The healthiest morning routine, based on my research and understanding, would involve the following steps:
- Wake up and avoid ingesting caffeine immediately. Instead, hydrate with water and electrolytes.
- Get bright light in your eyes, ideally from sunlight. If you wake up before the sun comes out, turn on bright artificial lights. Once the sun is out, even on cloudy days, get outside for anywhere from 5 to 20, maybe even 30 minutes. This increases the peak of your cortisol pulse by 50%, which increases mood, alertness, and helps clear out any residual adenosine that might be present in your system when you wake up.
- Engage in some physical activity. This could be a full workout, or if you're short on time, even 5-10 minutes of skipping rope, jumping jacks, or walking can be beneficial.
- Delay your caffeine intake to 90 to 120 minutes after waking. This allows your system to reach maximum alertness and focus in the morning and throughout your day.
This routine not only has immediate effects but also sets in motion a cascade that leads to better sleep and more wakefulness the next night and the next day.