Now that school is back in session, families may be trying to get the hang of a new morning routine.  With packed schedules for parents and kids, it’s necessary to effectively manage time to make the most of busy mornings. Here are some tips for simplifying morning routines and making productive changes that can make life easier and healthier!

Prioritize your sleep

Despite the extra hour, a study reveals that many people don’t actually take advantage of that extra sleep time, as it can be more difficult to fall asleep and easier to wake up earlier or during the night. Poor sleep can be equally detrimental to both kids and adults alike by negatively affecting childhood development and contributing to an increased risks for serious health conditions in adults. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help you and your children wind down at the end of the day.

Try relaxing activities, such as:

  • drinking a cup of tea (flavors like chamomile & lavender have naturally relaxing properties)
  • reading a book for yourself or reading to your children  
  • exercising before bedtime

Eliminating unhealthy late-night habits, can be just as helpful to your sleep as incorporating new, good ones. Be aware of your nighttime behaviors that can negatively impact your family’s sleep like,

  • drinking coffee (or other caffeinated beverages) later in the day
  • staring at a screen within 30 minutes of sleep
  • eating right before bedtime

These changes may not be easy to make overnight, as many of us are often tied to our phones for work, or watch television to help us fall asleep. However, making minor changes in small increments over time (and sticking to them) can offer positive health benefits that are well worth the effort. Try using one of these helpful apps that monitor sleep habits, as a way to track your progress and boost your motivation.


Prepare ahead of time

It’s not uncommon to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day- especially for full households. One way families can ensure mornings go smoothly is with something a simple as practice and preparation. Staying as far ahead of the chaos as possible can save time and help everyone get out the door on time. Start your morning routine as early as the night before with strategic planning, such as:

  • Organizing outfits and supplies the night before
  • Preparing lunches and meals in advance  

Sometimes being late isn’t an option, but with cooler fall weather approaching, going without the necessary weather-appropriate accessories isn’t either. Stay bundled and on schedule by choosing outfits and locating them the night before. Many of us are familiar with the stressful feeling of frantically looking for a missing item while trying to run out the door. Keep backpacks, boots, jackets, etc. by the door of your home. This way, you’ll have quick access to your belongings and a visual reminder to grab them before you leave.

Planning lunches the night before is already popular among parents. Consider taking things a step further with meal prep, or cooking meals in bulk, then portioning and packing them up in containers to take on the go. Buying groceries in bulk can be more cost effective, and setting aside a chunk of time to cook it all on the weekends can save you valuable time during a busy work week. Additionally, this can allow extra time for healthier, more carefully planned meals.


Plan a morning pick-me-up

It may seem like having a successful morning takes a lot of planning, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be enjoyment in the organization. Remember to plan the fun moments too. Scheduling time for yourself can make all the difference in starting your day off right, whether it’s

  • a couple minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee
  • 30 minutes to watch your favorite show


Think about what you need most in your day. Whether it’s a little extra sleep or just a few moments to yourself, plan to carve out that time to help you relax in, whatever that looks like to you. Your sanity is just as valuable as your time.