11 Things To Do In the Morning To Look More Awake, According To Science
There you are, standing in the bathroom and looking groggily into the mirror. You just woke up, and it is obvious. A tired reflection shines back at you revealing a sallow complexion, puffy under eyes, and skin that has seen better days. And in that moment, you resolve to figure out ways to look more awake.
Of course this is way easier said than done, especially if you feel as tired as you look. That's where a big cup of coffee can come in handy, as well as a few energy shots. One of these tactics will hopefully help you to perk up, and feel a bit more able to get through the day.
Unfortunately, though, all the energy shots in the world don't do much for visible signs of tiredness. You know, the ones that totally call you out for your lack of sleep — puffy eyes, redness, aforementioned sallowness. Not only do they make you look a bit too much like a zombie, but they can also make you feel like one, too. Personally, if I catch a glimpse of my haggard expression, my last bit of energy drains away instantly, and I'm ready for a nap.
That's why the below tips are kind of necessary. Check them out for ways to look (and even feel) way more awake.
1. Smell A Lemon
I know, it may sound strange, but the scent of citrus really does have some pretty amazing powers. According to an article on Sleep.org, "... the smell of the fruits can boost your body’s production of serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel happy. They also reduce levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine, so you’ll wake up but still feel calm." The goal of course being to feel awake, and then (hopefully) look awake.
2. Go For A Run
The idea may fill you with dread, but a morning run really is where it's at when it comes to looking (and feeling) more awake. As Dr. Tina M. St. John said on AZCentral.com, "During sleep, your brain activity and metabolism slow. The gradual increase in alertness that follows awakening requires increased metabolic activity in your brain cells. Going for a morning run helps boost your mental focus and alertness by increasing blood flow to your brain." In short, you'll feel much more invigorated.
3. Use Some Eye Drops
Bloodshot eyes are not a great look — especially when you're trying to appear well-rested. So do yourself a favor and get some eye drops. They will cure your redness with a decongestant called tetrahydrozoline, according to WebMD.com. It works by temporarily narrowing the blood vessels in the eye, thus making you fit for a day out in public.
4. Take A Cold Shower
OK, so you don't have to freeze yourself the entire time. But do spend the last 30 seconds of your shower blasting cold water. As Phil Dumontet said on Entrepreneur, "When exposed to cold water, our arteries and veins constrict. This temporary tightening allows blood to flow at a higher pressure, which is great for cardiovascular health." The cold may even help clear up depression, according to a 2008 study. At the very least, your blood will be pumping, and your skin will appear as refreshed as ever.
5. Apply Under Eye Cream
When it comes to appearing more awake, the number one spot that will give you away are tired, puffy eyes. So the trick is to use an eye cream that contains caffeine, which will reduce under eye puffiness by increasing lymphatic drainage, and helping to the tighten the skin, according to Aryen Jackson-Cannady on WebMD. Roll some on, and hopefully your puffiness will be taken down a notch.
6. Splash Cold Water On Your Face
If the above cold shower idea was too much for you, then give this tip a try. Simply fill your sink with cold water, add some ice cubes (yes, ice cubes), and get to splashing your face. As Dawn Wilder said on HuffingontPost.com, "It instantly tightens pores and shrinks little capillaries, making your skin appear more even. Plus, it makes you feel more awake, which will definitely affect the way you look."
7. Call Your Mom
Anything you can do to de-stress in the morning is definitely going to help you feel more alert, and thus more awake. So take a second to talk to someone encouraging, like your mama. In fact, research suggests merely phoning your mother could help decrease feelings of stress, according to Kate Bratskier on HuffingtonPost.com. Give it a try, and see if you don't feel more peppy.
8. Wear Yellow
It's no surprising that some colors are more energizing than others. If you tend to dress in all black, then get ready to look a bit more tired. Yellow, on the other hand, can trick people into think you're more awake than you actually are. That's because we associate yellow with light, warmth, and energy, according to Sleep.org. But I get that yellow isn't for everyone. When that's the case, put some sunny objects near your bed. Seeing them first thing in the morning may help wake you up.
9. Drink A Ton Of Water
Looking a little tired? It may be time to down some water. As Julee Wilson said on HuffingtonPost.com, "Dehydration is one of the worst offenders when it comes to looking tired. Skin looks gray or sallow and wrinkles become more prominent when you haven’t had enough water. To plump up your cells, simply increase your water intake. Aim for eight glasses per day."
10. Relax With Some Tea
Go ahead and drink some tea, and then consider putting the bags on your tired, tired face. In fact, plan ahead, and put some chamomile tea bags in the fridge the night before. "In the morning, place the chilled tea bags over your puffy lids and under-eyes for 10 minutes. Since chamomile has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it'll help reduce swelling and repair damaged cells," said Alexandra Duron on Prevention.
11. Try A Breathing Technique
It may be possible to liven up your face a bit with some simple breathing called Pranayama. According got Duron, "Pranayama, a breathing technique straight from the yoga studio, can help refresh your face ... The practice boosts circulation, moving the blood that stagnates in the body during sleep." All you do is breathe in one nostril and then out the other. Here's a more detailed how-to.
And just like that, you'll be lookin' fresh, and ready to face the day.
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