7 Science-backed Morning Routines to Boost Your Productivity and Brain Health

Mornings are a new opportunity to conquer the world, no matter how much you love or hate them.
Your morning routine sets the tone of your day. Start your day off right! These 7 habits will turbocharge your brain and give a positive boost to productivity.
You don’t need to get up at 4:45 a.m. to reap the benefits. You can choose the ones that are most important to you and then experiment until you find your groove.
1. Synchronize your sleeping schedule and skip the snooze
Your body’s natural sleep cycle will work for you if you wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. (Hint, you’ll also want to keep a consistent bedtime. This will make it easier to get out of bed and shake off sleep inertia, that foggy feeling that leaves your brain in a fog.
Although it might not sound like fun to regulate your sleep schedule, it can make a big difference in your performance. 89% of Americans with good sleep health report feeling very productive, compared to 46% of those who are poor sleepers.
Keep in mind that the snooze key is not your friend. Although it might seem like a great way to get a few more zzzs, snoozing can actually be detrimental. Your brain’s wake and sleep signals can get mixed up, making it even more difficult to get out of bed.
2. Don’t touch your phone.
Jim Kwik, a brain performance expert, recommends that you avoid your smartphone for the first hour. Why? Because your brain is highly suggestible upon waking up. The dopamine rush you get from diving headfirst into your device can cause your brain to become distracted. It can be difficult to control it when it’s time for work.
This is not the only problem. Negative news and stressful emails can also affect your mood. Instead, start your day with positive momentum. Give your brain some time to rebuild its natural defenses and then bombard it with digital media.
Not sure you can do it? To avoid temptation, use a real alarm clock instead of your phone to get up in the morning.
3. Make your bed
Your mama was right. It’s a great way for you to start your day.
Research backs her up. A National Sleep Foundation survey found 67% of those who make their bed every night (or almost every day) get a good nights sleep, compared with 15% of those who only make their bed once a month.
Making your bed feels good, not only does it create a welcoming environment for sleep, but it also makes you feel good. Before you even get out of bed, you can feel accomplished and ready to face the day.
4. Meditation can be a mindful practice
It is easy to get caught up in the rush of the morning without taking a moment for yourself to breathe. Meditation allows you to stop and take a deep breath before the rush of the day sets in.
Meditation doesn’t just reduce stress. Meditation helps you to master your mind and make it easier to focus and say no distractions.
One study found that mindful meditation can increase your ability to focus and sustain attention for as little as 4 days. The positive effects go beyond the mindful moment. Harvard researcher found that people who learned to meditate had steady brain activity, even while performing daily tasks.
Are you unsure where to begin? You can focus on your breath for five minutes or use mindfulness apps such as Calm or Headspace to guide you.
5. Put pen to paper
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is a classic. You’ve probably also heard of her Morning Pages concept. Here’s how it works.
After getting out of bed, write 750 words or 3 pages. Your brain should be in a fresh, awakened state before you can criticize it fully.
Go for stream-of-consciousness over polished work. Write down whatever comes to your mind, no matter how trivial or mundane, and refrain from editing.