Your "healthy" morning routine could be hurting you.

Devising the perfect morning routine is a work-in-progress for most of us. We’re convinced that if we could just come up with a better one that our entire lives would improve.

Sort of like finding a magical unicorn.

The perfect morning routine would leave us looking and feeling a bit like this…

Image: Enchanted, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

As opposed to most mornings...

Image: Trainwreck, Universal Pictures

Now experts are taking a look at some of the so-called healthy choices we are making when starting our day. When it comes to waking up, it turns out we could be doing it a whole lot better by avoiding these mistakes.

1. Getting up before the sun

If you jump out of bed at ridiculous-o'clock and think that's a good thing then you are in for a huge disappointment. Your body doesn't want to start the day while it is still dark. That's why getting up early is so hard. You need sunlight to signal to your body that it is time to wake up and get moving, and that advice comes from sleep psychologist Dr Guy Meadows who told the Mirror UK, "Exposure to 30 minutes of natural light in the morning helps set your internal clock and regulates energy levels, appetite and metabolism."

“Open the blinds and let the sun shine in while you get ready for work, and if you have time, have breakfast either outside or sat by a window.”

And take some time to breathe in that fresh morning air.

2. Brushing your teeth

Good oral hygeine is about more than having fresh, minty breath for work. That's why you're actually meant to brush your teeth before eating breakfast instead of after. Toothpaste absorbs into your teeth and protects them from acidic breakfast like fruit, juice and smoothies. Dr Matthew Lloyd from WhiteWash Laboratories even goes so far as to say you shouldn't even rinse the toothpaste off your teeth after you are done. Just spit and off you go. That way your teeth absorb more of that protective goodness.

“Some people find this bizarre," Dr Lloyd told the Mirror UK, "but if you’ve consumed anything acidic, such as fruit juice, coffee or yoghurt, brushing your teeth afterwards can damage your tooth enamel.”

3. Your exercise routine

Getting up at 5am to go for a jog isn't the best choice when it comes to morning exercise, say the experts. Not only is it not good to get up before the sun but also you need to change up your exercise routine because your body will adapt if you do the same old thing each day, meaning the effectiveness of your diligent exercise routine lessens over time. It's also not a good idea to cut your sleep short for exercise.

"If you’re serious about getting fitter, then getting a good night’s sleep needs to be an essential part of your training programme,” says Dr Meadows told the Mirror UK. “Sleep is a time when your muscles grow so sacrificing it negates the effect of going to the gym.”


4. Using your phone in bed

Staying in bed for longer and allowing yourself to bask in the early morning sun is a wonderfully healthy way to start your day but don't spend that time on your phone. It's so tempting to wake up, grab your phone to check the time or turn off your alarm, and then immediately start scrolling thorugh different feeds.

“Looking at a phone screen dries out your eyes but in the mornings it’s worse because you don’t produce the same turnover of tears while you sleep," says optometrist Dr Sarah Farrant in the Mirror UK. “These tears are needed to flush out the eyes so when you first wake up there isn’t as much moisture in them and they’ll be left feeling uncomfortable for much of the day.”

Image: That Old Feeling, Universal Pictures

5. Breakfast

Coffee is not a good breakfast, but neither is vegemite and butter on trashy white bread. Whatever you do though, don't skip it. “If you skip breakfast your body will release more adrenaline to keep you going and your blood-sugar levels will drop,” says nutritionist Rick Hay in the Mirror UK. He says that will lead to cravings later in the day as well as increased stress.

When choosing what to have for breakfast you should also include some protein to keep you fuller for longer so you can concentrate on your work.