All of us have experienced one of those mornings when try as we may, we are just unable to shake off the feeling of drowsiness and sluggishness. It’s even more frustrating when you feel like this after getting enough sleep. In an effort to feel more energized and to perk ourselves upon such tiring days, most of us just chug down cup after cup of coffee. However, being over-caffeinated is only going to leave you feeling anxious and jittery, along with the perpetual trip to the bathroom. There are several better ways to banish such type of morning fatigue and continue with your day feeling energized and ready to go. Here are some fatigue-fighting hacks to an energetic morning.
Top 8 Fatigue Fighting Hacks to an Energetic Morning
Avoid Hitting The Snooze Button
Most of us are in the habit of setting the alarm to wake up the next morning. However, a common habit of many people is also to instantly hit the snooze button as soon as the alarm rings in order to get 5 to 10 minutes of extra sleep.(1,2,3) This beloved snooze button is one of the biggest reasons behind why we feel sluggish throughout the day. Research has found that spending the last half hour or so of our nighttime sleep in ‘fragmented sleep’ has significant consequences on our ability to function properly during the day.(4,5,6)
Rather than hitting the snooze button, try using the 90-minute sleep cycle hack. This can be done by setting two alarms. One for 90 minutes before you actually want to wake up, and one for when you actually need to wake up. The theory behind this 90-minute sleep hack is that this 90 minutes of sleep that you get between snoozes will help the body complete one full sleep cycle, thus allowing you to wake up after the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep state instead of during it. REM sleep is the unique stage of sleep that is characterized by the random rapid movement of the eyes, and it occurs around 90 minutes of falling asleep.(7)
Drink A Glass Of Water After Getting Up
One of the biggest causes of fatigue and sluggishness is dehydration. Even a mild case of dehydration can lead to a person feeling sleepy, cause mood disruptions, and also alter their cognitive ability.(8)
Drinking a glass of water will help freshen up and energize your whole body before you get going for the day.
If you find that you are still unable to shake off the morning lethargy, try increasing your water intake and other non-caffeinated drinks during the day. It could be that your body needs more moisture.
Splash Some Water On Your Face
This may sound cliché, but splashing cold water on your face can help your body feel invigorated. Several studies have found that taking regular cold showers help decrease the number of sick-day absences from work. In fact, it has also been reported that taking a cold shower can potentially help reduce the symptoms of depression.(9,10)
If you don’t want to take a full shower, even splashing some cold water on your face can do the trick as it signals a sudden temperature change to the body.
If you are one of those, who find it difficult to get out of bed itself in the morning, try keeping a spray bottle with cold water or a water mist by your bedside. This way, you can simply lean over and mist yourself without needing to actually get out of bed.
Try Some Yoga Stretches
While you may not want to indulge in any kind of exercise right after getting up in the morning, but stretching out your tired body with some yoga poses can help you feel good. Overnight when your body is in the REM sleep cycle, your muscles are in a literal state of paralysis (atonia). Reactivating these muscles in the morning by stretching out helps reactivate them and also releases energy-boosting endorphins.(11)
If you have some time on your hands in the morning, try doing some yoga stretches. Doing yoga for 25 minutes has been found to boost your brain function and enhance energy levels.(12)
Cut Down On The Coffee
It may surprise many people to learn that it is actually recommended to have lesser coffee instead of increasing your intake. There is no doubt that coffee has a lot of health benefits, but having too much coffee in the morning can indirectly lead to increased fatigue later in the day.(13,14)
In a 2012 study, participants reported feeling more fatigued during the day after they consumed caffeinated drinks in the morning. It was found that a reduced amount of caffeine intake in the morning made them feel less tired.(15)
It is a good idea to switch over to using a smaller cup to help cut down the amount of coffee you drink in the morning.
Don’t Skip Your Breakfast
It is a common belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research also shows that skipping breakfast, the first meal of the day, can adversely impact your energy levels and the ability to concentrate throughout the day. (16,17)
Food is the basic fuel of your body, and it provides the body with calories right at the start of the day to help it remain active during the day.
However, if you exercise in the morning, remember to have breakfast after you are done with your workout. This will not only help you burn more calories but also boost your metabolism and prevent an unsettled stomach.
It is a great idea to include lots of fatigue-fighting foods like whole grains, nuts, fruits that are low in sugar, and lean proteins in your breakfast. What you have at breakfast can impact how you feel for several hours. This is why it is essential to choose the right foods to start the day with.(18)
Avoid Having Sugar In The First Half Of The Day
It is necessary to understand that not all breakfasts are created equal. This is why you need to choose your morning foods carefully. For example, sugar-loaded items like pastries, breakfast cereals, sweetened coffee drinks, and other sweet beverages can cause your blood sugar to spike and then suddenly fall. This leaves you feeling fatigued and drained of energy.(19)
If you are in doubt about the sugar content of what you are having at breakfast, read the nutrition labels, and eliminate whatever you can. Choosing foods like carrots, apples, and oranges are preferable as these will increase your energy levels, and they also have many health benefits.
Manage Your Stress
It is difficult to find anyone today who is not stressed. However, if you have some major stressors that are draining you of your morning energy, then addressing this stress is a necessity. One of the biggest stress factors that spoil a person’s morning involves having negative feelings about your job.
It might not be able to address certain concerns overnight or in a day, but just identifying them as a source of physical and mental exhaustion can help you take some action to resolve these stressors.
A good and healthy start to the morning can help you feel energized and motivated throughout the day. By following some of the tips mentioned here, you can cut down on your morning fatigue and kick start your day on the right foot. It is also just as essential to end your day right by practicing good sleep hygiene and getting enough sleep. Getting up at the same time every morning will also help in maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal biological clock that is responsible for making you feel sleepy at night. Attempting to wake up at the same time, even on the weekends, can go a long way in banishing the mid-morning slump and fatigue.
- Benson, D., 2016. A Good Night’s Sleep. Alternative Medicine, (28), p.6.
- Everts, S., 2017. Can we hit the snooze button on aging. C& EN, pp.31-5.
- Amerisleep. 2020. The Negative Impact Of Hitting The Snooze Button. [online] Available at: <https://amerisleep.com/blog/negative-impact-snooze-button/#:~:text=We’ve%20established%20that%20hitting,for%20some%20major%20health%20problems.> [Accessed 29 December 2020].
- Stepanski, E.J., 2002. The effect of sleep fragmentation on daytime function. Sleep, 25(3), pp.268-276.
- Gonnissen, H.K., Hursel, R., Rutters, F., Martens, E.A. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., 2013. Effects of sleep fragmentation on appetite and related hormone concentrations over 24 h in healthy men. British Journal of Nutrition, 109(4), pp.748-756.
- Bonnet, M.H. and Arand, D.L., 2003. Clinical effects of sleep fragmentation versus sleep deprivation. Sleep medicine reviews, 7(4), pp.297-310.
- Czeisler, C.A., Weitzman, E., Moore-Ede, M.C., Zimmerman, J.C. and Knauer, R.S., 1980. Human sleep: its duration and organization depend on its circadian phase. Science, 210(4475), pp.1264-1267.
- Armstrong, L.E., Ganio, M.S., Casa, D.J., Lee, E.C., McDermott, B.P., Klau, J.F., Jimenez, L., Le Bellego, L., Chevillotte, E. and Lieberman, H.R., 2012. Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. The Journal of nutrition, 142(2), pp.382-388.
- Buijze, G.A., Sierevelt, I.N., van der Heijden, B.C., Dijkgraaf, M.G. and Frings-Dresen, M.H., 2016. The effect of cold showering on health and work: A randomized controlled trial. PloS one, 11(9), p.e0161749.
- Shevchuk, N.A., 2008. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Medical hypotheses, 70(5), pp.995-1001.
- Vetrugno, R., Provini, F., Cortelli, P., Plazzi, G., Lotti, E.M., Pierangeli, G., Canali, C. and Montagna, P., 2004. Sleep disorders in multiple system atrophy: a correlative video-polysomnographic study. Sleep medicine, 5(1), pp.21-30.
- Luu, K. and Hall, P.A., 2017. Examining the acute effects of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation on executive function and mood. Mindfulness, 8(4), pp.873-880.
- George, S.E., Ramalakshmi, K. and Mohan Rao, L.J., 2008. A perception on health benefits of coffee. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 48(5), pp.464-486.
- Davis, J.M., Zhao, Z., Stock, H.S., Mehl, K.A., Buggy, J. and Hand, G.A., 2003. Central nervous system effects of caffeine and adenosine on fatigue. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
- Ishak, W.W., Ugochukwu, C., Bagot, K., Khalili, D. and Zaky, C., 2012. Energy drinks: psychological effects and impact on well-being and quality of life—a literature review. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 9(1), p.25.
- Ackuaku-Dogbe, E.M. and Abaidoo, B., 2014. Breakfast eating habits among medical students. Ghana medical journal, 48(2), pp.66-70.
- Nicklas, T.A., O’Neil, C. and Myers, L., 2004. The importance of breakfast consumption to nutrition of children, adolescents, and young adults. Nutrition today, 39(1), pp.30-39.
- Kiani, L., 2007. Natural miracles: What functional foods can do for you?. ProQuest Discovery Guides. from http://www. csa. com/dis coveryguides/discoveryguides-main. php.
- Diet, S.H.I.O., Sugar the Sweet Poison: The Alarming Ways Sugar Damages Your Body & Brain.
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