alarm clock
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Hit the Snooze Button

That extra 15 minutes will help energize your day, right? Wrong. You’ll get better rest if you get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Groggy in the a.m.? Try using a sleep tracker. This wearable device can tell when you’re in a light stage of sleep and wake you when it’s easiest to get up.

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woman opening curtains
2 / 15

Stay in the Dark

It’s tempting to stay in the quiet dark of your room with the shades drawn in the morning. Don’t do it. Daylight helps your body set its clock. That helps you sleep better and helps your body fight infection and inflammation. Getting outdoors into the sunlight helps you make vitamin D, think more clearly, and exercise more. It can even make you happier. So open those shades and greet the new day.

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woman sleeping with eye mask
3 / 15

Sleep Late

Sometimes it just feels so good, especially when you have the time and you’ve been short on sleep. But the best way to improve your sleep over the long term is to keep a regular bedtime schedule. That means you get up at the same time every day, even if you had a late night -- and yes, that includes the weekend.

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person getting out of bed
4 / 15

Shoot Out of Bed Too Quickly

When you go from lying down to standing, gravity sends blood rushing to your legs, which can drop your blood pressure suddenly and make you feel a bit woozy. It can even make you pass out. Sit up slowly and pause at the edge of the bed to give your body a few seconds to get used to the idea, especially if you noticed some lightheadedness in the past. It’s an easy precaution that could save you from a serious fall.

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woman walking on treadmill
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Ditch Your Workout

Regular exercise helps your sleep, weight, heart, and mood, among many benefits. You may be more likely to stick with exercise if you do it first thing. It could even make it easier to control what you eat throughout the day and maintain your weight. Plan ahead and put your workout clothes out the night before.

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coffee
6 / 15

Skip Your Coffee

If you usually have a couple of cups of joe in the morning, skipping it can leave you groggy. You may not concentrate as well, and you might even become very tired with a severe headache, nausea, and flu-like symptoms. If you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine, do it slowly to avoid these responses.

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illustration of plaque
7 / 15

Forget Your Teeth

A sticky film called plaque forms on your teeth each night. If you don’t brush it off in the morning, it can start to harden into stuff called tartar that you can only get rid of at your dentist’s office. If plaque and tartar are around too long, they can lead to swollen or bleeding gums, cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and other health problems.

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woman brushing teeth
8 / 15

Brush Right After Coffee

It’s the acid in coffee. So you really shouldn’t brush right after any acidic food or drink. For example, some people like to drink water with lemon in the morning. The acid weakens tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove it. Simply brush your teeth beforehand, or wait 30 to 60 minutes for the acid to fade from your teeth.

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person using a computer
9 / 15

Check Your Email

If you constantly check digital devices, email, and social media, it can cause stress and anxiety. For example, you may feel more pressure to start work earlier if you check your email first thing. Take some time in the morning to stay disconnected from digital media like email. It may take some effort at first, but it can make you happier and may even help you get more work done in the long run.

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man writing in journal
10 / 15

Start Your Day Without a Plan

If you start your day without a thought to why you do what you do, you may lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve and what gives your life meaning. Whether it’s work, family, or lifestyle, it’s important to figure out what’s most important to you and make sure the things you do each day help you get there. Set priorities, make a list, and check your progress at the end of the day. 

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child blowing bubbles
11 / 15

Dwell on the Day’s Problems

Once you’ve got a plan to tackle the day’s problems, let them go and take a moment to be grateful for the good things in your life. People who do this are often happier, healthier, and more satisfied in their relationships, especially compared to those who focus on their problems. Write it in a journal or just list them in your head -- what matters most is that you do it.

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man meditating
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Forget Quiet Time

If your day is filled with work and noise, the morning is a perfect chance to clear your mind with even a few minutes of meditation. You can simply focus on your breath and try to let go of thoughts that come up. The practice can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and may help ease conditions including anxiety, pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, and migraine headaches.

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egg avocado toast
13 / 15

Bail Out of Breakfast

People who eat breakfast regularly tend to have sharper thinking and less body fat, and they are less likely to have type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They also exercise more regularly and eat a healthier diet. So enjoy a healthy breakfast -- it’s an easy and enjoyable way to get a good start on the day.

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donuts
14 / 15

Eat Too Sweet

Doughnuts and other sugary pastries made from white flour have little nutrition and get into (and out of) your blood too quickly. That can leave you tired, irritable, and hungry for more. Protein from eggs or cottage cheese and “complex carbs” with more fiber and nutrition -- oatmeal or other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables -- take longer to digest, satisfy your hunger, and provide a slow steady stream of energy.

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woman putting on sunscreen
15 / 15

Skip the Sunscreen

It can help protect your skin against cancer and wrinkles caused by UV rays that you’re exposed to whenever you’re out in the sun, even if it’s cloudy. It’s best to put it on about 15 minutes before you go outside. That’s how long it takes your skin to absorb it. You need to put it on again after just 2 hours if you’re still in the sun, or sooner if you sweat a lot or go swimming.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 09/20/2017 Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 20, 2017

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SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: “How to apply sunscreen.”

American Council On Exercise: “The Best Time to Exercise.”

CDC: “Physical Activity and Health.”

Clinical Obesity: “Comparison between the effect of 6 weeks of morning or evening aerobic exercise on appetite and anthropometric indices: a randomized controlled trial.”

Computers in Human Behavior: “Checking email less frequently reduces stress.”

Environmental Health: “Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study.”

Environmental Health Perspectives: “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.”

Journal of Caffeine Research: “Caffeine Withdrawal and Dependence: A Convenience Survey Among Addiction Professionals.”

Future Work Centre: “You’ve got mail! Research Report 2015.”

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench: “The impact of breakfast in metabolic and digestive health.”

Harvard Health Publications: “A prescription for better health: go alfresco,” “Dizzy spells when you stand up: When should you worry?”

Harvard School of Public Health: “Healthy Eating Plate & Healthy 

Eating Pyramid,” “Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar.”

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand: “Effects of mindfulness meditation on serum cortisol of medical students.”

Mayo Clinic: “Gingivitis,” “When and how often should you brush your teeth?” “Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress.”

National Sleep Foundation: “Understanding Sleep Cycles: What Happens While You Sleep,”  “Stop Hitting the Snooze Button Once and For All.”

NHS Choices: “Easy time-management tips.”

PLOS.org: “The proximal experience of gratitude.”

Psychology Research and Behavior Management: “An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 20, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.