Do you roll out of bed and head straight for the coffee machine? Sure, a strong cup of joe is one way to give your am routine some get up and go, but there are caffeine-free options. Try one of these five morning pick-me-ups.
Exposing yourself to light first thing in the morning triggers a natural wake-up call. When it’s dark outside, your body produces melatonin, a hormone critical in regulating sleep; when it’s light, melatonin production drops. If your schedule allows you to skip setting an alarm, try sleeping with the curtains open to let in sunlight at daybreak, signaling to your body that it’s time to wake up. Alarm a must? Consider setting it just five minutes earlier so you have extra time before work or class to soak up some morning rays.
Engage Your Sense of Smell
For a jolt that will elevate your mood and make you feel more alert, try aromatherapy. Citrus, rosemary, and peppermint are noted eye-openers. Get your dose by adding a fragrant body wash or shampoo to your shower routine.
Say Yes to Oats
Skip the doughnuts and opt for a breakfast of oatmeal and orange juice. High in fiber and complex carbs, oatmeal will rev your energy level and increase your mental stamina throughout the day. Plus, the flavonoids found in a glass of OJ are linked to better brainpower.
Crank Up the iTunes
Listening to your favorite playlist does more than get your feet thumping. Music triggers arousal and signals the brain to release dopamine, which, in turn, makes you feel good. Set your alarm through the music app on your phone and you’ll find yourself getting out of bed faster.
Whether you head out for an early run, take a yoga class or just dance in your living room, breaking a sweat is a smart start to the day. Because exercise increases blood flow, it will boost your energy and leave your brain humming with all those good-for-you endorphins. Added bonus: You’ll concentrate better and be more focused during that morning meeting.