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Is What You Do In the Morning Important for a Good Night’s Sleep?

Did you know that what you do in the morning makes a huge impact on how you sleep at night?  Developing a morning routine helps your body clock.  Not only does it help you sleep better at night, it helps you to perform better during the day.

By increasing our exposure to sunlight in the morning, we increase our serotonin. Serotonin is manufactured in the gut (hello healthy gut), and regulates mood, appetite, memory, and sleep.  Serotonin sets us up for melatonin production in the evening.  Morning sun also increases production of cortisol.  If cortisol is increased in the morning it can drop at night.  The result is a better night’s sleep.

Working out anytime (except cardio before bed) is good, but exercising in the morning is a part of a good routine. It gives you less chance to put it off if you’re sidetracked by daily activity too.

Don’t hit snooze, it just makes your groggier. 

Our sleep follows the circadian rhythm.  The circadian rhythm is our body clock, every 24 hours our body goes through a physiological cycle that revolves around light and temperature..  Our bodies (except teenagers) are set up to be asleep at dark and awake during the light.  Setting up a strong morning routine makes the rest of the day go better. 

For teens, their morning is about 11 a.m. and bedtime is naturally at 3 a.m..  Their hormones put them in a whole different sleep universe.  There are studies and movements to change the academic hours for high school to help teenagers to excel on their own body clock.

a good routine



 Develop a morning routine.

Get up early

Jump straight out of bed

Drink a large glass of water

Work out in the morning.

Don’t touch your phone until your routine is complete.


Get some morning sunlight, between 20-60 minutes

Plan for your day

Pray or meditate


Don’t jump in and do the entire list tomorrow.  Remember the old progress not perfection, and SMART goals.  Take on something that’s realistic.  Maybe start with 1/2 glass of water.  Then go to jumping straight out of bed.  Get comfortable with each habit you add before moving to the next.

“I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper.  Then, I look at the obituary page.  If my name is not on it, I get up.”  Benjamin Franklin

morning habits

Highly Successful People

 Okay, so some of these sound pretty extreme.  Just remember, these people are extremely successful.  My view, whatever works!

Arianna Huffington, Get’s a lot of sleep and meditates for 30 minutes first thing in the morning.

Mark Zuckerberg.  Wears the same t-shirt every day so he doesn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear today.

Richard Branson.  Swims around his island, goes kite surfing, plays tennis, then eats a healthy breakfast.

Tony Robbins.  Performs three sets of 30 Kapalbhati Pranayama breaths.  He closes his eyes and does slow breathing and gratitude.  Prays and asks for help, guidance, and strength for the day.

Oprah Winfrey.  Meditation to create hope, contentment and joy.  She is on the treadmill for 15 minutes for energy boost.  Then, she goes for a walk, listens to music or prepares a meal.  The finale is always eating a healthy meal.

Steve Jobs.  Asked himself, “if this was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”  He, like Zuckerberg, wore the same thing every day.

Tory Burch.  Wakes at 5:45 a.m., checks her emails, gets her 3 boys up and exercises for 45 minutes.

 There were a few people who went straight to emails, went straight to work, and read.  I’m sure we didn’t get the full list.  You could tell the difference between high producing and balanced and some that probably didn’t sleep to well at night.  The secret is to find out what works for you.

 adapted from




Lessons in Leadership

for Health Coaches

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