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WATCH: The 7 best ways to wake yourself up - without coffee

Addiction-free mornings.

BEC CREW
6 MAY 2016
 

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat - there's nothing wrong with coffee (except the whole 'worldwide shortage' thing), so if it's your favourite way to wake yourself up in the morning, good job, we're happy for you, go live you life.

But if you kinda hate how it tastes, or you love the crap out of it but feel like you're getting just a little too dependant on the world's most socially acceptable drug, the boys at AsapSCIENCE have got some alternative ways to slap that sleep-funk out of you - scientifically approved, of course.

 

1. Find the light

You've probably never thought about it, but light plays a crucial role in how we live our lives, and just as our misuse of light in the bedroom is causing widespread sleeping problems, if we don't use it properly in the morning, it makes getting out of bed that much harder. 

Why? It's not just a case of 'darkness is easier to sleep in, light is easier to be awake in' - it's a whole lot more complicated than that.

As the video explains, melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain, and is critical in regulating your sleeping patterns. When it's dark, your body produces more melatonin, which makes you sleepy, and when it's light, you produce less, making you more alert.

This explains why it's no good to stay up till 2am staring at your phone and expecting to drift off as soon as you turn the screen off - your body needs time to regulate your melatonin levels after being exposed to so much artificial light.

 

So in the morning, get up and throw the curtains open as your first order of business (after checking that you've got some pants on, for the neighbours' sake).

2. End your showers with a blast of cold water

According to the video above, research has shown that exposing yourself to cold water can activate parts of the brain that make you feel more alert. And not only that, studies have found that the sudden shock of cold water on your skin can increase your metabolic rate, so it's also potentially great for maintaining a healthy weight.

3. Stay hydrated

It's pretty gross, but while you're sleeping, you're sweating out a whole lot of the water you consumed during the day, and if you're a midnight pooper, you're going to be even more dehydrated in the morning.

Research has shown that even mild dehydration can affect your concentration, mood, and alertness, so make sure you have a bottle of water beside your bed to replenish your body's supply first thing.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast

While the jury's still out on just how important breakfast actually is, research has shown that for certain people, eating first thing in the morning can make them more alert more quickly, says AsapSCIENCE.

But not just any food will suffice - while a doughnut might taste amazing to your tired mouth, the sugar high won't last long, and you'll crash soon after. If you do decide to have breakfast, make it high in fibre and carbohydrates - there's nothing wrong with them, we promise.

5. Drink orange juice

After your glass of water, grab a glass of orange juice. As the video explains, citrus fruits are rich in molecules call flavonoids, which have been linked to slowing the cognitive decline that comes with ageing, while also decreasing the risk of developing neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's.

6. Be physically active in the morning

This is a tough one, because to get yourself to the gym or the pool first thing, means you have to fight against every natural urge your body can come up with to keep you in bed just a few minutes longer. But the benefits are worth it - studies have shown that students who were more active in the morning tend to perform better during the day.

7. Listen to music

Ahhh, a nice one, finally. We've made you go to the gym, keep a bran-filled breakfast down, and shock your body with freezing cold water, but now you get to do something fun. As the boys from AsapSCIENCE explain, listening to music has been shown to activate regions in the brain associated with movement and emotions, and studies have even suggested that your favourite music could help release dopamine in your brain to make you feel good.

Watch the video above for more morning tips, and if you've already decided you're not going to do any of these things, see below for advice on how to trick your poor, tired brain into thinking you had a great night's sleep:

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