The CDC has recommended at least seven hours of night sleep to feel rested and recharge your batteries for the next day’s activities. Even if you do your best to adhere to this, waking up some mornings feeling sluggish is common. It is common for people to jump-start their mornings with energy-filled food. But aside from this, there are other possibly better ways to expel morning fatigue and get the energy you need for the day. Below are 14 simple ways to consider.
- Avoid the snooze button
Snoozing for some additional minutes is tempting when the alarm wakes you abruptly. Unfortunately, you will likely feel more tired when you wake up for the second time. This is because sleep inertia may cause you not to feel the full benefits of your snooze as you try to fall asleep again. This confusing feeling and fatigue can zap your energy. For many, it would be better to leave bed immediately and start the day when the alarm goes off for the first time. You can also keep your alarm some distance away from your bed. You will feel more awakened when you move physically to switch it off.
- Go outside
Sunlight is known to raise the serotonin levels in the body and increase energy in the morning. Researches also suggest that spending time in nature can make you feel more alert and alive. Therefore, going outside to enjoy the early morning sun is beneficial. If this feels inconvenient, you can open your curtains to allow some sunlight.
- Drink more water in the morning
You probably already know the many benefits of keeping your body well-hydrated. On the other hand, dehydration can lead to fatigue, and drinking water immediately after you wake up is a good way to eliminate sleepiness. It also puts your body in a better wakeful state and stimulates your organs and systems. You can drink warm water alone or spice it with cinnamon or lemon for more stimulation.
- Don’t skip stretching
Stretching can also help warm up your muscles and stimulate circulation in the body. Many individuals stretch naturally in the morning. For instance, some may put their arms over their heads or extend their legs while in bed. You can be more intentional by spending at least five minutes stretching or performing simple yoga movements to aid in awakening your body and muscles. An SDSU Extensions study suggests that morning stretches can relieve any pain or tension from sleeping the night before and boost blood flow to prepare the body for the day’s activities. You can also stretch before bed to promote good sleep and wake up feeling more energised.
- Complete some quick exercises
Exercising is usually the last thing on your mind when you want to crawl back under the covers. However, it can be what you need to start your morning. For instance, several studies have highlighted aerobic exercise as helpful for boosting blood flow to feel more alert and decrease fatigue. Exercising doesn’t have to be intense. It can be as simple as brisk walking, bike riding, completing a few jumping jacks or dancing to music in the morning. These exercises can increase your breathing and heart rate to awaken your body faster. Even if you’re in a rush, you can still squeeze in a few exercises, including a few rounds of jumping jacks and high knees or perhaps 30 seconds of torso twists. You can also perform a short cardio session on your commute to work.
- Take a cold shower
A cold shower can make you feel more invigorated and energised in the morning. While a warm shower relaxes your body and mind, cold showers do the complete opposite. A 2016 research revealed participants’ increased norepinephrine concentration level after a cold shower. Another also reports that it can cause deeper tissue blood vessels to expand, leading to increased blood flow, heart rate and circulation. As a result, a cold shower can awaken your body and make you feel more alert. You can splash your face with cold water if you don’t feel like having a cold bath. It might have a similar effect on your body.
- Listen to soothing music
Music has been shown to stimulate circuits and boost creativity and productivity. So you can listen to your favourite genre, whether you like rock, hip-hop or classical music, to lift your mood and beat any feeling of tiredness in the morning. And it is stimulating and arousing enough to get rid of any fatigue. If you feel you don’t have the energy to complete some morning tasks, You can put together a playlist of your favourite songs. You can use it as fuel for completing your morning routine before leaving your house. You can also involve the family, and it is a great way to teach your kids how to motivate themselves at the start of their day.
- Keep your breakfast light
Breakfast is crucial for energising your body. However, it can have the opposite effect if the meal is too large. It is common to notice people feeling sluggish as their body digests a large meal. A large carbohydrate meal will cause a spike in your sugar level. Consequently, your body will produce insulin to normalise it, resulting in fatigue. You might consider stimulants like caffeine for a quick energy boost. However, a smaller, healthier breakfast can help you begin the day quicker and maintain your energy levels throughout. Some healthier breakfasts include a fruit and nut breakfast bowl, egg wraps, a healthy porridge bowl, a turmeric latte, pancakes and overnight oats.
Similarly, try to avoid sugary foods until lunchtime. Sugary foods and beverages like pastries, breakfast cereals, and sweetened drinks may cause a blood sugar spike, resulting in fatigue. It is, therefore, advisable to read the nutrition labels on your breakfast foods to know how much sugar you take for breakfast and cut back as much as possible. It can be useful to have whole foods such as oranges, apples and carrots on the table.
- Try breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are simple yet very useful and effective. It can increase the oxygen circulating in your body to make you feel more alert. So take long, deep breaths to feel more awake and attentive after you wake up. You can also practice mindful breathing meditation by focusing on your breathing for a positive energy boost. It will help you be more present, a good way to start your day. This technique has also been shown to offer a sense of calm and peace.
- Take less coffee
Low energy in the morning is nothing new. It is more common when your sleep is interrupted, or you don’t get enough. Fortunately, coffee is an extremely simple approach to enhancing your morning energy level. However, be mindful when consuming this beverage as too much of it could indirectly result in fatigue later in the day. Moderation is key, and you are better off using the best coffee grinder to easily and quickly brew your morning energy booster. This can also help you track how you are consuming
- Practise good sleep habits
If your night routine can have such an impact on your sleep, so can your morning routine. Sleep hygiene involves recommended practices for falling asleep at night. These include shutting off devices an hour before bed, going to bed simultaneously every night, and establishing a comfortable sleeping environment. Waking up at the same time every morning can also sustain your circadian rhythm, the inner biological clock responsible for feeling sleepy.
- Have something to look forward to
Having something exciting to look forward to can provide just that rush of energy and motivation you need. The thought of preparing your favourite breakfast, talking to a buddy about an upcoming game during your commute, or meeting a crush for a mid-morning walk can get you out of bed. It can also be an early morning podcast or radio show in your morning routine.
- Get a mental health assessment
Research has established a link between poor mental health and sleep disruption that could lead to morning tiredness. And especially if you have not engaged in any physically straining activities, psychological factors may be responsible for your morning fatigue. The usual causes include sadness, anxiety and stress. People suffering from depression, in particular, usually feel worse in the morning. One way to find out is to track your mood. However, if it becomes persistent, it is recommended to seek help from a mental health expert like a psychologist or counsellor. They would help you accurately assess your mental health and offer treatment, intervention, or advice based on the results.
You can get rid of morning fatigue in several ways. Incorporating the tips mentioned here are a few ways to create a good morning routine and habit to help you feel energised throughout each day. Though it feels overwhelming to practice all the above, you combine a few at a time until you find the ones that work for you.