When my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. this morning, I muttered a few expletives under my breath and immediately left to get coffee. And when I say immediately, I mean I didn't even put a bra on first. There are some mornings where I feel like I've forgotten how to wake up without caffeine, like that one morning I was this close, this close, to leaving the apartment without pants. I would've put that poor barista in therapy. Every week, I vow to give up coffee and switch to tea (which, admittedly, still has caffeine — just less of it). I usually make it for a day or two before I start to feel this gaping hole in my life, and my soul gently weeps.
But our dependence on caffeine-packed drinks in the morning really is unnecessary, as science has found all sorts of ways for us to wake our bodies up more naturally; furthermore, a lot of these methods set us up to be more alert and energetic for most of the day, without any kind of crash. While sleeping, our bodies are in one state; tricking yourself into waking up more efficiently is simply a matter of switching to a different state.
So, what can you do to shake off the slumber and prepare to attack the day with energy and focus? AsapSCIENCE recently put together a whole video on the subject, and it's full of useful tips. Check out five of my favorites below, and scroll down to watch the full video. Your body will thank you for it.
1. Find The Light
Our brain secretes melatonin to help regulate our sleep. When it's dark, our bodies produce more melatonin to make us sleepy; when we're exposed to light, our levels of melatonin drop. Something as simple as opening the curtains will get the job done, although if it's the middle of winter (which often means waking up before the sun rises), a sun lamp will work, too.
2. End Your Shower On A Cold Note
Cold water can help us feel more alert and increase our metabolic rate, helping us fight off fatigue.
3. Enjoy A Healthy Breakfast
Eating first thing in the morning can help you feel more awake. Avoid simple sugars, as they can lead to a faster energy crash, while fiber and healthy carbs can help sustain alertness.
4. Drink Orange Juice
Citrus fruits are rich in flavonoids helps increase alertness and cognitive function.
5. Listen To Music
A morning jam session causes a state of arousal and increases blood pressure while simultaneously releasing dopamine, which can improve movement and emotion.
For more information on waking up without caffeine, you can watch the full video here: