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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

6 Ways To Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired

6 Ways To Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired

Whenever the concept of sleep is discussed, there is common perception that we should rest for between six and eight hours every single night. While this is a long-standing belief, however, more recent studies have suggested that this is a generic assertion that has little foundation in fact.

More specifically, the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in the UK are now claiming that it is the quality of sleep that important rather than the quantity. Moreover, the optimal amount of sleep will vary for each individual, with the average length of time between five and nine hours in total.

6 Ways to wake up early and not feel tired

While this insight reveals many things, it particularly highlights the fact that it is possible to be an early riser regardless of the amount of sleep that you had the night before. So long as you enjoy a deep and restful sleep, you should be able to rise in the morning without feeling excessively tired or overly lethargic.

There are also practical steps that you can take to wake up early and not feel tired, both in terms of your preparation for a good nights’ sleep and your morning routine. So without further ado, here are six of the most actionable:

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What preparations make for an prosperous nights’ sleep?

1. Avoid drinking coffee, red wine and consuming chocolate prior to sleep

If you are going to enjoy a deep and restful nights’ sleep, it is important that your cycle is left largely uninterrupted. It apparently takes up to four hours to fall into a really deep and energising sleep, for example, so constant interruptions during this period will detract from the quality of your rest and leave your feeling tired in the morning.

One of the most prominent causes of unrest are dietary, with some food items and beverages scientifically proven to disturb your digestive system and interrupt your sleep. Coffee, red wine and milk chocolate are all prime examples, so refraining from these items for as long as possible prior to sleep. Aim not to consume these products after lunchtime, but if this is not possible at least try to eliminate them from your diet after six o’clock.

2. Go to the toilet just before you aim to sleep

While most of us visit the toilet prior to climbing into bed, many of us will spend time reading, watching television or playing games before we drift into sleep. Our bladders can fill up slowly and largely unnoticed during this time, however, particularly because the kidneys continue to work throughout the night and while we sleep.

This means that rather than your bladder being full when you wake in the morning, you are more likely to be disturbed in the early hours of the morning to go to the toilet again. This will contribute towards a disrupted and fitful sleep, so it is crucial that you strive to visit the toilet right before you intend to sleep. Even if you are not desperate to go, it is important to make this effort for the quality of your sleep and impact that it will have on your outlook in the morning.

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3. Ensure that your room reflects the core principles of Feng Shui

While Feng Shui is not something that everyone has faith in, it is an ancient Chinese art which has a basis in Western values and logic. By following the basic principles of Feng Shui and organising the layout of your room accordingly, you can facilitate a more restful sleep that leaves you refreshed and energised for the morning.

This is why the layout of your bedroom is the most important from a Feng Shui perspective, and there are several steps that you can follow in terms of placing your furniture and positioning the bed. The latter point is most important, as the bed must be placed in a way so that you can see the door from your resting position without being in the direct path of the door when it opens. This delivers a strong sense of security when we sleep, while delivering a more comforting sleep.

On this note, the colours that you use in your bedroom will also have an impact on your mood when settling down to sleep. Nodding off with a positive outlook drastically improve the quality and the restfulness of your sleep, so it is important that you leverage colour psychology to create the ideal ambience within your bedroom. A combination of pastel blue and green shades are to be recommended, as they trigger feelings of serenity, calm and harmony without overwhelming the senses.

What can you do when you wake up?

4. Focus on something happy and exciting when you stir in the morning

Feelings of stress and anxiety always appear worse in the morning, thanks to a combination of our sub-concious thinking patterns that emerge during sleep and a rise in the level of cortisol in our bodies. This can leave us feeling tired and lethargic even after a good night’s sleep, so you will need to try to negate this by actively focusing on something positive relating to the day ahead.

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This will be easier on some days than others, so be proactive and try to plan for future days and make a note in your calendar. Birthdays and anniversaries offer obvious joy and excitement, while you could also identify national and global holidays before planning something special. The 20th June is referred to as Midsummer’s Eve and is the most romantic day of the year in Europe, for example, so it is the ideal time to plan an exciting trip away with a loved one.

Whatever you choose to focus on, starting the day with a burst of excitement will energise your senses and alleviate any sense of fatigue.

5. Create a manageable exercise regime for the morning

While it is possible to wake up early and not feel tired, this sense of alertness can quickly fade if it is not nurtured. This is where a relevant and manageable morning exercise regime can come into play, as this has the potential to instantly enhance your mood and drive higher levels of focus and concentration too.

This is because simple exercises such as jogging cause the brain to release numerous chemicals and endorphins into the bloodstream, which can alleviate the symptoms of stress, lethargy and even pain in some instances. Interestingly, it has also been proven that exercising in the morning also increases your energy levels for the following day too, so long as you focus on achievable disciplines that suit your existing fitness and daily schedule.

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6. Get your hydration right when you first stir

According to various studies, the way in which we hydrate our bodies when we first wake up in the morning is increasingly influential in terms of our mental outlook. Starting your day with a simple glass of water (before you eat breakfast) is known to kick-start your metabolism, for example, helping you to wake-up quickly and feel instantly more alert.

In terms of consuming a hot drink with your breakfast, try to avoid consuming coffee on a daily basis. While this has historically been considered as the ultimate way to stimulate the senses, science has proven that our body gradually becomes accustomed to the effects of caffeine over time meaning that it takes more to achieve the desired results. With this in mind, coffee should be used occasionally and in instances where you feel particularly tired, with alternatives such as fruit and regular tea consumed intermittently.

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Last Updated on April 30, 2021

How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Coffee is a way of life for many employees. Caffeine gives them the boost they need to help them get through the day. But as we know, like sugar highs, eventually the caffeine boosts wear off. The million-dollar question at the office for many people should be googling is, “how to stay awake at work without caffeine?”

According to Gallup, a staggering 85% of workers are “not engaged” at work.[1] That means the majority of the workforce around the world view their work negatively or are doing the minimum required to keep their jobs. As a result, it should come as no surprise that people are getting tired at the office.

Perhaps, you’re like one of my clients. Every morning he starts off his day like many people all over the world. He heads into the kitchen, pops in a capsule in his Nespresso machine, and then sits in front of the TV while sipping his gourmet coffee. Then, throughout the day, he’ll have one or two more cups, especially if the Sandman is visiting.

According to The National Safety Council, 43% of workers are sleep-deprived so it’s not uncommon to see people with a cup of joe on their desk.[2] Add in the meetings that seem to drag on and the hours we spend in front of a computer screen and the battle for our focus is very real.

Caffeine has become the drug of choice for millions. People use coffee to jolt themselves back into focus. Starbucks has even made coffee hip and cool, not to mention pricey. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Thankfully, there are better, healthier ways to stay awake.

Here are some tips on how to stay awake at work without coffee.

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1. H2O

We all know the importance of drinking water. What most people don’t realize is the effect it can have on our focus and productivity. If you’ve ever been on a 6-hour plane ride or longer, upon landing, your body feels heavy. The reason is dehydration. The adrenaline from the excitement of heading to Disneyland with our family can mask our lethargy for only so long. Once it wears off, our body will feel it.

The same thing happens at the office. The more dehydrated our body is the worse its functions. Headaches are largely linked to dehydration. Hydrating our body has numerous health benefits that are relatively unseen including the elimination of toxins from our bloodstream, improved digestion, lubrication of our joints and eyes, and increased concentration.

Just how much water should we be drinking? According to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should drink about 2.7 liters a day, while men should drink about 3.7 liters.[3]

Despite knowing we should drink more water, many people don’t. Why is that? Simply put—boredom. It’s lacking in taste. Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, or Monster Energy are what people turn to instead. It doesn’t hurt that they have caffeine in them either, giving them a double shot of energy in the form of sugar and caffeine.

How do we combat this? Easy, by making water “cool.” Liven up your water by adding ice cubes made out of 100% fruit juice or add wedges of fruits to your water infusing them with a hint of your favorite flavors.

Suggestion: Download an app or set up alarms to notify you throughout the day to drink water. Your body will thank you.

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2. Good Night’s Sleep

Like water, this should go without saying. It should, but with 43% of workers being sleep-deprived, it needs to be said, over and over again. Too many people shortchange their sleep because of work or fun.

For most people, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything they want to. Burning the midnight oil before a big presentation or project is understandable but long-term, our body and performance will suffer if we push our body too hard.

A few years ago, the WSJ coined the term “sleepless elite,” referring to a small group of people that only need a short amount of sleep every night. Scientists estimate they make up only about 1% of the population.[4] You might be one of them. Only you know how effective you can be on a few hours of sleep. I’m not one of them, and chances are likely you aren’t either. I’ve only ever met one person who fit the bill, but the impact it is having on their body is still unknown.

We are all unique. Each of our bodies functions slightly differently, but for most people, seven to eight hours a day is needed for optimum performance. But it’s not just about quantity but also quality, which is why it’s important to have a 30-minute cool-down before getting into bed.

Turn off all screens. If possible, switch to yellow light. If not, simply turn down the lights. Turn off notifications on your phone. Do everything you can to make your environment conducive to sleep. Finally, reading a chapter or two in a good book to make yourself sleepy is a great way to get ready for bed. Doing these simple things will dramatically improve the quality of your sleep.

Suggestion: Create a daily cool-down routine to ensure the quality of your sleep.

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3. 80% Rule

In Japan, there’s an expression, “8 bun me,” which refers to eating until you’re 80% full. It’s actually a stroke of genius, especially for those looking to get more done at work. Knowing how to stay awake at work without caffeine is a real challenge for many people, but adjusting your diet is a great place to start.

When I first moved to Japan, I often found meals to be much smaller than those in America. I’m not going to lie, it bugged me at first. I found myself still hungry after lunch. Over time though, my body adjusted.

The problem with a full stomach is that it pulls blood away from our brain, which is why many people feel sleepy after lunch. Not feeling full after lunch will allow you to operate at a higher level at the office.

Most of us have been taught to have a light breakfast, a more robust lunch, and a big meal for dinner. Ironically, it should be the other way around. The problem is a big meal for dinner is something most people don’t want to change. Therefore, we should go to work on the other two meals.

For many people in the West, breakfast consists of a banana, cereal, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So, by the time lunch rolls around, it’s not surprising they’re hungry. The large lunch leads them to be sleepy in the afternoon. Instead, consider having a more substantial breakfast that will see you through the day. That way, lunchtime can be nothing more than a snack, allowing your mind to stay sharp until you finish up for the day.

Suggestion: A few small changes in your diet can lead to improved productivity at the office.

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4. Breathing

Breathing is another undervalued technique to boosting our performance. Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage, James Nestor’s Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, and Wim Hof’s The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential all delve into the power of breathing and oxygen.

Brendon Burchard, the bestselling author of Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story About Second Chances and the creator of High-Performance Academy, says, “I don’t hope to have energy. I generate energy.” He does this through a series of breathing and physical exercises and it’s remarkable how effective these are in helping us boost performance.

Suggestion: Take the time to learn how to breathe as it can an effective way to boost energy or relax your body.

5. Reward Your Body

Another long-term solution to help us stay awake at work is by rewarding our bodies. Our bodies work hard for us. The daily grind can take its toll on our bodies over time, which is why it’s critical to reward our bodies.

Massages are an excellent way to reduce pain and muscle soreness while improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. Nice warm baths can also achieve similar results. Massages and baths help battle insomnia, reduce injuries and anxiety, help with joint pain, and much more.[5][6]

Suggestion: Schedule regular massages into your month.

Bottom Line

Learning how to stay awake at work is a real challenge for millions of people the world over. Many turn to caffeine in the form of coffee to give them the boost they need, but it’s a short-term solution for a long-term problem. Instead, we should focus on changing a few of our daily habits. The results will astound you and with any luck, you’ll be able to kiss the caffeine habit goodbye.

More Tips on How to Stay Awake at Work

Featured photo credit: Ilya Pavlov via unsplash.com

Reference

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