Jonesing for a cup of joe? If getting out of bed and waking up is impossible without the warm smell and taste of coffee, this article is for you! Caffeine works by changing the chemistry of the brain to block the natural brain chemical that is associated with sleep. That's why we reach for it when we are falling asleep at our desks, but it's not so great when we get too much of it. Lots of caffeine is associated with headaches, rapid heartbeat, irritability, feeling anxious, insomnia and bad sleep patterns.
So let's skip all of those and the nasty caffeine crash that awaits all coffeeholics for a few pick-me-ups that don't come in a steaming mug.
Bedtime Ritual (Have One!)
No one who hasn't gotten enough sleep, or even close to enough sleep is going to want to get out of bed. We're sorry to say it, but this first idea starts the night before. You need to turn off all of your electronic devices one hour before bedtime. Yep, you heard us. You must not hit the "next" button on that Netflix show you have been binging. Your Facebook friends will just have to wait to hear what you thought of that funny cat sitting in the pumpkin video. You need to turn off the glowing light of your devices because that blue light can suppress your melatonin, and that keeps you awake. Call that hour "me time" and take a relaxing bath or read a book; we don't care what you do, just something calming.
Rinse And Repeat (Book Your Sleep!)
Nothing screws up your awake and asleep internal clock more than not having a set schedule. Your body will actually help you feel awake if it knows that you are supposed to be awake. Having a consistent sleep schedule lets your body know when it is time to sound the alarm to wake up. It is so tempting to sleep super late on the weekends, but try not to sleep too much later than usual. Come Monday morning this will make it so much easier to crawl out of bed!
Let There Be Light (Open The Curtains!)
Light signals to the body that it is time to get up, but you sort of have to get up to turn on the light—a bit of a Catch-22 there. The trick here is to leave your curtains open so the rising sun will naturally help you wake up. If you don't want the neighbors watching you sleep (and really who does?), then buy some sheer curtains that let the light in but keep the peepers out. Waking to natural light also helps your body prepare for the alarm clock so it's not quite so shocking.
Don't Sound The Alarm (Try A Different Method)
Speaking of that alarm clock, we set it every day and yet somehow it can still frighten us out of a deep sleep. It's because your alarm clock doesn’t know your sleep cycle. Thankfully, now there are fitness gadgets and apps that work as alarm clocks. These high-tech devices and programs help you track more than just your steps. Many can track your sleep and offer alarms that find the best time in your sleep cycle to wake you by vibrating or using a progressive alarm that starts quietly. We are all for that!
Get Clean (Give Your Shower A Boost!)
A nice warm shower is a great way to get your body going in the morning. Need more help?Try adding the scent of lemon or grapefruit to the mix. These citrus scents can boost your body's serotonin level. This happy hormone reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine so you can get on calmly with your day.
Breathe (Get Fresh Air!)
Try to find a good ten minutes to spend outside gulping in some fresh air. Whether that means a slow walk to get the paper or parking at the far end of the parking lot and enjoying the walk in to work, just do it. Scientists have found that ninety percent of people increased their energy after spending any amount of time outdoors.