Wanna cut down on caffeine? Here are some mentally and physically healthier ways to awaken your senses and stay alert every morning.
If you’re anything like us, reaching for a cuppa in the morning is no more than second nature. It may even be our primary motivation for getting out of bed in the first place. But research has shown how detrimental caffeine can be to our health; causing headaches, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, irritability, insomnia, and maybe even sleep disturbances if taken too often.
Thankfully, there are other ways to get perked up without a caffeine crash waiting for you later in the day. Try some of these tips for yourself if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to caffeine.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. Before you groan, it’s important to note that adopting such good sleeping habits is integral to a relaxing bedtime ritual; ergo, resulting in a more well-rested you in the morning.
Regulating your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night. On the other hand, falling asleep and waking up at different times every day will confuse your body’s internal clock, leaving you with a disrupted sleeping pattern. Once you regulate your sleep schedule, you’ll find yourself less groggy in the morning and be less tempted to reach for a cuppa.
Wake up at the ‘right’ time
Bouncing off the topic of sleep schedules, there’s a reason why every morning feels so jarring when we’re awoken by our alarms. It’s because your alarm clock doesn’t know your sleep cycle. According to a growing body of sleep analysts, there is a ‘best time’ to wake up in order to wake up feeling energised and refreshed. Apparently, even if you’ve got long hours of sufficient rest the night before, you may still feel rather groggy if you awaken during the ‘wrong’ phase of your sleep cycle. There are plenty of free sleep calculators available online which uses a formula based on the body’s natural rhythms to work out the best time for you to rise or go to sleep.
Eat a nutritious breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day right with a well-balanced breakfast by opting for protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Think of wholegrain bread with eggs, muesli toast, breakfast baked beans and high-fibre cereal. These nutritious foods will provide you with energy so that you won’t feel lethargic, and keep you full until lunch.
Get some fresh air
Carve out 10 minutes in the morning for a quick stroll outdoors and take in the fresh air. The sudden increase in oxygen will wake up your brain and thus your body. According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 per cent of people – a promising finding, if you ask us. If you aren’t too keen on heading out for a leisurely walk in the morning, leave the window in your bedroom open a little at night instead. The coolness of the room in the early morning will also make it easier for you to get out of bed.
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworld.com.