Whether you’re waking up with the sun, to a ringing alarm clock, or to your son barging through the bedroom door, we could all use a kickstart of high energy in the morning to power us through that ﬁrst hour or two when we’re still asking for a little more sleep.
Here are our top 5 tips to stay awake and alert no matter how many hours of zzz’s you’ve gotten in.
This is a list designed to be able to do anywhere. A lot of the time we put conditions on our happiness or on what “a good day” should look like, and it limits us. Instead of demanding that we have an hour to ourselves every morning, or that we wake up in total peace every day with exactly 8.5 hours of sleep each night, I suggest committing to a few quick and easy ways to naturally perk yourself up, anywhere, anytime.
It’s simple, but it’s oh so necessary. I’m not talking, roll-out-your-yoga mat, 45 minutes meditation beforehand (although if that’s your thing, go ham!), this is just a quick reaching up of the arms to the sky. Probably a yawn that follows, and a rolling out of the neck. Like what you see cartoon characters do when they wake up. This simple movement signals to the muscles in our body “I’m up, I’m awake, it’s time to move”. The yawn oxygenates our blood and stimulates nourishment to the brain cells, and as you reach up to the sky, you’ll involuntarily push your chest out which expands the heart centre where a lot of energy can build up overnight.
It’s quick, it’s simple, you can do it anywhere, and best of all it works. Give it a try right now, and see how much more open and awake you feel!
2. Drink lemon water
Another old adage, but so true! Lemon squeezed into warm water energizes the body, freshens the breath, stimulates the metabolic and digestive system and boosts the immune system. I also have a quick tip, if you know you’re a bit sluggish or rushing in the morning, pre-squeeze a couple of lemons at the start of the week and pour the juice into ice trays to freeze. In the morning, all you have to do is pop a lemon ice cube into warm water for a “freshly-squeezed” lemon water. Pretty zippy!
3. Avoid the snooze button
As tempting and temporarily satisfying as it can be to hit the snooze button, each time you fall back asleep for another one of those “ten more minutes!” your body isn’t able to register whether it’s supposed to be waking up or going back to bed. Your sleep cycle is disrupted and you’ll wake up groggier and feeling more sluggish than if you had woken up as soon as the alarm went off.
4. Take a cold shower
Ah this old nugget of wisdom! Kundalini yogis practice it, and a lot of medical studies document the beneﬁts of cold showers to the brain. Obviously in the depths of winter this may not make you a happier camper in the morning, but when it’s warm enough, a cold shower is one of the surest ways to completely perk up your nervous system and get your heart rate going. I know it doesn’t sound like the best way to wake up, but once you hop out of the cold shower, you’ll notice you’re far more refreshed, awake and alert.
Depth of winter hack: Take a hot shower, then for the last 10-30 seconds, switch it to cold. Give it a shot!
5. Make a quick mental gratitude list
The most important of all the steps! It’s tempting to wake up and immediately think of the things you’ve got to do, or to wake up and start automatically going about getting ready for your day. But really, when you think about it, a lot of people don’t even get the chance to wake up again the next day. Some days can feel like a slog, but overall, if you’ve gotten up in the morning, there is something to be thankful for.
I like to lie in bed for just 5 minutes extra and quickly run through my mind that I’m so grateful my family members are near me, they’re healthy and happy. I’m grateful for the coffee I’m about to drink, and the food I’m about to eat. And once your mind starts on that track, you’ll start thinking of other things you’re happy about that make waking up so worth it.
I hope you give these tips a try and make the best of each morning!
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