7 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee
SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
Though coffee can have a lot of health benefits, not everyone wants to be dependent on it to feel awake and alive in the mornings. But as anyone who’s tried to wean themselves off caffeine knows, the struggle is so, so real. If you’re aiming to get up and moving without coffee, here are some ways you can jump-start your day with no cup in hand.
1. Let light in. Leaving your blinds open when you’re sleeping or opening them soon after you wake up boosts your serotonin levels and provides Vitamin D to give you energy, says psychiatrist Dion Metzger, M.D. If you don’t have enough windows for this to work, a, bright light should do the trick. You can also put one at your desk to help stay awake at work.
2. Eat protein-rich foods right when you get up. Foods with a lot of protein, like eggs and Greek yogurt, take longer than carbohydrate-heavy breakfasts to break down in the body, which means you get a boost and longer-lasting energy, says dietitian Rachael Link, MS, RD. Refined carbohydrates and sugar, on the other hand, can lead to an energy crash—exactly the opposite of what you want.
3. Get moving. Not everyone can muster up the energy to work out in the morning, but even just stretching in your bed can get your blood pumping and your body going, says psychotherapist Terry Matlen, ACSW, who works with ADHD patients with problems waking up. It’s worth trying!
4. Accomplish minor to-dos. If starting work seems totally overwhelming without coffee, you can always start the day by wiping your furniture or doing some other mindless task. Once you’ve accomplished something, everything else will seem a bit easier, says Matlen. If even getting out of bed feels impossible, try checking your email from your phone.
5. Chew gum. Research has found that people perform better on tests and feel more awake after chewing gum. Chewing gum really can help wake you up, says Matlen.
6. Splash yourself with cold water. Taking a cold shower or even just washing your face with cold water can give you a jolt, says clinical psychologist Lauren Costine, Ph.D. Cold activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which leads to greater alertness. Drinking cold water can have a similar effect.
7. Put on your favorite music. Music releases dopamine and serotonin, which make you feel more energized, says Costine. To start off your day right away with this wake-up aid, you can download a musical alarm clock app.
So, if you thought it was impossible for you to get up without caffeine, there just might be hope. And even if you are an avid coffee drinker, these tips can make the span of time between your alarm and your first cup a little less painful.