7 Natural Ways To Feel More Awake Instantly

Life can sometimes be exhausting, so you might want to brush up on ways to feel more awake naturally, rather than reach for another double espresso. You might be having a tricky time adjusting to a new job and the sleepless nights that come with it, or maybe you've been burning the candle at both ends for some other reason. No matter what age you are and no matter what you do, there will be times when you need a burst of energy to help you get through the day.

It's common knowledge that in large quantities, caffeine isn't so great for humans, but many of us use it as our go to drug of choice to make us feel more alert. We joke about our addiction to caffeine, but it's not really a laughing matter when taken to the extreme. Evelyn Toner, specialist dietitian at London Bridge Hospital, told The Huffington Post about the dangers of too much caffeine in our diets, she said, "Too much caffeine can make you restless, anxious and irritable. It can impair sleep quality, and excessive quantities may lead to headaches, a fast heart rate, nausea and tremors..." Toner mentioned it may also increase the risk of osteoporosis if you regularly eat or drink a lot of it. In order to quell your caffeine addiction, here are some natural ways to feel more awake.

1. Exercise

Camille Peri, features editor of Caring.com wrote about the benefits of exercising to reduce fatigue in an article for WebMD. Peri said, "In an analysis of 70 studies involving more than 6,800 people, University of Georgia researchers found that exercise was more effective in increasing energy and reducing daytime fatigue than some medications used to treat sleep problems. Regular exercise also improves quality of sleep."

Yoga seems to be a great choice in terms of the type of exercise to choose to combat sleepiness. Carolyn Gregoire, senior writer for The Huffington Post, spoke to Vyda Bielkus, yoga instructor and founder of the Health Yoga Life studio in Boston about energizing yoga poses. Gregoire said, "When you're stuck in an afternoon slump or waking up bleary-eyed after a late night, yoga may not be the first thing you turn to for a jolt of energy." She explained, "Turns out, in addition to improving sleep quality, relieving stress and anxiety and improving overall physical health, yoga can also be an excellent natural energy-booster." So whenever you feel a lull in your energy, pull a few energizing yoga poses to help you get past it.

2. Fresh Air

Granted, we don't all live near a natural beauty spot, but getting outside for some fresh air can be beneficial to everyone. Abigail Wise, a writer on the Healthy Living team at The Huffington Post, reports on the benefits of fresh air. Wise informed readers that, "Research shows that spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people." Instead of having lunch at your desk, take it to a local park and re-energize yourself so you're ready for the rest of your day.

3. Natural Energy Drink

Guru Organic Energy Drink (pack of 24), $48, Amazon

Instead of reaching for a coke or a red bull for your energy hit, why not try a natural energy drink instead? With ingredients including organic green tea leaf extract, organic guarana seed extract, and organic echinacea flower extract it's bound to help you get through your day.

4. Power Nap

If you're really struggling to keep your eyes open, you may be in need of a power nap. The Daily Mail reported on the scientific benefits of taking a nap, "If you want to wake up from your nap feeling immediately rested then either brief a snooze of 10-20 minutes or a longer 90 minute sleep are your best options." So if you're stuck for time opt for a nap no longer than 20 minutes, but if you can nap to your heart's content, go for an hour and a half luxury rest.

5. Energy Bites

Energy bites appear super easy to make and people rave about the benefits of these tasty treats. In an article for the BBC website, Ella Woodward wellness warrior, blogger, and recipe book author, shares her Almond & Chia Energy Bites recipe. Woodward discusses the benefits of her bites saying, "I’ve been making these balls almost every week for the last few years and they’ve done wonders to keep my energy going, even when I’m at my busiest!" There are tons of variations out there, so there's sure to be a recipe to suit your taste.

6. Meditation

Light Watkins, meditation practitioner and teacher, author, and TEDx Speaker discusses the benefits of morning meditation in an article for Mindbodygreen. Watkins says, "Meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a deep state of relaxation during the practice. So even though you may wake up from sleep still tired, after meditating for 20 minutes, you’ll get energy-boosting endorphins that’ll help you spring to life without having to rely solely on caffeine." So ditch your morning coffee for a spot of morning meditation.

7. Tapping

Shape spoke to Marian Buck-Murray, a nutrition coach and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner about tapping your thymus for energy. Buck-Murray explained, "Your thymus is located at center top of your chest, below the collar bone, between your breasts. When tapped it triggers the production of T-cells, boosts energy, relieves stress, and increases strength and vitality," and Shape informed readers, "For an instant boost of energy, Buck-Murray recommends tapping your thymus with your fingertips for 20 seconds, while slowly and deeply breathing in and out." Next time you feel a little sleepy, tap into your potential to re-energize yourself.

Step away from the coffee or the chemical caffeinated drinks and opt for a more natural, energy boosting alternative instead.

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