“I used to code or design to the wee hours of the morning wearing all-nighters as a badge of honor. Now I value getting a good sleep and waking up early.” – Dustin Senos Share this quote on Twitter

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Dustin Senos

What is your morning routine?

6:45am: I wake up without an alarm. My lady and I thankfully live in an apartment which has a lot of light so we wake up a bit after the sun does. We are both morning people so even on weekends we’re out of bed before 7:30.

6:50am: We’re recent dog-owners, so one of us takes our little pup outside to relieve himself.

7:30am: For most of my adult life I did not eat breakfast. Only in the last two years I’ve made eating breakfast a habit. On weekdays I value a breakfast that is low-effort, repeatable, and healthy. On weekends I often take the time to make a more involved breakfast.

7:45am: After we’ve had breakfast we walk to the gym. The walk takes about fifteen minutes. The positive impact of working out in the morning is incredible. Having a partner who also values going to the gym helps to make it routine.

8:45am: On mornings where I work out I get ready for the day at the gym, so post-workout I’ll walk to my office space.

What time do you go to sleep?

For most of my life I didn’t realize the importance of sleep. You’re always told you need to get eight hours of sleep, but I think I was too young to feel the effect of a lack of sleep.

I was once told that tiredness comes in forty-five minute cycles. The first cycle is feeling tired followed by forty-five minutes of feeling awake. This cycle repeats until you are unable to stay awake.

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If you can get to bed during the tired cycle, you’ll fall asleep quicker. Most nights, if I’m paying attention to my body, I start to feel tired around 9:30pm. Because of this I’m often in bed by 9:45-10:00pm.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

I know from experience that looking at bright screens late at night makes it harder to fall asleep. I never lay in bed and look at my phone at night. If I’m wanting to read in bed I read a physical book.

I used to code or design to the wee hours of the morning wearing all-nighters as a badge of honor. Now I value getting a good sleep and waking up early. For me, working late into the night isn’t as efficient long-term as getting proper rest. I don’t like to feel yesterday’s late night work in the morning. I avoid work hangovers.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

Each morning I eat a creation that my lady nicknamed “slop.” Slop is a mix of steel-cut oats, coconut shreds, raisins, flax seeds, peanut butter, water, and VEGA protein powder.

During breakfast we often listen to a record. We’re both fans of jazz. Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, or instrumental hip hop are regular morning jams.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yes! When I’m my best-self, I’m going to the gym five days a week and doing cardio and weightlifting.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

I sometimes meditate in the morning. If there’s one thing I’m trying to improve about my mornings, it is to create a meditation habit. When I have had a consistent meditation practice I am at the top of my game.

For tracking my meditation, I like the app Calm.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

For a while I had a rule where I didn’t allow myself to look at any ‘screen’ before I left the house. No phone, computer, or TV. I felt great when I was doing this, but unfortunately I’ve slipped into looking at my phone in the morning.

I rarely, if ever, look at my phone while laying in bed. If I do look at my phone, it’s while I’m eating breakfast (which makes me sad to even type).

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I read somewhere you’re supposed to drink a glass of water within eight minutes of waking up. I don’t know why it’s eight minutes, and I’m assuming it’s pseudoscience, but that habit stuck with me.

I always try to drink water in the morning. I don’t drink regular coffee (only tea and decaf coffee) so I don’t feel the need to consume caffeine to “wake up.”

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

I like to think of the morning as a time away from ‘tasks’ or anything work related. How I start the day shapes my response towards the happenings of the rest of the day.

Because of this, I would rather not think of work or tasks, but instead focus on my mental and physical health. I enjoy the calmness of the morning to spend time with music, my lady, and our puppy.

I’m thankful to be in a place where I can have a morning routine filled with things I’ve chosen to do. I realize that such liberties are not available to everyone. I’m thankful that I can eat healthy food, work out, and have the support of a wonderful partner.

Photo of Dustin by Misty Xicum Ku.

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