Getting up when you're still feeling tired can be difficult — especially when you realize you have to be at work pretty much right now. And with long hours grogginess stretching out before you, the fatigue can feel even more overwhelming. But that's where all the clever ways to wake yourself up ASAP can come in handy.
While this is usually done with an onslaught of coffee and energy drinks, you may eventually need to turn to less obvious ways of waking yourself up. These tricks include ways to get the blood flowing to your head, ways to clear the bleariness from your eyes, and tips for making you feel human again.
Of course, a good night's sleep is always the best way to achieve this. Everyone should be snagging the recommended seven to nine hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And yet, nobody's perfect and sometimes sleepiness will reign supreme.
If that's the case, start by making a pact with yourself to get more sleep tonight. But until then, try some of these fancy tricks to wake yourself up and get through the day, whether you're trying to get going in the morning, and prevent yourself from snoozing at your desk. Below are some ways to do just that. And surprisingly, no coffee is required.
1. Make Your Bed
Before you stumble out of bed and try to do anything else, turn right around and make it. "While making your bed just might be the chore you’ve hated since you were a kid, for a lot of people this simple act can feel like your first accomplishment of the morning and leave you feeling energized and ready to conquer the rest of your day," Sarrah Hallock, holistic nutritionist and health coach from GoodLooks, tells Bustle.
It sounds so simple, and yet it's a small habit that can start your day off on a good foot, help you feel more prepared, and thus more energized.
2. Tug On Your Hair
While this tip may sound bizarre, it really can help wake you up. All you have to do is gently tug at your hair to get blood flowing to your head, which can help you feel more awake. And the sensation can be a big help, too, since a light tug will help you feel more alert — and make it easier to get on with the day.
3. Go Look At The Sky
Even if you're rushing sleepily into the office, and are dying to sit down, you can still probably find time to spend a few moments outside. "The proverbial 'breath of fresh air' has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and fatigue," noted Kate Bratskier on Huffington Post. Taking a moment to pause, go outside and take a walk can help you feel more alert, and ready to take on the activities waiting for you afterward. The benefits will be totally worth it, so go catch yourself some rays.
4. Pop A Super Minty Mint
If you're nodding off, one quick way to wake yourself up is with a hit of minty freshness, which can come in the form of gum, breath mints, and even peppermint tea. The effervescent effects will do a great job of waking you up. And, with gum, some studies have even shown that the act of chewing can make you more alert.
If you tend to feel groggy or sleep at work, keep a few mints (of the extra strong variety) and other refreshing items on hand, for a quick pick-me-up.
5. Read Some Fiction
If you're too sleepy to concentrate at work, then it might be a good idea to step away and do something else for a while. This might include going for a walk or stepping out into the sun, in order to feel revived. But you can also delve into a good book or try doing something creative. "Writing can [...] help wake up the brain and the body," Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, tells Bustle. So if you're feeling sleepy, allow yourself a few minutes to read, and you may perk right up.
6. Drink A Cold Glass Of Water
If your coffee supply has run out, you may want to pour yourself a cold (very cold) glass of water. "Like [a cold] shower, it’ll trigger your adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain," Bratskier said, which are all good things when you're seconds away from falling asleep.
You can also splash cold water on your face to feel more alert, thanks to the brief shock it'll provide. Simply pop into the bathroom, gently pat your face, and continue on with your day.
7. Smell A Zesty Essential Oil
Ever notice how bright, happy scents can perk you up? Use this to your advantage by keeping a few essential oils stashed in your desk, for moments when you're extra tired. "Eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary are all scents known for having uplifting and energizing effects," said Amy Marturana on SELF. So get thy sleepy self to a health food store and stock up.
8. Puzzle Yourself Awake
If you're too tired to get up, go outside, or pour a glass of water, then the least you can do is reach for a fun puzzle. "If you can't stimulate your body, stimulate your brain," suggested Kevin Daum on Inc.com. "Try a crossword or play Sudoku." Anything that will get your brainwaves flowing.
9. Strike Up A Convo With A Stranger
Let's say you're standing at the bus stop, and feel your eyelids closing. The best thing you can do is turn to the person next to you and see if they're down for a chat. "Acting tired is no big deal in front of friends, but our bodies tend to wake up pretty quickly to avoid any sort of social awkwardness," Matthews Rogers said on Lifehacker. By being nice to them, listening to what they have to say, and (hopefully) having an interesting conversation, you may feel more refreshed.
10. Treat Yourself
While you may not want to go on a shopping spree in your half-asleep daze, consider treating yourself to something nice. "The rush of buying something new is always good for a perk up," Daum said. You might get a friend a little gift online, or pick up some fresh flowers on a whim. Anything new and exciting can help wake you up.
11. Flip Your Head Upside Down
"With feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, bend down as far as you can go and look back between your legs," Rogers suggested. "The massive rush of blood to the head can be a big pick-me-up, just be sure you don't come back up too quickly, or dizziness replaces clarity."
If you have to wake up quickly, these tricks might be just what you need to make it through the day. Just remember that they won't stave off true sleep exhaustion, and aren't a good replacement for real sleep.
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