Morning fatigue is normal for many people. While it is important to focus on underlying causes to ensure good quality sleep, there may be ways to energize the body and help someone feel more awake in the mornings.
In this article, we discuss tips that may help a person feel energetic in the morning or wake up quicker.
Someone who drinks water first thing in the morning helps provide their body with the hydration it needs to start the day. It can also ward off any sleepiness from mild dehydration. A common symptom of dehydration includes fatigue.
When a person drinks water, it stimulates other organs and systems in the body, and may encourage a more wakeful state.
Some people prefer a glass of warm water, or water with lemon and cinnamon, to further stimulate the body.
Someone who performs simple stretches helps warm up their muscles and promote circulation in the body, which could aid waking up in the morning. Many people stretch instinctively, such as moving their arms over their head, or extending their legs in bed.
Exercise while tired may not sound appealing, but it can stimulate the body, get the blood flowing, and help make a person feel more alert. The workout does not have to be intense.
Simple activities, such as a short brisk walk, dancing to music, or even a few jumping jacks, can help get the heart and breathing rate up, which can wake the body up faster.
Breathing exercises can stimulate the body, as it raises oxygen within the circulation, which could make a person feel more awake.
Long, deep breaths, or guided breathing meditation techniques may help someone feel more awake and alert.
When someone wakes up to an abrupt alarm, the temptation to snooze for a few extra minutes may feel good, but it could make them feel more tired when they wake up again.
As they try to fall back asleep, they are unlikely to feel the benefits of rest, and may instead experience sleep inertia. This is the feeling of confusion and fatigue after waking up.
For many people, it may be better to immediately get out of bed and start their day when the alarm clock goes off.
If this is difficult, a person can try to keep the alarm out of reach from the bed. If they place the alarm across the room, they will be less likely to snooze, as they physically need to get out of bed and turn it off.
Cold showers in the morning may energize and invigorate. While warm showers tend to relax the body and mind, cold water may do the opposite.
A 2016 study suggests that an increased norepinephrine concentration occurs from having a cold shower.
A study in North American Journal of Medical Sciences notes that cold water causes the deeper tissue blood vessels to dilate, which increases heart rate, blood flow, and circulation. Therefore, cold showers may stimulate the body to wake up and be more alert, causing a person to feel energized.
If a person does not wish to have a cold shower, they can splash cold water on their face. This may produce a similar stimulating effect.
Some scents tend can quickly make a person feel awake or brighter, though effects vary from person to person.
Simple smells such as brewing coffee, fresh peppermint, or lemon zest may help energize someone almost instantly.
An animal study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that some smells may help reduce fatigue, including essential oils of:
While the study focuses on sluggishness from exercise fatigue, the same oils may help invigorate someone in the morning.
While breakfast is important to energize the body, it may have the opposite effect if someone eats a large meal. People who consume a big breakfast may notice they feel more sluggish as the body digests their meal.
They may also rely on stimulants, such as caffeine, to give them energy.
A smaller and healthful breakfast may help people start their day quicker and sustain their energy levels. They could try porridge, cereals, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Stimulants are a simple way to get an energy boost in the morning. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, are popular breakfast choices because they are effective.
However, many people can experience a caffeine crash after a few hours, and energy levels may drop to even lower than before.
A study in Open Access Journals of Clinical Trials notes that while cognitive abilities can receive a boost with caffeine, these levels reduce around 5 hours afterward. This could encourage someone to consume higher quantities of caffeine to stay awake or alert.
This can also affect sleep for that evening, and result in more fatigue the next morning.
While it may seem difficult at first, a person who avoids stimulants in the morning may have more natural energy throughout the day.
A person who takes in sunlight after waking up, for example, during a morning walk, may feel more energized. This is because the short wavelength blue light found in sunlight stimulates the brain.
A study in the Journal of Biophotonics notes that this short wavelength light is important to suppress melatonin in the brain, which is a hormone that makes a person sleepy.
The best way to ensure someone gets energy in the morning is to ensure good sleeping habits. People who wake in the morning and feel tired may wish to look at their nighttime routines, and make changes to help them get better rest.
Some research suggests that more than a third of adults in the United States do not get enough regular sleep.
Some general sleep tips include:
- sleeping between 7-9 hours every night
- avoiding sources of bright lights and loud noises, such as televisions, computers, and mobile screens
- turning off all bedroom lights
- listening to the body’s sleep signals
- going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
- trying a relaxing routine, such as a warm bath, or reading
- avoiding stimulants or exercises shortly before bedtime
There are several ways to help someone get more energy in the morning. While these tips will work for many people in the short term, it is important to create long-term habits that help them feel energized throughout their day.
A person can practice a combination of good sleep habits and morning routines to help them muster enough energy in the morning.