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10 Bad Morning Habits That Make You Unhappy

Waking up every morning might be the hardest task for some of us, but what’s more difficult than leaving your bed? 

Ditching those bad morning habits and having the best mood for most of the day.

Yes, and needless to say, it affects your productivity too and influences your daily activity. 

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If you want to make the best out of your day, you better stop doing unhealthy things in the morning that will not only make you unhappy but unproductive in the long run.

So before we uncover those morning habits, we should know why a morning habit is essential to each one of us and other issues related to morning habits.

Why a morning routine is important

Aside from the fact that a morning routine helps us become more productive, it also helps us to be physically and mentally fit. 

Having a morning routine helps you to become organized as well but there are times that we may sleep longer thus skipping some healthy routines in the morning. On the other hand, it shows you to be flexible and teaches you to adapt to some changes and unexpected happenings in life.

Is it bad to stay in bed after waking up?

As much as you like to snuggle in between sheets especially in winter and you don’t want to leave the comfort of your bed in the morning, it is best to get out of bed so your brain won’t link the bed to being awake, as reported by Professor Matthew Walker from the University of California Berkeley.  

Leaving your bed in the morning when you’re already awake hinders problems in the future such as difficulty falling asleep even when you’re already on your bed.

What is the healthiest way to wake up?

Waking up in a natural way, without any alarm clock is the best and healthiest way of course. It only means that your body has enough sleep and rest and is ready for the day. 

If you don’t have to wake up early and don’t have a job that requires you not to be late, then keep your alarm clock out of reach and let your biological clock wake you up in the morning.

What is the best time to wake up in the morning?

While researching for the best answer to this question, I came upon answers about the best time to wake up in the morning which might not be too doable for some of us like getting up between 4 and 5 am in the morning.

So I’ll make it a bit personal here and tell you from my own experience. 

Whenever I wake up late, I tend to get a bit irritated and think that I’m wasting my time which I believe is not a healthy thought to start with. 

So I try to wake up before 8 am in the morning in winter and in summer before 7 am in the morning. But of course, I still strive to wake up earlier than that which I have already done a couple of times before. 

And if we base the answer on this website, waking up between 6 and 8 am is not even worse after all and before sunrise is the best way to wake up in the morning.

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Here are 10 bad morning habits that can ruin your day:

– Looking at the phone and browsing social media in the morning

We can’t deny the fact that phones have become a huge part of our life and society right now, especially since going out and other forms of entertainment are not possible or limited due to the global crisis we are facing nowadays.

But we are making one of the many mistakes in the morning when our eyes have yet to adjust from a night of sleep.

I know it is an automatic action. You need your phone to check the time. You check if you missed some calls or messages while you’re sleeping. You wanted to know if you finally made a sale from your online promotion.

And so many reasons out there that I’m sure could wait.


Your day has just started. 

I know, I commit this too sometimes, but I’m working on it and even managed to ignore my phone in the morning. Seriously.

According to Report Linker, 46% of Americans open their phones in bed when they wake up. 

It is not that surprising since we’re already aware of that and doing that ourselves but seeing that survey result only confirms that it is a common mistake that almost everyone does. 

Checking our phones in the morning may not be that bad, based on this article I found online. 

If you’re familiar with the blue light that we get from the LED screens of our phones, tablets and computers actually improves cognitive performance, a study from Sleep, also cited that blue light helps to fight fatigue.

Before reading this discovery, I thought it has something to do with the use of gadgets and how they can damage our eyes (which is true) but there is another reason why we shouldn’t check and open our phones when we wake up in the morning.

If blue light cannot inflict damage on you in the morning, but checking your phone’s content – emails, messages, calls, social media content definitely will and will also trigger stress. What a nice way to start the day huh. 

Checking emails outside your work hours affects your mental health negatively especially if it only gives you the feeling to answer right away and browsing through your phone also affects your brain to prioritise tasks of the day.

How to avoid it? Simply, avoid your phone. There’s no other way. 

– Hitting snooze

Imagine you’re having the best moment of your life – I don’t know what that is, let me know, but then you hear that annoying sound that doesn’t seem to stop.

With a matching curse that your kids shouldn’t hear, you reach for the source of that loud culprit who pulled you away from that marvelous place called a dream.

Then you went back to sleep but after a couple of minutes, it started again.

Sounds familiar, right?

When our alarm clock goes off during the REM stage, which is a restorative sleep state, is interrupted, going back to the same stage of sleep is not that easy anymore according to Ilene Rosen, MD, who studies sleep disorders and deprivation.

If you’re somebody who has the need to always hit the snooze button over and over again then it is also a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep or that you have a sleep disorder, as cited by Reena Mehra, MD, MS, Director of Sleep Disorders Research. 

You might have wondered at times that regardless of how you hit that snooze button when you finally have the will to get up, you’re still feeling tired and drowsy.

That phenomenon is called “sleep inertia” by sleep experts which causes the feeling of sleepiness that may last for hours after waking up. 

How do I stop hitting snooze in the morning?

  • If you don’t have work in the morning but only some errands, or personal activities that don’t really oblige you to get up early, then condition your brain that those personal activities are also relevant and necessary. Better if you or others could punish you if you can’t do some things on a set time like what I did with my friend in high school.

I have had a friend since 6th grade and she always came late when we were in high school and that had bothered me a bit. So I told her my plan, whenever she comes late, she would buy me an Oreo biscuit. 

  • Get an alarm clock that forces you to leave your bed like this one I found on Amazon. You can set snooze time from 0 to 9 minutes after that it scurries away, yes, it is an alarm clock with wheels. It doesn’t only wheel away from you if you want to hit the snooze or shut it off, but it also has a beeping sound that would really coerce you to chase the annoying thing.Â
  • Have somebody wake you up. This might not work on a daily basis but there’s no harm in trying. Warning, it might really annoy you.
  • Just get up. Simple. 
  • You can also wake up naturally with a light if you are the person who always keeps the bedroom window and drapes closed the whole night. Check it out on Amazon on how it will help you wake up naturally.

– Not ventilating the room

Back in my home country, this is not a thing because ventilation is like an automatic action. We open windows and doors any time of the day whenever we want except maybe when it is blazing hot outside, and we wanted to keep the coolness of the room.

open window image for ventilation
Photo by  Alessio Cesario on Pexels

But where I live now, ventilation is indeed important, especially in the winter season. When it is freezing cold outside, I understand if you don’t want to even open your window or get near it.

And that’s one of the mistakes you’re making after waking up in the morning.

I, for one, love to sleep with the windows open, I can’t sleep when it is too hot, it feels stuffy and smothering so opening the windows is not a challenge to me even in winter.

If you have slept 7-8 hours and kept the windows closed, then you’ve been breathing in a bedroom that causes the accumulation of carbon dioxide which happens exactly when people are sleeping in a closed area.

So you shouldn’t wonder now if you always feel sleepy and drowsy even though you think you’ve slept well and enough.

Aside from feeling fatigued, in extreme cases after too much exposure to carbon dioxide, it can cause heart rate acceleration, inability to concentrate and nausea.

If you have qualms that a large amount of carbon dioxide is trapped in your room, you can purchase this Co2 meter on Amazon. 400-1000 ppm is the safe level of carbon dioxide indoors with good air exchange.

– Keeping the room dark

This one is obvious but we are prone to do this mistake once in a while. It might not be a pleasant feeling to the eyes when you just woke up and suddenly light hit them.

That’s why having this light which I mentioned above is good if you don’t want to open your drapes or turn on the light in your room immediately.

Why should you not keep your room dark in the morning?

According to a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Dr. Clifford Segil, our brains are reactive to light and exposure to it prompts our bodies to wake up from sleep.

Aside from that, you should not also miss the sunlight in the morning so when you wake up, open the windows and the drapes and enjoy a bit of the sunlight.

You shouldn’t worry about UV light in the morning because sunlight in the morning doesn’t contain any but rather 42% infrared light that in turn improves your skin by stimulating the collagen.

– Drinking coffee

I was a heavy coffee drinker. I still drink coffee but not that often anymore. I’m more into tea for months already.

I used to drink coffee before right after waking up but I stopped that habit.

It’s like a battery to my half-asleep self but then I noticed some changes in me.

Perhaps the coffee was rather strong made through a coffee machine, not a capsule coffee though but a real coffee. After drinking it, I have a bad mood, worse, mood swings.

Not only that, I got palpitations too which is not new anymore to me.

Aside from my personal experience with coffee, there are more scientific reasons why you shouldn’t drink coffee first thing in the morning.

We lost a lot of water every night, so we wake up dehydrated as cited by Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and sleep doctor. Coffee contains caffeine which is a diuretic that makes us urinate. So you could imagine now why coffee is not good in the morning to rehydrate.

When we wake up naturally in the morning without the help of an alarm clock, that’s actually cortisol that helps us to wake up. Cortisol is also a stress hormone that comes from the adrenal gland that signals our bodies to be awake and responsive.

So if you drink coffee in the morning when cortisol is at its peak, that impedes the normal cortisol production in the morning and it also stresses our adrenal glands.

How can you avoid coffee in the morning?

Always have a bottle of water near your bed so when you wake up with your throat dry and parched, you won’t turn to coffee and do one of the bad morning habits that will jeopardize your day.

– Eatings sweets

Did you ever ask yourself, is it bad to eat sweets in the morning?

If you did then you might be doing that habit and are unsure if you’re doing the right thing or not.

Strangely enough, you can eat sweets in the morning.

Heck, you might even see some breakfast recipes with oatmeal with peanut butter which I eat sometimes.

But you should never eat sweets like candies in the morning on an empty stomach. If you have cravings in the morning for something sweet then it could be a sign that your sugar levels are not stabilized.

So why should you avoid eating sweets on an empty stomach?

Apart from disrupting your weight loss goal, foods with high sugar content can overload your liver and spike your blood sugar level which is not good for diabetic people.

healthy breakfast in the morning image
Photo by Nicola Barts on Pexels

So before you give in to your cravings of cakes, pastries and brownies, fill your stomach first with protein, carbs and healthy fats.

Not making your bed

A new survey from Best Mattress Brand concluded that people who spend more time rearranging pillows and smoothing the comforter back lead more productive lives.

It may sound so simple for some but it takes a lot of strength and will to make your bed in the morning so if you are the one who could pass that test every morning then you’re doing your life and well-being a favour.

Another survey also cited that those who do not make bed are night owls and who hit the snooze button while those who make their beds are adventurous, confident and sociable.

Without even thinking or looking at what the researches, surveys and studies show, it doesn’t even take simple logic to understand making our bed like smoothing the sheets and arranging the pillows is beneficial to you and how it affects your productivity just like what Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit.

Don’t you have that feeling when you see an unmade bed, you want to go back to bed again? Well, I do and that only hinders me from achieving more things for the day.

– Skipping breakfast

Surely you heard from your mother before, eat your breakfast.

And that is not without reason.

I know some people who can’t even stomach the thought of food passing their mouths in the morning which I understand. There are people who wake up hungry and also people who wake up as if they have eaten in their sleep already that’s why they skip breakfast.

Skipping breakfast is not really bad, perhaps it has benefits too but you should decide what’s best for you and your overall well-being.

Nutritionists say skipping breakfast only results in more craving of fats and calories which may lead to gaining more weight.

Some of us treat coffee or tea as fuel in the morning but we can swap them with lemon water which is good for the liver and eat instead foods with proteins and carbs for breakfast since these foods are known to be the productivity foods.

Greek yoghurt, eggs, oatmeals, avocado and smoothies are good for breakfast while a sugary breakfast is not an ideal choice for your first meal of the day since this might set off the sugar level that will make you feel tired the whole day.

– Not washing your face with cold water in the morning

Washing your face with cold water every morning is not only a self-care routine, it is also beneficial to your skin. While hot water opens pores in our skin, cold water closes them.

Washing with cold water also improves blood circulation which also protects skin from free radicals.

But it’s not all about skin and how to have beautiful skin why you should add this habit to your list.

If you feel sleepy and still groggy after leaving your bed, skip the coffee, go straight to your bathroom and wash your face with cold water.

I do this every day and it helps me to feel energized although I feel so sleepy at times in the morning (well, who doesn’t by the way?)

– Not moving your body or muscles

Another bad morning habit that you might be doing is underestimating the power of stretching.

Imagine being in bed for 7-8 hours and perhaps in the same position until you wake up. No wonder your muscles and body are in pain. You need to relieve them from pain by moving your body and muscles.

Stretching tells your body that your day has started already and prepares you to be productive for the whole day. Apart from that, stretching relieves tension and stress.


Let’s wrap it up…

What we do first thing in the morning when we wake up plays a significant role in our well-being as well as in our social and professional responsibilities.

Start your day right, so they say, and avoid making those bad morning habits and replace them with good ones.

These 10 morning habits that can ruin your day may not be true to some but this is written based on personal experience backed up by science and research.

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