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Many people live for their morning cup of cold brew. But, if coffee is out of the picture, you aren’t relegated to feeling like a zombie for the first half of the day. There are several alternatives — with and without caffeine — that will give you the energy boost you need to survive your 8 AM algebra class. Here’s how to feel more awake.
Do some gentle walking or even jumping jacks to get your blood pumping. Exercising boosts the flow of oxygen in your body, increases hormones that wake you up and spurs your muscle cells to produce more mitochondria — also known as the powerhouse of the cell.
Translation? You’ll be wide awake in no time.
It’s near impossible to feel sleepy when you’re doused in chilled water. For some people, a cold shower — perhaps coupled with some energizing soap scents, like grapefruit or mint — can break them out of an early morning haze.
If you can’t have coffee but still want a buzz, try one of these caffeinated alternatives:
You’ll want to pair your morning brew with a high-powered meal to kickstart the day. Try a balanced breakfast with a mix of protein, fat and carbs to help you feel full and give you energy. For example:
Take it easy on short-acting carbs like refined sugar and syrup. They give you an energy spike, but it doesn’t last long, so you should only eat these sugary foods alongside a more substantial meal.
Another tip for how to feel more awake is to stop fighting sleep. If you’re still tired by the time afternoon rolls around, go ahead and take a much-needed siesta. It can be good for you! As long as you keep your nap short and sweet, it can serve as a healthy pick-me-up to beat the after-lunch slump.
If you find yourself very tired on a regular basis, consider how you’re sleeping at night. Good sleep is about more than getting a certain number of hours of shut-eye. You also need to make it through the night without frequent interruptions.
Your habits play a role in how you sleep. Are you browsing Facebook late at night? Bright, blue light signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, and so does anxiously scrolling to see if your friends went on vacation without you. So, stop using your phone well before you need to fall asleep.
Exercising or drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can also keep you awake. Caffeine’s effects last up to six hours, so finish drinking your tea by early afternoon. Wind down for a while after an intense workout so you can transition to feeling sleepy.
If you’re still exhausted after a full night’s sleep, something else may be going on. Certain sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea, can cause you to wake up repeatedly overnight and feel very tired during the day. See a doctor if you’re concerned you might have a sleep disorder.
Giving up coffee can be tough, but there are excellent alternatives you can try to get your morning off to a good start. By incorporating exercise, a healthy breakfast and maybe some good, old-fashioned caffeine in the form of a different beverage, you’ll feel more awake and alert throughout the day.