Defeating the morning grogginess or pushing past that mid-afternoon slump can be challenging some days leading to our productivity to drop drastically. But fear not, here are 15 reinvigorating ways to feel more awake during the day.
There is often a misconception between the relationship of exercising and tiredness. Many people believe that working out will make us more tired and less able to function during the day. While this does sound like a fair assumption, there are studies which indicate otherwise.
"Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out - especially when we are already feeling fatigued. However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy - particularly in sedentary individuals.” said researcher Tim Puetz.
With this in mind, it’s time to start scheduling in 30 minutes to exercise each day. Whether you have time in the morning, or would feel better to do it after work, just make sure you do.
Having a nap (if done correctly) can work wonders for you in terms of feeling more awake and alert. For some people, napping is an essential part of their day while others feel it just makes them more tired.
But science has come to the rescue again to help alleviate any worries you may have regarding to napping.
Ideally, naps should last anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes and between 1:00 and 4:00 PM. Any time after 4:00 PM can significantly disrupt your night time sleep which nobody wants.
The reason behind not having a nap longer than 30 minutes is that you will run the risk of developing “sleep inertia”. This may sound extremely unpleasant, but it’s just a posh word for feeling ‘groggy’.
‘Napping on the job’ is a great and quick way to improve your performance and alertness throughout the afternoon and is especially prevalent within the nursing community.
It may seem obvious, but not nearly enough of us are drinking the recommended amount of water each day. The NHS recommend that we drink 1.5 litres of pure water each day which can numerous health benefits.
With it being such common knowledge that water is the best thing we can ever drink, it’s surprising how little of us actually drink enough. A recent study showed that only one in ten of us drink three glasses of water each day.
While drinking water can help with weight loss, clear our skin, fight infections and stop headaches, it can also dramatically increase our energy levels. Around 60% of our body is made up of water, so when we are dehydrated our body parts lack their intensity, thus making us feel tired or lazy.
You’ll be surprised how much good a 20 minute walk outside in the fresh air can do for you.
“Nature is fuel for the soul” says Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. While being cooped up all morning indoors, we can start to feel sluggish and tired which will only transcend into our work performance.
Heading outside for a brisk walk can reinvigorate our thoughts and energy levels, allowing us to fully tackle the afternoon ahead.
Much has been discussed on whether we should eat breakfast and for the majority of conclusions, the answer is yes, yes we should.
Not only can breakfast be important by helping us maintain a healthy body weight, but it can provide us with the nutrition and energy to support for the day’s activities.
This doesn’t give you an excuse to wolf down a donut or chocolate bar. You will only benefit from eating breakfast by choosing your food wisely. It is said that you should pick 2-3 foods from bread and grain, dairy and fruit or vegetables.
If you’re having trouble thinking of some delicious healthy breakfast ideas, here is a great list compiled by BBC Good Food.
Instead of reaching for those sugar rich snacks and drinks, why not upgrade your snack to something that has more substance to it?
Although eating sugar rich snacks may feel like a great boost of energy, that energy spike will only last so long and you will end up feeling demotivated and lethargic shortly afterwards.
Opt for fruit, whole grains or nuts to give yourself that much needed boost during the afternoon grind.
While this may not seem such a great idea now, taking a cold shower in the morning can be a great way to start off the day.
The sharp feeling of a cold shower will get your heart pumping faster leading to more blood being pumped around the body. This will leave you feeling invigorated and more energised to help you start the day on a good note.
If you’re having a hard time coming to grips with turning the cold tap on, just do it for 30 seconds towards the end of your shower. You’ll even feel the benefit from this.
It is said that chewing can help improve alertness, have an effect on our motor control and improve our cognitive performances. So if you need a quick pick-me-up, grab a stick of gum.
No doubt every morning you will find busy people rushing around, coffee in hand, trying to get to their destination. We drink caffeinated drinks under the premise that it will help us feel more awake and get us through the day.
While this is true to some extent, increased alertness and decreased fatigue only last so long. Regular drinkers can build up a tolerance to caffeine and end up feeling sleepier than they would if they hadn’t ever touched a drop of coffee.
Instead of grabbing a quick coffee to go, pick up a bottle of water. Dehydration can make us extremely tired and water is the best thing to counteract this.
For many of us that work in an office, we tend to stay seated for the majority of the day. We sleep for 8 hours, drive to work, work until 5pm, drive home then park ourselves on the sofa until bedtime.
This routine or something similar can be very detrimental to our health, so it’s best to keep in mind that we should get up regularly and move. Whether you choose to stand up periodically, take the stairs instead of the lift or hold “walking meetings”, trying to incorporate these small changes into your working day can yield significant results.
While at work, many of us don’t have the option or freedom to work while standing. Deadlines need to be met and meetings need to be attended. As a result, fatigue sets in and we feel achy and tired during long periods of sitting.
To combat this, actively think how you sit during the day. By sitting up straight, keeping both feet on the floor and having your knees parallel to the floor, you will feel less tired throughout the day and also keep yourself healthy as opposed to someone who slouches all day.
Along with bringing a more aesthetically pleasing feel to a room, house plants have a lot more to offer than meets the eye.
From reducing stress, increasing productivity, improving indoor air quality and making us feel less fatigued. House plants actively remove carbon dioxide from the air which has been linked to afternoon fatigue. Simply scatter a few house plants around the office or home and reap the rewards.
By having a sleeping routine, your body will become well-adjusted to it and your health and productivity will reflect this. A slight fluctuation in your sleep schedule can have drastic effects on your performance and tiredness levels.
The aim here is to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day (even weekends). Getting just one less hour of sleep from your normal routine can throw your ability to think properly and respond quickly.
It is said that the average adult needs between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Many believe that 6 hours is enough, but researchers from the University of California discovered that people must have a particular gene to work well on six hours of sleep – this gene only appears in less than 3% of the population.
A study found that more than half of Americans aged between 25 and 34 press the snooze button daily. It’s such a common occurrence for people yet hitting that snooze button for that extra 5 for 10 minutes in bed is actually detrimental to the way we feel in the morning.
To feel more refreshed and awake in the morning, the best thing to do is to get up straight away when your alarm goes off. Sit on the side of your bed and stretch. Shutting your eyes again during your snooze will make you feel more groggy than normal.
If you do have trouble resisting the urge to hitting the snooze button, try placing your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. Cruel but effective.
We all have those days where we just want to curl up in bed and shut ourselves away from the world. That groggy feeling we get can last all morning and that afternoon slump can affect our overall performance. Keeping these 15 ideas in mind to help us be more alert and awake can be easy to implement with a little will-power. Just don’t try to implement them all at once.