“To get a good night’s sleep I think it’s important that your body is used to a consistent waking up time.” – Willem Vernooij Share this quote on Twitter

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Willem Vernooij

What is your morning routine?

I’ve never really been a morning person. I’m usually much more active at night, so waking up is hard for me. Because of this I have to have a good morning routine to get my day started.

Usually, on days off or when I have to be at school at say, 1:00pm, I wake up at 9:00am as I don’t like spending ages in bed as every time I do, my day is not as productive as I want it to be.

To get a good night’s sleep I think it’s important that your body is used to a consistent waking up time.

I always keep a bottle of water next to my bed. The reason why you sometimes feel dizzy and weird when waking up if because it’s been eight hours without hydration, therefore you’ll still feel sleepy when waking up. Drinking this bottle of water is the first thing I do in the morning.

Next I’ll open my window to get some fresh air. It helps me wake up and it makes me hungry.

After I’m fully awake I’ll take a shower. I don’t want to spend too long in the warm water, because if I do I can get quite lazy during the rest of the day. When I’m almost done, I turn off the hot water and let the cold water pour all over me. It’s a great way to wake up and to not get too comfortable with the warm water.

When I’ve finished my shower I dry off, get clothed, and meditate for seven minutes. Now you are all thinking, “Why do you meditate for exactly seven minutes?” Well, there is no significant reason why I meditate seven minutes. When I started meditating, I started with five minutes, and I wanted to gradually improve the period in which I meditate.

Meditating is hard, and it requires a certain focus; a focus I don’t naturally have. So I want to increase my endurance in this, so that’s why I increase the time I meditate gradually.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I had a similar routine during the last school year, but I unintentionally abandoned it during the summer. Now school has started again I’m working on recreating a similar routine.

What time do you go to sleep?

It differs. As a student I have three types of evenings:

  1. I have nothing to do so I go to bed early. On these days my normal routine takes place.
  2. I have to work until late (I work in a bar/restaurant, so I’m not often out of there until 2:00am).
  3. I go out and get drunk; usually returning around 3-6:00am.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I think it’s good to be strict in my routine and ignore the snooze button on my alarm clock. I want to be productive, and vegetating in bed won’t help me do that. It is hard sometimes, though.

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

Breakfast is one of the most important parts of my routine. My breakfast is where I get most of my energy. It’s not a very big breakfast, but it offers a lot of nutrition.

Breakfast consists the following:

  • 50 grams of oats,
  • 250 ml of milk (I prefer skimmed milk, but it’s up to you),
  • Sweetener (1 teaspoon),
  • 28 grams of Whey protein (I use the chocolate version - if you don’t have Whey you can use 1 tablespoon of cacao powder).

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I go to the gym three mornings a week (with a day in-between each session).

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I don’t answer email in the morning, but then I don’t really get that much email; which might be a good thing

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

It differs; sometimes immediately, sometimes only after I’ve showered.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

It’s not a specific task, but rather to keep my discipline. As I’m writing this I’m still sleepy because my body isn’t used to the ‘waking up early’ thing.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Water! After eight hours without hydration it’s not coffee that wakes you up, but water!

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

When I’m not at home, I still try to follow this routine as much as possible.

One time I wasn’t able to follow my routine at all. I had to wake up way too early so I couldn’t have my oats or meditate. In a nutshell, I couldn’t do the things I usually do. So I tried to compensate the macros I would get from my oats with other types of breakfast foods.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I don’t fail my routine that often.

Sometimes it gets hard to do one of the core activities, but I always try to compensate for them in another way. Other than that, it doesn’t really affect my day in such a way that I’m unable to function, but I do feel bad for not having completed my routine.


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