Waking up is something that some people are just great at. They're born great at it. Springing out of bed, ready for a chat or to jump straight into work. They're alert and attentive. I'm not great at it. I need help, desperately.
So I'll generally take any tip I can get for waking up. Just in case you similarly have a hard time waking up in the morning, here are the techniques I've found that can help.
Keep Water Nearby for the Morning
The first thing your body needs every day is water. It gets your mouth and stomach ready for the day, and you need it for, like, everything your body does. You'll be amazed how much drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can actually make a difference when your eyes and mouth are dry.
Put Your Alarm Far Away
If your cell phone alarm goes off right next to your bed, and you can reach it to press snooze, it's too easy to stay in bed and fall back asleep. Make yourself get up and walk a few steps to get to the alarm. It'll get your blood moving just a bit, but that amount can help when you have a problem with the snooze button.
Speaking of the snooze button, stop using it. If you aren't consistent about when you wake up, and you keep allowing your brain to try to fall back into a sleep cycle only to interrupt it. You wind up waking up with no energy, with your body's chemistry all wonky because you keep telling it to put itself back to sleep.
Getting your blood flowing quickly wakes you up by letting your body start getting physically loose and prepared to move around. Before or after your morning shower, try stretching your back and legs to get a natural burst of energy.
Wake Up with Light
If you can wake up at the same time as the sun comes into your room every morning, you will wake up easier, but for many of us that isn't an option. Luckily ambient light alarm clocks have become progressively more popular over the years and do a great job simulating the effects of the sun rising in your room. It's well worth the investment, as your body is very well tuned in to waking up when your eyes sense light in the morning.
I usually feel wide awake after my morning shower, but sometimes that doesn't quite do it. Sometimes I need something more. That's when it's cold shower time. A cold shower wakes your body up in ways that, while unpleasant immediately, pay off majorly in the long run. In addition to being good for your skin, cold water causes your body to tense, which is effective similarly to stretching, and by the time you're out of your shower you're ready to quickly dry off and get into clothes. Give it a try if you are pretty resilient to waking up when other methods fail.
You may not have time for a full workout in the morning, but jumping out of bed and quickly doing ten jumping jacks, ten situps, ten pushups, and some squats can get your body awake and active. If you have the time to turn this into a full workout you can reap even greater rewards and be ready to tackle the day like a boss.
Vick's Vaporub, as well as strong grapefruit, lime, or lemon can all overwhelm the senses and wake you up with their strong scents. Try opening up your sinuses in the morning with mint or puckering your mouth with a slice of citrus to shock yourself awake.
Because duh, you didn't think I was going to suggest NeuroGum? With a healthy dose of caffeine, and the natural help to blood flow from chewing, I love chewing in the shower or on the drive to work to get my head in the game. Yeah, I may work here, but it doesn't change the fact that NeuroGum goes an awesome job of waking you up quickly.
Share your tips for waking up in the comments below!