Around this colder time of year, it can be difficult to get out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. As temperatures drop, we may find ourselves tempted to reach for the snooze button more times that we would hope. Although coffee has many documented health benefits and is a treasured part of many of our morning routines, it is helpful to know that there are natural ways to wake yourself up in the morning without the caffeine. To get yourself off to the right start in the morning, choose your breakfast mindfully, hydrate immediately, make exercise a priority, trying stimulating your brain, or take a cold shower. Challenge yourself to these five wake up tips, when you are hoping to cut down on your caffeine intake.
1 Choose your breakfast mindfully
If you wake up tired, you may want to treat yourself at breakfast, but be wary of the effects of food on mood. Citrus boosts serotonin, a brain chemical messenger which can boost mood, so adding some lemon, some orange, or some grapefruit to your breakfast can help you feel more energized. If you are having trouble waking up, it is also a good idea to go easy on your breakfast carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrate-rich meals can make you feel sleepy, because of their effects on blood sugar and on the brain. Overeating is the main cause of after-eating drowsiness, so choose small portions of protein rich foods for breakfast. Great pick-me-up and wake-me-up breakfasts include eggs, green smoothies, and yogurt.
Try drinking eight or more ounces of water, as soon as you wake up. Health experts often recommend drinking 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Healthy hydration helps increase and maintain energy levels throughout the day, boosts your immune system and metabolic processes, helps the body detoxify, and improves your complexion. Your brain is made up on 75% water, so giving it proper hydration promotes proper function. Leave a water bottle next to your bed, so that you remember to start the day off right.
It may sound like the hardest thing in the world, but try making early morning exercise a priority. Exercise releases endorphins, which will boost your mood. If you can’t fit in at least a 30 minute sweat session, try a seven minute work out, some light stretching at home, or at least commit to walking to work or climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator. The long-term benefits of exercise include improvements in sleep quality, mood, daily productivity, and a reduction in stress and anxiety levels. If you can squeeze in an early morning work out at least once or twice a week, you will see improvements in your health and wellbeing in the long term, and you will feel the mood-boosting effects of exercise in the short term.
4 Stimulate your brain
To wake yourself up faster, engage your brain in a stimulating activity. Read a few current events articles about an issue that you are passionate about. Try five minutes of a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or meditation. Have a discussion with someone you care about, either in person or over the phone. Try making plans about something that you are passionate about for later in the day to feel more motivated and positive right away. On your way to work, have a conversation with a stranger.
5 Cold water
Try taking a cold shower. Cold water and cold temperatures are an incredibly effective wake up tool. There are many benefits of cold showers, including immune system benefits, weight management benefits, skin and hair benefits, and quicker recovery after exercise. Cold showers boost your circulation and get your blood flowing. The stimulating shock of the cold water can perk you up and get you off to the right start every morning. Remember that cold showers can also start as warm showers with a few moments of a cold blast at the end. For an immediate boost in the morning or at any time of the day, splash cold water onto your face.