Even though most of us reach for the kettle as soon as we wake up, is caffeine really the best way to get up in the morning?
As a drug, caffeine does a really good job of giving a spring in an otherwise slow and tired step. It works by blocking adenosine, the compound responsible for the brain feeling tired, getting to their receptors. This is great for a quick pick me up every now and then but, the more caffeine we consume, the more receptors our brain creates. The more receptors, the more caffeine you need to stay awake. And the loop continues.
To prevent this happening to you, we’ve found the best and most natural ways to wake up, without having to pop to a local Starbucks.
Let in the light
When you wake up, open your curtains. Your body produces a chemical called melatonin when it’s dark outside which makes you sleepy. When you’re exposed to light, melatonin drops in production and you’re left feeling awake and alert.
Alternatively, if you aren’t able to let light in because of a sleeping partner or child, invest in an alarm clock that has a built-in light. They mimic a sunrise by gradually filling the room with illumination and have been proven to help many people with waking up on those darker early mornings.
Stay away from your phone
Checking our phones for notifications as soon as we wake up is making us unhappy, which in turn, makes us tired. In a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, researchers found that when time spent looking at email notifications was restricted, the participants experienced lower stress levels and higher feelings of positivity.
Try not checking your phone for the first half an hour of your day or until you get to work. This way you can embrace the day before feeling obliged to reply to everyone else.
Eat a healthy breakfast
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it is. By eating a breakfast high in fiber and carbs such as oats, your alertness level will last longer in the morning and your cognitive functions increase throughout the day. This means, not only will you stay awake during those dull meetings, but your productivity will dramatically improve.
During sleep, we lose a lot of the 70% of water that makes us up as human beings. This is due to the sweating and breathing we do during our sleep, as well as those midnight toilet breaks. This leads to dehydration, which contributes to that tired feeling you experience in the morning. By having a glass of water in the morning and throughout the day we fight off fatigue. The best part? Water is significantly cheaper.
Get in the gym
There is a reason that 24/7 gyms have started popping up all over the place. By doing a workout first thing in the morning, we elevate our blood flow around our body and increase the oxygen in our brain, leading to better mental performance. Morning workouts also have heaps of health benefits, including releasing the feel-good hormone dopamine as well as helping you stay focused by the time you reach the office.
Turn on the cold water
No one likes a cold shower but by turning down the temperature at the end you will ensure you stay awake during the day. At first, the cold water will shock your body, but it can help to increase your metabolic rate. This means that you are more likely to burn more calories throughout the day as well as reducing that tired feeling.
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