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Five Ways to Wake Up Without Caffeine

By Brian Acton

When Americans need to wake up, they overwhelmingly turn to caffeine. Around 83% of U.S. adults drink caffeine, and for many of us there’s no better pick-me-up. But if caffeine’s not your thing - or you’re considering cutting back - there are other ways to jumpstart your morning and provide you with the energy to tackle your day. Here are a few ways you can wake up without resorting to caffeinated assistance. Workout It can be hard to muster the motivation to get moving in the morning. But exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and help you stay alert and focused. If you’re strapped for time, even short workouts can make a big difference. If morning workouts aren’t your thing, lunchtime exercise can help you combat afternoon lethargy. Plus, when the day’s over, the knowledge that you already got in your day’s workout is icing on the cake. Eat an Apple Apples contain no caffeine, but they do supply natural sugars that provide a quick jolt of energy in the morning. In addition, the fructose contained in apples takes longer to digest and can provide a sustained energy boost longer than a cup of coffee. Highly caffeinated beverages can also lead to a caffeine crash that you don’t get with apples. And apples are arguably healthier than coffee if you add sugar, syrups or creamers to your morning joe. Cold Showers You might think a cold shower is akin to torture first thing in the morning. But cold showers can wake you up and get your blood pumping, much more so than hot showers. If you need to ease into the cold shower, you can turn the water cold for the last minute before hopping out to towel off. If you really want to start slow, you can even splash cold water on your face in the morning. Optimize Your Wakeup Time If you constantly hit the snooze button or sleep to the last possible second, you may not be giving your body enough time to naturally wake itself up. Sleeping as late as possible could keep you in a lethargic funk when you need full brainpower - like at an early morning meeting. Also, it can help to wake up at a set time every day. Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm - basically, your body’s internal clock - that follows the 24-hour cycle of a day. If you wake at different times each day, your body will be less able to control internal processes that help you naturally wake up. But if you wake up at the same time every single day (including weekends) you can potentially get better sleep and wake up naturally in the morning. Challenge Your Mind Brainteasers such as puzzles, crosswords, or Sudoku can help your mind shake off sleep and focus. Performing low-pressure mental activities can help you become alert before your day kicks into high gear. In Closing While caffeine is a viable shortcut, following these tips instead could make your life easier in the long run by breaking your reliance on caffeine. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even try to amplify the effect by combining a few of these methods. You may surprise yourself and learn that you don’t need caffeine as much as you think you do!
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