Do you find it incredibly difficult to wake up in the morning?
When you wake up, is your first instinct to run to your coffee pot and inhale a cup o' jo? Has that been your morning routine for the past two decades?
Waking up and feeling alert is tough for most people. A lot of people who experience this struggle rely solely on coffee, thinking that the caffeine will stimulate energy, alertness and more productivity.
If you've been relying on coffee to wake you up, it might be time to switch it up and find a more natural alternative!
We've come up with a few natural ways to wake up without your coffee. Check it out!
1. Wake Up With Water
Depending on how long you slept, 4-8 hours is a long time to go without water. Your body needs to stay incredibly hydrated for proper functionality.
When you wake up, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, reach for a glass of water. Studies have shown that drinking water when you first wake up jump-starts your metabolism, increases cognitive alertness and can even prevent future sickness.
If you want something with a little more flavor, try out coconut water. This type of water is incredibly hydrating and provides lots of electrolytes.
2. Let the Light In
As humans, we all have this thing within us called 'circadian rhythms'. These rhythms are what make us tired in the evening and wake us up in the morning.
There are certain nuclei in the brain called suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). These nuclei are connected to other parts of the brain and act as a control center for body temperature, feeling awake and various hormonal changes.
The biggest factor in setting this circadian rhythm is light.
If you open up the blinds before you go to bed, the natural gradation of sunlight will align with your circadian rhythm and wake you up more effectively.
3. Walk to Wake Up
If you have a hard time waking up, the thought of exercising in the morning is probably the last thing you want to hear.
Just track with me for a second.
You don't have to get up and do a high-intensity cardio circuit to see benefits of working out in the morning.
When you get up, try going for a nice walk instead.
Some studies suggest that walking in the morning actually burns more calories than that high-intensity cardio circuit would. (60% more calories to be exact, but who's counting?)
Walking in the morning is a great natural way to get your energy up, clear your head before the day, burn fat, get your metabolism going and relieve any stress you might've been carrying.
4. Hop Into Hydrotherapy
If you've been searching for a healthier way to wake up, you've probably heard or entertained the idea of cold showers.
The idea of a cold shower is only partially correct.
If you take only a cold shower you might actually be contributing to your fatigue and overall tiredness. Exposing the body to harsh conditions, such as cold water, throw the body into a certain type of shock.
Due to this shock, the body has to work overtime to thermoregulate and warm you back up. This is why your cold showers actually might be doing you a disservice.
Try this routine instead.
Take a regular shower at a water temperature that you prefer. When you're doing with your cleanliness routine, stand under the shower head with cold water for 30 seconds.
Then turn the temperature up to the highest degree of heat, that you're semi-comfortable with, for 30 seconds. Make sure to end your shower with cold water.
Repeat this process twice and you've just done a DIY hydrotherapy treatment. This type of shower can reduce inflammation, promote blood circulation and activate organ function.
All of these benefits cause your body to recognize that it's awake and release chemicals that reduce fatigue.
5. Turn Up the Music
You've probably got playlists for everything. Your morning should have one as well!
Studies have shown that listening to music first thing in the morning has several benefits. Music puts you in a good mood, can enhance memory, improve cognitive functions and relieve stress and anxiety.
Instead of that really annoying iPhone alarm that sounds like a fog horn going off at 5 AM every morning, opt for your own personal playlist to wake you up. Choose music that's more upbeat.
Adding this to your morning routine will put a certain groove in your step before you've even stepped out the door!
6. The Kitchen is Calling
This might be the most obvious and common sense answer to this problem, but we feel it's important to add.
31 million American adults don't eat breakfast.
That's a ton of people not eating breakfast. It's probably safe to assume that the people who are trying to cut back on coffee are some of the same people that don't eat breakfast.
In this situation, their bodies are missing vital nutrients early in the morning and calling out for something to fill that void. In our society today, coffee is the #1 answer to that problem.
If you don't eat breakfast and are having trouble waking up and truly feeling awake, try it. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Oatmeal, toast, a piece of fruit and a few eggs.
If you're more on-the-go, try out smoothie options. As you probably know, your body uses food for energy. If you don't have breakfast, your body has limited reserves to produce this energy.
7. Be Consistent
If you didn't put it together when we were talking about circadian rhythms earlier, the human body loves consistency. Sleep also requires consistency.
If you are adamant about keeping yourself on a schedule of going to sleep and waking up the same time every day, your body will get used to the schedule and release chemicals at the same time each day.
If you have a very irregular sleep schedule, your body is essentially suffering from micro-jet lag every day. We all know how awful jet lag can be.
Because of this irregularity, your body is playing a guessing game of when it's best to release these chemicals.
Make sure you're getting enough sleep and make sure it's on a consistent schedule. Set an alarm an hour before you should be in bed and this will help create a routine.
8. Make It Essential
In the past ten years, there has been a significant rise in the interest of essential oils. There are typically three schools of thought when it comes to essential oils.
Some think they're bogus. Some think their drops of juice blessed by the Gods. The last party doesn't really know or care.
Whichever you fall into, there are studies that show that aromatherapy has benefits when it comes to staying awake and feeling alert.
Keep a few essential oils like spearmint, lemon or eucalyptus next to your bed. When you're reaching over to turn off your alarm clock, grab one or a few of your oils and rub them on the temples of your head, wrists and under your nose.
This will wake the brain up and promote productivity.
Your Ways to Wake Up
There you have it!
8 natural ways to wake up. No more coffee-reliance for you. Keep in mind that you don't have to employ all of these options.
Play around with them and test to see which ones work best for you and your morning routine (but breakfast should definitely be involved).
If you have any questions, comments or other suggestions about how to wake up without coffee, send them our way! We'd love to chat with you and see what you think.
Welcome to becoming a morning person!