A Morning Routine to Support Your Health

Dr. Avanti

Avanti Kumar-Singh, MD

If you’ve been having a hard time waking up in the morning or find yourself in an afternoon slump, it’s time to reset your internal clock. The easiest way to do this is by adjusting your morning routine.

 

Routines regulate your circadian rhythm.

According to Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old system of healing and sister-science of yoga, living in harmony with nature is a key to vibrant health and self-healing. When you follow daily routines, or dinacharya, that align with the cycles of the sun you are also regulating your circadian rhythm which is critical for your health. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural time-keeping system that controls hormonal changes... and hormones control everything from sleep/waking and body temperature to tissue repair and metabolism.

 

Routines tell your body and mind to relax.

Routines are the foundation of Ayurveda and the foundation of health because they also allow the nervous system to relax. Routines tell the body and the mind what to expect next, and this shifts the nervous system from the stress response to the relaxation response. As a result, the cascade of hormones that prolong inflammation are also down-regulated… and inflammation is linked to virtually every illness. Thus, health-supporting routines help decrease inflammation.

 

Kick-start your day with a morning routine.

By focusing on your morning routine, you’ll start your day aligned with your circadian rhythm and with nature… which cultivates balance and supports health. Here are 3 ways to give your morning routine a makeover:

Woman plucking mint leaves

 

Rise with the sun.

The pre-dawn hours are filled with the energy of movement, making it the ideal time to rouse your body and mind. By waking 10-15 minutes before sunrise, you’ll feel energized all day.

The pre-dawn hours are filled with the energy of movement, making it the ideal time to rouse your body and mind. By waking 10-15 minutes before sunrise, you’ll feel energized all day.

 

Drink warm lemon water upon waking.

During sleep, your body is fasting and becomes dehydrated. Drinking water upon waking rehydrates the body. In addition, warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and causes peristalsis, which gets things moving. The lemon loosens accumulated toxins and waste in the digestive tract so it can be eliminated more efficiently and completely.

The Health Catalyst Book Cover

 

Wash the night away.

While you sleep, your body is going through an internal cleansing cycle in which waste and toxins are processed for elimination. If toxins aren’t removed, they build up as toxic load which eventually leads to symptoms, illness and chronic disease. According to Ayurveda, it’s important to flush out the toxins that accumulate overnight in the eyes, mouth, and nose and on the tongue and skin. Before brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue, practice oil pulling to remove bacteria and promote healthy gums & teeth. Next, cleanse your nasal passages with a saline flush or neti-pot. And finally, dry-brush your body before taking a shower. All of these practices help your body eliminate toxins for better health.

You’re probably thinking…this is a lot to take on. But don’t worry. The goal isn’t to do everything all at once. Instead, choose one habit, try it for a week and note how you feel. Then add on another and observe how you feel. You’ll find that over a short time, you’ll have a new morning routine that calms your mind and gives you energy all day. If you would like to learn more about incorporating Ayurvedic routines into your schedule, be sure to check out my new book, The Health Catalyst.

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