Rise And Shine
When you need to wake the hell up in the morning, is your first instinct to reach for a coffee?
For those of us suffering from fatigue, coffee can have us feeling like smeagle from lord of the rings.
It is often the first thing we run to for a pick-me-up at almost any time of the day.
Unfortunately, coffee is not a long term solution and consuming coffee in large amounts may actually be making your fatigue worse!
Furthermore, if you suffer from anxiety like myself, you should be aiming to avoid caffeine by all means.
So if we should avoid coffee and yet we still experience fatigue, how do we wake the hell up rather than just rolling back over?
To answer this, I have compiled a list of the most beneficial techniques I use to wake up without the use of coffee or any caffeine for that matter.
#1. NEVER Hit The Snooze Button
Hitting the snooze button repeatedly is the easiest way to start your day off on the wrong foot.
I know initially it is hard to just hop out of bed but you need to remove any other option if you wish to wake up effectively.
Turning over and closing your eyes for five to ten minutes only tricks your brain into thinking it can still be asleep.
Instead, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room and crank the volume.
You will likely get out of bed in record time, and realize it wasn’t so hard when it became a necessity.
If you are a chronic snooze button pusher, you will probably be surprised how much you can get done in those first few minutes before work.
A few years ago I heard of a technique somewhere but I can’t quite remember where I heard it.
Said person would get out of bed every day as if their house was on fire. Doing this is a
surefire great way to wake the hell up in a flash.
An extra 10 minutes in the morning will also give you time to set yourself up for a productive day without having to rush out the door.
#2. Wake The Hell Up With A Cold Shower
Hear me out.
Cold showers are one of the best ways to boost your health across the board.
They have the ability to increase alertness, stimulate weight loss, reduce stress, and even ease symptoms of depression.
So why don’t more people do them?
Simple…because they suck.
Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning is no easy task, but the benefits can be felt almost immediately.
I have been taking cold showers daily for the past 6 months now and I can’t imagine waking up without one anymore.
That being, said there is not a single day I look forward to it.
Rather than just avoid them altogether I use a few strategies to ensure I follow through.
My favorite strategy is to bring some music into the washroom. Listening to music that gets you fired up is another great way to wake up in the morning.
This technique provides a ‘two birds with one stone’ approach.
The music provides a great distraction from the cold and keeps your mind on something else.
I often end up in some sort of half dance, half mania between the cold and the music. Either way, my body is moving and my blood is flowing.
Another way I brave cold showers is too simply increase the coldness as I go rather than jump straight into water tapped directly from the arctic.
They say if you drop a frog in boiling water it will jump right out, but if you slowly increase the temperature it will not perceive the danger and boil to death.
While I highly prefer you don’t test that saying, the same is true but in reverse for a cold shower. Allow your body to warm up to the idea.
If you can manage three minutes at a somewhat cold temperature and two minutes at a very cold temperature, you will still notice great benefits.
Two minutes in cold water is enough to wake the hell up on almost any day, trust me.
Five minutes and a little will power is all it takes. Give it a try!
#3. Replace Your Morning Coffee With Water
Even mild dehydration can come with a laundry list of health effects.
Unfortunately, hardly anyone will actually attribute conditions like headaches, brain fog, or fatigue to a lack of water.
Unless you are a bodybuilder carrying around an empty milk jug full of water, it is likely true that you are not getting an optimal amount of water in your day.
I’m not saying you need to carry around a jug with you everywhere you go to feel the benefits of being hydrated.
Instead, before eating or drinking anything else in the morning try having one liter of water.
Water is responsible for transporting nutrients to cells and the brain, as well as cleaning the blood.
If you were mildly dehydrated before, you will feel the effects almost immediately.
Aim to drink a minimum of another 1 liter throughout your day to benefit from the power of water.
Increasing your water intake may be all it takes to wake the hell up!
#4. Have a Light Breakfast
Everyone always says breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
While I feel this is true, it is much more of a quality factor vs. quantity.
If your aim is sustained energy throughout the day, a bowl of sugary cereal isn’t the most important meal of the day.
Reversely, an enormous breakfast of pancakes and greasy bacon will likely have you feeling lethargic rather than energetic within a few hours after consumption.
In order to maximize from breakfast we need to eat light and healthy.
Some great food choices are sources of complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal or whole grain bread, along with some fruits and/or protein.
My breakfast everyday for the last two years has looked the same.
It consists of a bowl of oatmeal and a smoothie with a scoop of whey protein, one banana, half a cup of frozen berries, a cup of spinach, and a cup of almond milk.
Personally I find this to be the perfect balance of both calories, and nutrients which gives me a decent boost of energy throughout the morning.
#5. Get Moving
A slow morning is a wasted morning.
As soon as you have had your cold shower, water, and breakfast make sure to keep the ball rolling.
The second you sit down on the couch or take a break you are losing the momentum you worked so hard to gain.
Instead, I recommend you do some light exercise.
This can be anything from a light jog to a quick workout in the morning.
Exercising early in the morning should be a way of boosting energy, not spending all of your days energy before even managing to get it started.
Make sure you limit yourself to 30 minutes, and of course don’t forget to warm up as your muscles will be tightest in the morning.
If you don’t overdue it, a brief workout in the morning will improve oxygen and blood flow, and wake the brain and body.
You will also feel like you have accomplished something which will have you feeling good about yourself throughout the day.
I personally find light exercise the most efficient way to wake the hell up in both body and mind.
#6. Get To Bed Earlier
The bodies energy cycles are based around something called the circadian rhythm.
This means your body is primed for sleep at certain times, for brainpower at others, and productivity at another hour.
This rhythm begins much earlier than most people even wake up, and is largely based around the rise and fall of the sun.
Your bodies internal clock loves it when you go to bed around 10pm. This is when your melatonin output is highest and your stress hormone cortisol is lowest.
In english, this means you will encounter the best sleep.
Your deepest sleep will happen around 11-2am, which means you already need to be fast asleep well before then.
Furthermore, if you are not asleep before 12am your adrenal glands will often give you a second wind further disrupting this balance.
A quick way to feel fatigued is to stay up till 1am for a week straight.
Admittedly this is something I need to work on myself as I am often up until 1 or 2am. I always feel better when I get to bed early, even if I manage the same amount of sleep on both nights.
It is a lot easier to wake the hell up when you are well rested to begin with!
If you are following the suggestions previously layed out, it is likely you will need to get to bed earlier anyways.
Some supplements can actually be very helpful for fighting fatigue without the use of coffee.
I saved them for last because they aren’t a cure all.
The list of supplements I have tried for fatigue is enormous, and the truth is most suck or do nothing at all.
Here are 3 actually worth mentioning:
1. Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero Root)
Eleuthero root has many balancing and gentle effects on the body ranging from adrenal gland support and a reduction in stress, all the way to supporting the endocrine system.
Eleuthero root also increases oxygen utilization in the body.
If you are unaware, the brain thrives on oxygen and when the brain is being deprived you will lose focus, energy, and even motivation.
Also worthy of mention is Eleuthero’s ability to improve exercise performance and endurance.
This herb may take a few days to take effect and is something I generally use on a daily basis rather than a one time pick me up.
For more information and studies visit here.
Cordyceps has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine for weakness and fatigue.
In my opinion, it is probably the most powerful herb for immediate energy and drive.
Cordyceps, like Eleuthero, is a powerful oxygen enhancer, and can dramatically increase bloodflow simultaneously.
Beyond this, Cordyceps also has the ability to increase cellular ATP which is essentially the body’s fundamental source of energy!
To top it all off, Cordyceps actually nurtures the body and adrenal glands unlike nasty stimulants such as caffeine.
I take Cordyceps and Shilajit before every workout, and have had more success than I have with any caffeine riddled pre workouts I have used in the past.
For more information and studies on Cordyceps visit here.
Of all the supplements I have tried for fatigue, Shilajit takes the cake.
I notice so many benefits beyond just improved energy from Shilajit including but not limited: to less anxiety, better sleep, and increased libido.
I have only ever used shilajit pitch so I can not comment on the powder form.
This stuff is fantastic and I continue to take it daily first thing in the morning and additionally before a workout.
If there was only one supplement I could take for the rest of my life OR recommend it would be Shilajit.
Shilajit can improve hormone levels in both men and women, clear toxins from the body, improve absorption of other vitamins and minerals, protect the heart, liver, and kidneys and on top of all that it contains over 85 trace minerals in their most available form.
It truly is the closest thing to a perfect supplement possible.
There You Have It
If you find yourself lacking in energy and needing to wake the hell up, specifically in the morning, give these options a try!
I promise you will experience positive improvements within the first week and further cumulative results.