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21 sleep habits: Tips for morning, day & night

28 Feb 2022 • 4 min read

Whether you count yourself as a morning person or you love to lie in, it’s important to have some sort of structure to those first couple of hours of your day.

Wondering why or how you could improve on your current habits? Here’s our complete guide to achieving a healthy morning routine.

In this article we’ll run through

What things should be included in your healthy morning routine?

Your morning routine will be completely unique to you; however, you may want to consider incorporating the following things into it:

  • Movement
  • Organisation
  • Hygiene
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition

8 good morning routine ideas

Read on for our top ideas to add to your morning routine...

  1. Stop hitting the snooze button!

If you’re determined to have time in the morning to relax, eat, exercise and just generally prepare yourself for the day ahead, you’ll want to quit pressing the snooze button on your alarm.

If you’re a serial snoozer, try reducing the number of times you press it every day for a week until you’re used to getting up as soon as it first rings.

  1. Move your body straight away

It can be tempting to lie in bed for a while and check your emails or social media accounts. Instead, don’t look at your phone for at least 15 minutes and try to get up as soon as your alarm goes off.

Walking around and stretching will get your blood circulating and stimulate your muscles. Whether it’s going to the gym or doing a quick workout at home, getting some exercise in first thing can do wonders for your mood and your physical health.

  1. Plan your routine the night before

It can be good to set a goal for your morning routine in advance so you can make the whole process easier.

Before you go to sleep, write a mental list of things you want to achieve when you wake up, whether that’s to exercise, wear a specific outfit or eat a certain food for your breakfast.

  1. Lower your expectations

If you have dreams of fitting in a yoga session, a leisurely breakfast, a stroll around your neighbourhood AND a relaxing bath into that one or two hours before work, you’ll need to lower your expectations.

It’s best to only have two or three things to do in the mornings to avoid rushing and consequently not feeling the benefit.

One of the top things you can do during your healthy morning routine is eat a nutritious breakfast!

Check out our complete range of breakfast cereals, from fruit-packed muesli and nutty granola to high-fibre oats, plus packets of seeds perfect for adding to delicious breakfast smoothies.1,2

  1. Eating a tasty and nutritious breakfast 

Ideally, it should be high in fibre and packed with protein to help keep you sated until lunchtime. Clean sleeping starts with breakfast!

Skipping the morning meal means you start your day running on empty, and disrupts your body’s natural cycle.

Plus the nervous adrenaline energy you’ll have to tap into to get by puts your body under stress, making you more likely to turn to sugary snacks and stimulants such as caffeine to keep you going – all of which can disrupt your sleep come evening time.

Try this: 

  • Eat a slow-release breakfast such as nut butter on wholegrain toast within 30 minutes of waking up.
  • Drink around 1.5-2 litres of water a day to help flush disruptive toxins from the body, and avoid stimulants such as caffeine after 2pm.
  1. Time without your phone

Read a book, practice meditation, listen to your favourite music or sit outside in the fresh air with your morning cuppa – anything which keeps you still and lowers your heart rate is good.

  1. Writing a to-do list for the day

This could be a mental list or a physical one, but its aim is to organise your thoughts and make you feel calmer about the day ahead. Have a journal? Why not write in that instead!

  1. Having a relaxing shower

If you like to shower before you begin your day, make it a calming experience by simply taking your time. Use a nice smelling soap and allow the warm water to relax your muscles.

Why is a healthy morning routine important?

There are numerous benefits to not just simply rolling out of bed, wolfing down a bowl of cereal and running out the door.

Feeling rushed in the mornings and not having enough time to do things that support your wellbeing can have negative effects on numerous things, including your productivity, confidence, stress levels and overall emotional health.

Instead, you should aim to give yourself plenty of time in the mornings to wake your body up gently, eat a nourishing meal and prepare yourself for the day ahead.3

6 daytime tips to help you sleep at night

Here are our 6 daytime tips to help you sleep at night...

  1. Stay active

Exercising during the day has been scientifically proven to improve your sleep health – from reducing the symptoms of insomnia to helping you fall asleep faster.4,5

However, it’s important to not exercise too close to bedtime as this may disrupt your sleep. The current recommendation is to exercise during the day, but not within three hours of going to bed.6

  1. Don’t have too much caffeine

From the odd cup of tea to a full-blown coffee addiction, must of us enjoy a caffeinated beverage during the day. But just how much you have and the time that you have it could have an impact on your sleep quality.

Although caffeine levels are said to peak in your system between 30-60 minutes after having it, it can actually stick around for three to five hours.7 So if you’re consuming a lot of it right up into the evening, it might mess with your sleep quality.8

  1. Get enough bright light exposure

You know that your body has its own clock, right?

Well, this is called the circadian rhythm, which has an impact on multiple areas like your hormones and brain function.

Its primary job is to let your body know when it needs to be alert and awake – and also when it needs to rest and go to sleep.9,10

One of the main things that affect your circadian rhythm is bright light exposure – either from the sun or artificial lights, but preferably the former.

Not only does this help with the duration and quality of your sleep, but also your energy during the day.11,12,13

  1. Try not to nap for too long

If you’ve had an early start or you’re desperate to catch up on some sleep, it can be very tempting to take yourself off for a nap. But this is a risky move depending on the time of day and how long you nap for.

Research suggests that the ideal amount of time for a nap is anywhere between 10-20 minutes and the best time to take a nap is during early to mid-afternoon.14,15

  1. Enhance your sleep environment

Your environment at nighttime can also affect how well you sleep at night. This means it’s super important to highlight the factors that cause sleep disturbances, such as noise from outside, light streaming through your window or light from electronic devices.

Multiple studies have also backed this up, concluding that noise and light in particular can have a big impact.16,17 So to combat this, maybe try sleeping with ear plugs in and an eye mask on – then see how you get on!

  1. Limit your alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol can be a nice treat after a hard day or if you’re celebrating a special occasion. But unfortunately, this too can have an effect on the quality of your sleep. Remember we mentioned the circadian rhythm?

Alcohol also impacts this, by altering the production of melatonin at night, and therefore disrupting your body clock.18,19

7 step bedtime routine

There’s nothing better than laying your tired head on your pillow after the perfect bedtime routine. If you do all the right things in the lead up to bedtime, you can climb under the covers knowing it’s highly likely that you will drift off into a peaceful slumber.

In today’s hectic modern world, too many people get their bedtime routine wrong, or in a lot of cases, they don’t have one at all. Here are our top tips for the best routine to promote a good night’s sleep:


Stick to a schedule

If possible, try and go to bed at and wake up around the same time so that your body gets into a routine.


Technology free

An hour or so before you go to bed, turn off all your technology, or at least put your phone on silent. The light on the screens of tablets, computers and phones can have an impact on your sleep. It also allows your mind to unwind without distractions.


Have everything ready for the morning

Make sure you have everything ready for the next day, so you won’t stress about it overnight.


Write down your thoughts

Often we struggle to sleep because a few pesky thoughts are niggling away at us. If you write down what is bothering you, and things you have to do the next day, you will probably sleep better.


Relaxation activities

Figure out which relaxation activities work for you, and try and do at least one of them each night. For example, yoga, Pilates, meditation and relaxation apps, having a hot bath or listening to calming music.


Sleep promoting scents

A little before bedtime, delight your senses with some super calming scents, such as lavender and rosemary. Light some candles in the evening (but not when you go to bed!) or try a special sleep-promoting spray.


Herbal remedies

Still struggling to drift off? You might need a helping hand from some herbal sleep aids. Find the perfect sleep aid for you by checking out our sleep and relaxation products.

What is clean sleep?

Clean sleep could be the key to a healthier and happier you!

The “clean” movement has embraced everything from food to beauty, and clean sleep is the new kid on the block.

Based on the idea that sleep is crucial to your appetite and energy levels, your health and even your attractiveness, sleeping clean suggests you prioritise quality zeds over diet and fitness.

Poor-quality sleep not only makes us irritable (grrrr) and takes its toll on our looks (who wouldn’t want to be bag-free?), but it may lower memory function and immunity and cause weight gain; suddenly getting a good night’s rest has jumped to the top of our “to do” list.

How long does it take to develop healthy sleep habits?

When it comes to developing good sleep habits (and eliminating poor sleeping habits) the key is consistency.

At first, maybe write down the new habits you want to adopt to help you improve your sleep health to help jog your memory, and revisit your notes frequently. Before you know it, you’ll be automatically living your best healthy sleeping life.

But what about the science? Well, studies suggest that on average, it takes 66 days for a habit to become second nature – so there’s no time like the present to get started!20

The final say

Sleep is crucial for keeping you physically and mentally healthy.

So if you’re thinking that your sleep habits aren’t the best, it might be time to start adopting some of the habits in this article to help you get back on track and allow your body to get the rest it needs.

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 28 February 2022



Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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