7 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee
Whether it’s 6 a.m. or 4 p.m.
Don’t get us wrong: We love coffee. But sometimes we're either not in the mood for it or (ugh) are, like, trying to be healthier. For those times you need an energy boost but don’t want to load up on caffeine, here are seven of our go-tos.
Get Natural Sunlight
If you’re just waking up, open your blinds and take a deep breath. Natural sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D and boosts serotonin levels, which can improve your mood (and then help you sleep the next night). If you find yourself in an afternoon slump, take a quick break from work and go outside for a bit to reap the same benefits.
Take a Partially Cold Shower
A cold shower can be fairly jarring (especially early in the morning). Luckily you don’t have to suffer under a freezing faucet the whole time to wake up. Take your shower like normal but blast cold water at the very end. This burst of chilliness will jolt you awake without being too unbearably long.
When you don’t drink enough water, you get dehydrated, and when you get dehydrated, you get tired (because dehydration impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain). Guzzling H2O (especially an ice-cold glass) ensures you’ll stay alert longer.
Eat a Smart Snack
Sugary, carb-laden treats might provide you with a temporary rush (plus, they’re delicious), but they’ll also make you crash. Instead, opt for foods that provide sustained energy like an apple with almond butter.
Chew Some Gum
Sounds weird, but when you chew gum, your heart rate increases, as does blood flow to your brain. Not only does chewing gum make you more alert, it’s also been proven to improve mental performance. (Temporarily, but still.)
Move Your Body
Even if it’s just a quick midday walk, studies have found that regular exercise acts on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue.
Stimulate Your Brain
Whether it’s The New York Times crossword, Sudoku or a rousing game of Words with Friends, focusing on some sort of difficult mental task for a few minutes can help boost energy. For short periods of time, mental activities like these stimulate you without wearing you out. Plus, you might learn a few new words to incorporate into your vocabulary.