Whether you’re a morning person or not, it’s always important to establish and stick to a healthy, everyday routine. By having a regular routine, you’re not only more likely to be productive, but it can also have a positive impact on your health.
Sleeping and Waking
Going to bed at a decent hour and ensuring you get enough sleep (Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends at least 8 hours) is important. As is setting your alarm to wake up around the same time each morning. No, this doesn’t mean you have to get up as early as 3 or 4 AM (unless your work schedule requires you to do so), but having the same morning routine can not only help regulate your circadian rhythm, but also allows you to get more done throughout the day. Lack of sleep can have a number of negative effects on your health. Not only will you be more irritable, but you will also be at a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as obesity.
Breakfast is said to be one of the most important meals of the day. That, along with a cup of coffee, is what generally gives us our fuel to be productive throughout the day. In addition, you should also make sure you eat a well-balanced lunch and dinner. Failing to consume three healthy meals per day can actually increase your risk of obesity, as the less meals we eat the more likely we are to want to snack on things that aren’t good for us – such as foods high in sugar and sodium – and without eating proper meals we’re also more likely to become more hungry, and therefore snack on more of the unhealthy stuff, hence the link to obesity.
Dr. Ali Ghahary says it’s important for patients to implement some type of exercise into their everyday routines, whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga. Some like to exercise before they go to work or start school, while others prefer to get their daily fitness in after a busy day. When you choose to work out is entirely up to you. However, Dr. Ali Ghahary says you shouldn’t exercise 2 hours before going to bed, as the closer you exercise to the time you usually go to sleep, the more likely you are to suffer from insomnia. For example, if you typically go to bed at 10 PM, you shouldn’t exercise past 8 PM. When you exercise your temperature and heart rate increases, which tends to cause restlessness. If you do suffer from insomnia on a regular basis, even without exercise, then you should speak to your physician, as there may be other reasons why you’re having difficulty sleeping.
At the end of a busy day it’s always important to take some time for yourself. One way people like to do this is by meditating, as it can relax the mind and decrease stress and anxiety. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding something calm and quiet that you enjoy, such as reading a book, or even drinking a cup of tea.