How to Shorten Your Morning Routine (So You Can Spend More Time Sleeping)

Getting ready in the mornings is a constant struggle between the necessity for more sleep and the need to be out the door in time.

But all hope isn't lost. If you're exhausted in the mornings, try making these time-saving changes to your AM routine so you can spend more time getting your precious shut-eye.

Ditch the Snooze Button

The snooze button isn't your friend. If there's extra time in the morning to hit snooze, why not just set your alarm to the post-snooze time and guarantee that extra sleep? Those nine minutes of disturbed rest after you've already been rudely awakened by your alarm are never going to be as beneficial as if you'd just set your alarm for later. And don't even get us started on snoozing more than once. Basically, if there's time for you to hit the snooze button, you're setting your alarm too early!

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob holds up alarm clock in distress

(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Let Some Light In

If it's light out when you wake up, be sure to open your blinds or curtains as soon as you're out of bed to let some light in. First, that natural daylight will help you perk up, making you more alert and efficient as you start your day. Secondly, exposure to that light will boost your mood and help you get a better sleep that night.


Don't Get Distracted By Your Phone

It's tempting to start your day by checking your notifications and responding to any messages you've received overnight, but it can be a huge time suck. If you're spending 20 minutes on your phone in the morning before leaving for school, that's 20 minutes you could've spent getting more sleep. However impossible it may sound to put down the phone, if you can save it for when free time opens up—like your commute on the bus or downtime before classes—then you won't have to wake up so early to be ready in time.

Gravity Falls: Tambry sits on the floor texting

(Gravity Falls via Disney XD)


Select Your Outfit Ahead of Time

When you're still bleary-eyed and exhausted in the morning, picking an ensemble for the day gets a lot harder. That indecision can eat up lots of precious time you could have spent in bed, so skip the entire process by thinking ahead. The night before, check out the weather forecast so you can dress accordingly and pick out something you know you'll love to wear the following day. That way, getting dressed can take two minutes instead of 10.


Have a To-Do List Ready

Have a busy morning? Don't waste any time sitting around and trying to remember everything that needs to get done by writing out your to-do list the night before. That way, you can systematically go through your list and make sure that no stone is left unturned. Making to-do lists ahead of time is also handy for destressing and falling asleep faster, since it helps you put all your concerns down on paper.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Twilight Sparkle shows off her checklist

(My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic via Hub Network)


Prep Your Bag

Packing your bag in the morning takes time, so do it the night before when you're not in a rush. Make sure that whatever books, notebooks and homework assignments you need to bring to school are already packed up and ready to go, so that when you need to leave for school, you can just grab your bag and go. If you bring your lunch, pack that ahead of time, too, so you can simply grab it from the fridge as you're leaving.


Shower Toward the End of Your Routine

If you tend to shower in the morning before school, chances are you do it toward the beginning of the routine to help you wake up. While this can be effective, we actually recommend waiting to take your shower until after your brain is on a roll. Being more alert means less time in the shower zoning out, staring into space and pondering the meaning of life. This means you can take a faster shower, which also happens to be great for the environment. If you have a tough time taking quick showers, try setting an alarm and adjusting the temperature so you're not tempted to luxuriate in it for half an hour.


Simplify Your Beauty Regimen

This is where things can range a lot from person to person. We're not saying you should stop making sure your makeup looks picture-perfect on a daily basis, but there are places you can safely cut corners. Try all-in-one skincare products rather than a face-washing routine with eight different steps, and find out which hairstyles look super cute on you but take only a minute or two to pull off. Lastly, play with makeup looks that are gorgeous but don't waste too much time. If it takes you 20 minutes to finally get your cat eye on-point, maybe try saving that look for nights out and weekends.

Tangled: Rapunzel brushes her hair

(Tangled via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


Stay Organized

This is a super easy step, but it can go overlooked in many morning routines. If you can, keep your essentials in a consistent place when you get home so you always know where they are. If your phone, backpack and house keys are pretty much always in the same place, you'll never have to spend a frantic morning upturning the house to try to remember where you placed them.


Have Breakfast To-Go

Few of us have the time to sit down and enjoy a balanced breakfast with the family on a school day, but that doesn't mean you have to skip the most important meal of the day. Stock the fridge and cabinets with breakfast sandwiches, bars and pouches that allow you to eat on the go. If you can incorporate some of your morning routine into your ride to school, you can save even more time.


Know When You Need to Be Out the Door

Part of a perfectly timed morning routine is knowing when exactly when you need to leave, giving yourself enough time to get to school, with a little wiggle room in case of traffic and other obstructions. If you have trouble leaving home on time, set a five-minute warning alarm so you know when you need to get going. If you find yourself in a massive rush, you may need to set your alarm for a little earlier in the morning. But on the other hand, if you find that you consistently have half an hour to kill before you actually have to leave the house, you can actually adjust your alarm in the morning to wake you up later, allowing you to sleep in even longer.


Having a tough time with your own morning routine? Click HERE to find out how you start your school day, based on your zodiac sign.