13 Bad Morning Habits and What To Do Instead!

Have you ever wondered why you feel so tired or unmotivated in the morning? 


The answer:

You likely have a lot of bad morning habits!

In this article, we reveal 13 bad morning habits that can ruin your morning and what to do instead.

We’ve found that these morning habits oftentimes affect us negatively for the rest of the day.

That is why we make sure to remove these bad morning habits as much as possible by replacing them with better ones. And we encourage you to do the same! 

Do you recognize some of these morning habits for yourself?

Then it’s time for a change!

1. Hitting the Snooze Button

It’s quite easy to convince yourself to “just 5 more minutes” of sleep when your alarm clocks go off. But the hard truth is that you are setting yourself up for failure before your day has even started… 

You set your alarm clock for a reason, so if you don’t get up when the alarm clock sounds, you have failed your first mission. And you will start your day with a failure which poses unnecessary tension in your mind and a negative bias.


What to do instead?

To avoid this, start by putting your alarm clock longer than an arms distance away so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Don’t plan for snoozing. Plan for starting your day right away. Imagine your alarm clock as a start signal, the race has begun and if you don’t get going you will end up behind. 

  • Put your alarm clock longer than an arms distance away
  • Don’t plan for snoozing
  • See your alarm clock as the start signal of your day

Check out our article 4 Steps to Beat the Snooze Button for more tips to break this bad morning habit.

2. Checking Phone First Thing

I know, it feels like a long time since you checked your social media or email inbox when you wake up. Surely it must be time to get some updates, or else you will be left behind!


Not really….

If you check your phone first thing in the morning you are giving up your control.

Your morning should be protected from the chaos of the world.

The morning is your time to spend with yourself and make yourself as ready as possible to meet the world.

Don’t let the unnecessary buzz and stressors of social media or email affect you. 

Brace yourself with a phone-free morning! 

As put by Julie Morgenstern, author of the book Never Check Email in the Morning, “You’ll never recover. Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless,” she said. “There is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.

What to do instead?

For those of you who rely on your phone as an alarm clock, go old-school and get yourself an old-fashioned alarm clock, leaving your phone in another part of the house. Or set up a rule for yourself; the only thing you are allowed to do on your phone in the morning is to turn off the alarm

Turn off notifications so you won’t be able to see them when turning off your alarm. You want to remove as many distractions as possible. 

  • Get an old-fashioned alarm clock
  • Set a rule for yourself to only turn off the alarm on your phone
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone the night before

3. Skipping Breakfast


People (including myself) may skip breakfast in the morning for a couple of reasons. Some of them could be:

  • I don’t have time to eat breakfast
  • I’m not hungry in the morning
  • I want to lose weight and the fewer calories I eat the better

But, there are solid reasons why breakfast is called the “most important meal of the day” and why it’s a bad habit to skip it. Here are some of the best arguments:

  • Breakfast helps you control your weight
  • Breakfast boosts brainpower
  • Breakfast helps you make better food choices

What to do instead?

To respond to the earlier reasons for not eating breakfast:

  • I’m not hungry in the morningJust have something small and do some short exercise in the morning.
  • I want to lose weight and the fewer calories I eat the betterBreakfast helps you control your weight and helps you make better food choices throughout the day. Also important WHAT you eat!

4. You Make Too Many New Decisions

It’s not a good idea to have an internal vote for every small decision you make in the morning.

→ Should I snooze just 5 minutes more?

  • My tired-self votes YES
  • My controlled-self votes NO

→ Should I do a morning exercise?

  • My disciplined-self votes YES.
  • My lazy-self votes NO.


What to do instead?

Plan your morning the night before to minimize new decision making that will drain your willpower. One of the best ways to minimize decision making is by setting up a morning routine.

If you need help with setting up a morning routine we recommend trying our FREE 7-Day Morning Routine Guide to get you started.

Remember, treat your willpower as a valuable resource that you would like to spare for intensive work or for people that matter to you. 

Plan your morning with an amazing morning routine you look forward to!

  • Plan your morning the night before
  • Set up a morning routine
  • Treat your willpower as a valuable resource

5. Thinking Negative Thoughts

It’s so easy to get caught up in negative thinking in the morning. 

Especially when you are tired, feel overwhelmed by all the todos of the day, or feel stressed. 

What to do instead?

Here are some tips to get into a more positive, uplifting, and relaxed vibe:



Make sure to make time for these types of things in the morning. They are worth it! 

6. Avoiding Light

It might feel quite nice to keep the lights dim in the morning. 

You wouldn’t like a dentist lamp to dazzle you’ve just woken up.

And, I get that you might want like to create a certain kind of morning coziness.

But the longer you keep yourself away from the light the longer you will feel tired.

From a study in 2019, researchers found that if you expose yourself to morning sunlight you will experience a greater sense of alertness.


What to do instead?

Try to go outside to get some fresh morning sunlight or if it’s still dark, make sure to lighten up your home. 

Even light a candle if you like to create some morning coziness. Watching a sunrise is an amazing experience but will of course be more or less challenging depending on where you live and the time of the year.

Just make sure to not avoid the light, seek and welcome it!

  • Go outside and see a sunrise
  • Lighten up your home
  • Light a candle to keep the morning coziness

7. Starting in a Rush

I see two different effects on starting your morning in a rush:

  • You feel stressed and forced to get going with your day. You feel like you are behind your schedule and that life in some sense tries to outrun you. 
  • You feel the adrenaline-kick of being short on time which makes you impressively effective in doing things in the shortest time possible. You feel like a lottery winner every time you catch the bus at the last minute. 

I have experienced both of them, and while the last one has an aspect of excitement to it, they both result in unnecessary tension and energy use.  

If my life is so dull that my time-abuse and lack of planning becomes an adventure itself, it’s time to find another hobby!


What to do instead?

Take the time to enjoy an amazing morning routine or get started with our 7-Day Morning Routine Guide.

Simply go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can be 30 minutes less stressed the next morning.

In the long run, this will do wonders for your body and your mind!

  • Create an amazing morning routine
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier
  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier

8. Not Drinking Water

If you listened to our 8th podcast episode I listed drinking water as one of my top favorite habits. 


It’s not an extraordinary habit, but if you’re not drinking water you’re up for one huge drawback. 

You die. 

Joking aside, but be sure to hydrate yourself after sleep. Water, apart from being the tastiest liquid on the planet, will wake you up, kick-start your metabolism, make you think better, and keep your skin moist and clean.

And it’s so easy!

What to do instead?

  • Start your morning with 2 glasses of water. 

If you’re often thirsty when you wake up you probably already do this, but if you’re not. Drink water anyway! 


Your body will thank you and so will I (because you removed a bad morning habit, and that’s all I care about)!

9. Leaving Your Bed Unmade

The classic habit of making your bed first thing in the morning still goes strong. 

Easy to miss, I know, but will often be your first win of the day (apart from getting out of bed).

It’s just nice to start with a neat little win. It sets you up for more wins in the day.

Might sound a bit silly but the psychology of framing yourself for success as early as possible in the day will have a huge impact on the rest of your day. 

What to do instead?

  • Just make your bed bro, duh?



Make your bed and create a winning head.

I just made that up, but it’s quite true!

10. Wake Up at Different Times

This one is usually no problem on weekdays when you have to work or study at the same time every morning.

The weekends are fine to sleep a bit longer, that’s at least what I think. 😉 

The problem is when you don’t have a specific schedule to follow and wakes up at different times every morning. 

Waking up at different times may affect your sleep quality.

What to do instead?

You should strive to wake up at the same time (at least on weekdays) as much as possible to set your body’s rhythm.

When your body becomes used to wake up at a specific time there is no longer a need for hitting the snooze button.

Also, the likelihood of you completing your morning routine will increase dramatically if you do it at the same time every morning.

11. Complain

This one rubs my nerves…

If you’re a complainer, get your shit together!

Sorry, but seriously. 

Too often have I heard people complain about 

  • how early it is, 
  • how bad the weather is, 
  • how much traffic it is, 
  • how tired they feel, 
  • how much they dislike their jobs/studies/partners/friends or just about anything!



I get that you might feel slightly uncomfortable when you’re tired or that it sucks you have to outlive the clouds this morning. But the fact is, complaining about them will only make them worse. 

Is that what you want? 

If you dislike the traffic jam on your way to work, do you think complaining about it will make a difference? 

Quite the opposite actually, it will for you only become worse because the fact that there is a traffic jam will matter to you even more. 

What to do instead?

Just relax, take a deep breath. You could be dead, but your not so it’s still quite a good day anyways.


Stop complaining about things out of your control in the morning, this will only do more harm than good. 

When you feel the urge to complain:

  1. Take a deep breath and just accept the situation. 
  2. Then ask if there is something you can do actively to better the situation. 
  3. If there is none, bite your tongue and just keep going with your day. 

It will serve your emotional self good to not get tangled up in every little detail that might be tempting to complain about. 

12. Not Moving Your Body

Of course, you have to move your body to get out of bed (at least I have to) 

But what I mean is to get some real muscle work going.

What to do instead?

  • 10 sit-ups, 
  • 10 squats, 
  • 10 push-ups,
  • 15 minute morning walk,
  • Jump for 1 minute,
  • 2-3 stretching exercises

This will tell your body that the day has started and it that should get ready to move so you can move on with your day. 

I often do 20 push-ups as my quick and easy morning exercise. 

I mean, calling it an exercise is maybe exaggerating but you get my point.

You can start even smaller and do some stretching in your bed to just get out of your sleeping position.

Just start moving as soon as possible in the morning!


13. Drinking Coffee the First Thing You Do

It hurts to write this but research shows that drinking coffee too early will make your body produce less cortisol which leaves you feeling more tired and stressed throughout your day than if you’d waited. 

Different sources are telling you to not drink coffee before 09:30 am, 10:00 am, or whatever. 


But I’ve found that the best way for me is to use coffee as a motivation to complete my morning routine. Which also helps me postpone the black goodness a bit. 

What to do instead?

Being conscious of how you consume coffee is the first step. Only drinking because you always do is not the way to go. 

Try to see your morning cup of coffee as a reward, not for just getting up from bed, but for completing a morning routine that will take you forward in life.

Your future mornings are in your hands 

Some similar traits from the bad morning habits above are that they:

  • Sets you up for failure 
  • Sacrifices long term goals for short term desires 
  • Makes you act upon your impulses instead of sticking to a plan
  • Limits your opportunities instead of providing you with new ones

Have those in mind when you wake up tomorrow!

Not having good morning habits is like being unarmed to fight, and an unarmed warrior on the battlefield is as good as dead.

Remember, a change in bad morning habits leads to a change in life and the only proper way to eliminate bad morning habits is to replace them with good ones.

If you want more inspiration to a morning full of good habits I can highly recommend trying out our 7-Day Morning Routine Guide. It’s completely free and will hopefully motivate you to make the most out of your mornings.

Your future mornings are in your hands!

All the best, 


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Hey fellow habit-lovers! My name is André, former procrastinator and day-dreamer turned habit and personal development enthusiast. Here at Habithon, we believe that good habits make up a good life. My favorite habits are journaling, cold showers, and power-naps! My wish is for you to get inspired and start your own journey towards better habits and a better lifestyle.

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