine:
However, the timing of exercise is important: "Most people should exercise in the morning or the afternoon at the latest," Lipman says, since exercising too close to bed could prove more stimulating than relaxing for some folks.
By working up a sweat in the morning, you'll give your body plenty of time to recover and integrate the mind-body benefits of exercise before bed.
Lipman recommends pairing your exercise with meditation to further prepare your body for a peaceful day and night. Meditating can improve heart rate variability, a key marker of sleep quality, by helping to activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system.
Keeping up with a consistent morning practice can help you deal with stressors throughout the day and give you the tools necessary to quiet the anxious, racing thoughts that often contribute to insomnia come bedtime.
3. Go for a walk.
Getting some sun shortly after waking will tell your body that it's time to wake up and start the day. It's especially important for people who spend most of their time inside in front of screens: The body thrives when it's exposed to sunlight during the day and darkness at night, and it's difficult for us to know when to sleep if we always think it's Zoom o'clock.
In short: Anything we can do to get in touch with the rhythms of nature will also help us connect to the rhythms of our own bodies. So after your early sweat and mindful moment, taking a sunny stroll will cap off your healthy morning and will continue to serve you well into the day and night.