In a perfect world, you would be able to wake up feeling fresh and ready to go. But sometimes, the realities of life get in the way of your morning routine. With early mornings for work, kids that refuse to cooperate and unpredictable schedules, it’s hard enough just getting out bed in the first place!
While caffeine is great to start the day, it is soothing to drink and basically a sacred ritual for many! But if you are trying to cut back or sensitive to caffeine, what are some ways to wake yourself up without caffeine?
Top 5 Practical Ways To Wake Up Without Caffeine
Here are 5 practical strategies on how to get going when you need it most:
1. Get up and do something active
Go for a run, take the dog out, or take a walk outside first thing in the morning to let some light into your eyes and get that blood flowing again! Fresh air is always an energizing start to any day.
The sun provides natural light, which helps regulate our circadian rhythms, and also has an effect on serotonin levels in the brain. When sunlight hits your retina, it sends a signal to your hypothalamus telling it to release hormones like melatonin (which produces drowsiness) and cortisol (which produces energy).
2. Drink water to rehydrate yourself after waking up early
When we wake up, our body is dehydrated because it has been deprived of fluids while we sleep; this dehydration will make us sluggish and tired (since your brain relies on a constant supply of energy to function).
Drinking water in the morning can help you feel more refreshed and improve circulation which means that nutrients are delivered faster and waste products removed quicker. This leads to an increase in productivity levels as well as improved concentration
After waking up early tomorrow, drink at least one glass or bottle of water as soon as you get out of bed. Nobody wants to be a dried prune when starting the day right? ;)
3. End showers with cold water
I know that this is a controversial topic, but if you're looking for something to wake up your day in the morning then cold showers are a great way to go. They can be good for your health and provide some benefits that might surprise you.
But it sounds super depressing you say? Well, know that there are some great benefits to cold showers or baths in the morning. They can:
- Increase your energy levels
- Improve mood and stress relief. Taking cold showers will cause the body's production of cortisol and adrenaline to drop, which reduces stress levels and blood pressure as well.
- Improved metabolism and weight management because it forces the body to create heat in order to warm up again- this causes an increase in energy usage so there's less fat build up or deposits around your midsection or chest area.
- It's been shown to reduce depression symptoms by increasing endorphin release - giving you a natural mood boost!
- Help you sleep better at night – taking an ice bath before bed increases melatonin production which helps with sleeping habits"
Now go and try something new for a change! You might be surprised what this does for you!
If you do it enough times, it becomes a habit you don't even think about ;)
4. Set yourself up for success
I'll bet some of you may not want to do any of the above and want a quick fix. I have some good news. Feeling energized in the morning regularly mainly comes down to what you did the day before.
Did you know that caffeine can take up to 10 hours to leave your system? In this case if you're drinking caffeine too late in the day like in the evening or late afternoon, your sleep quality may suffer. So try to avoid stimulants too close to bed time.
If you commit to getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night you are more likely to feel awake the next morning. But it's not just about having the hours of sleep. It's also about the quality of sleep.
Having a relaxing bed time routine can help your body prepare for sleep. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings, exercise regularly so your body can get a good night's rest and try not to eat 3 hours before bed time.
Here is an example of what this may look like:
- Drink herbal tea before bed (chamomile or valerian root) to calm anxious thoughts and ease insomnia
- Turn off screens 60 minutes before sleep, including TVs, computers and tablets
- Stop drinking fluids two hours before bedtime as hydration can lead to poor quality sleep
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening as these stimulants can keep you up at night
5. Get creative with your coffee alternatives
If you enjoy the ritual of sipping something warm in the morning, swap your cup of coffee for tea. It may still contain caffeine (though considerably less) for a little buzz, as well as many other benefits, including strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure and improving sleep.
As a coffee substitute, you can try:
- Chicory or dandelion tea - These 100% caffeine free teas have been used for decades to replace coffee during war times when supply was limited or just too expensive. Many say it is the closest herbal substitute to coffee which may help with those cravings and make it feel like you're drinking something familiar. You can find a chicory and dandelion blend here.
- Rooibos tea - a caffeine-free herbal tea that is grown in Africa. There is a slight sweetness to it with loads of antioxidants. You can actually make a nice red shot of rooibos tea with your expresso machine. Simply replace your coffee grounds with Rooibos (no need to pack it in). Check out this Rooibos expresso tea here
- Matcha - it is made from green tea leaves that are finely ground and then whisked with hot water in small bowl called a chawan (Japanese) or cha hai (Chinese). Matcha has caffeine but it’s less acidic so your stomach should be more able to handle it than coffee - especially if you drink matcha as opposed to espresso shots!
- Try apple cider vinegar - Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water along with a squeeze of lemon for a quick drink to jump-start your digestive system in the morning. It might not be a cup of tea but its a good way to wake up and let your body reset after a long night of sleep.
We know that caffeine is the most popular way to wake up in the morning. On the other hand, caffeine can disrupt these processes because it restricts blood flow throughout the body including to areas of the brain involved with moods, appetite control and fatigue. This leads you to feel more tired as caffeine wears off than if you had not consumed any at all.
It can also affect your sleep quality at night if you drink it too late in the day. That being said, we hope our tips and tricks for waking yourself up without relying solely on caffeine will help you too.
TIP: Don't overthink things too much - if you need caffeine first thing in the am on occasion, but are otherwise following good habits already then don't worry about giving yourself some leeway now and again :) If you have an issue with needing caffeine every day then it's time to address your sleep habits!
Do you have any other caffeine-free ways on how to wake up in the morning? Share them below and I'll include them into this post for others! :)