Ways To Banish Morning Fatigue
Waking up feeling drowsy and tired? Here are some easy steps to supercharge your mornings.
Fatigue, or tiredness upon waking up even after what we think is a decent night of sleep, is something most of us have experienced, and it affects our activities throughout the day. Recent studies show that COVID-19 quarantine has increased the possibility of feeling exhausted and groggy in the mornings, because of a range of varied reasons—reduced hours of exposure to sunlight, changes in our sleep cycle, the lack of a structured daily routine, and even mental stress.
Here are nine ways to banish morning fatigue for the days when you might be experiencing it:
1. Get up from bed as soon as you wake up
Lingering in bed after you wake up in the morning might be tempting, but it increases the feeling of drowsiness later on. Hitting the snooze button on your alarm so that you can get ten minutes of extra sleep actually confuses your body’s internal clock and affects REM sleep, or restorative sleep, leaving you tired when you finally wake up.
2. Wash your face with cold water
Research shows that cold water is effective in sending a mild shock to your system, which increases oxygen intake, blood circulation and alertness.
3. Drink enough water
Although a cup of coffee or tea is a popular way of combating tiredness, morning intake of caffeine can actually leave you more fatigued later in the day because of a 'crash' in energy. When the caffeine wears off, your body produces adenosine, the receptor that makes you feel sleepy and tired. Drinking sufficient water instead, with caffeine in moderation, will keep you hydrated and fresh.
4. Play some music
A study from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology shows that melodic tunes have an energising effect that “increases cognition and attention, and helps you feel less groggy as you wake up”. Happy and energetic tunes between 125 to 140 beats per minute, such as Happy by Pharell Williams or Hotel California by Eagles, will reduce fatigue.
5. Do some stretches or yoga
Simple stretches and some yoga can rejuvenate your mind and body. It increases blood flow to your muscles and brain, helping to get rid of stiffness or aches caused by sleep, and releases energy-stimulating endorphins.
6. Eat a healthy and balanced breakfast
Loading up on carbohydrates and sugars might seem like the best option for a tired morning, but studies advise against it. A balanced breakfast composed of healthy fats like eggs, bananas and avocados, protein-rich nuts like almonds and cashews, and natural fibres like oats and chia seeds will give you the energy you need to get through your day.
7. Go for a walk outdoors
A short walk outside can do wonders to energise your body. Exposure to morning sunshine also increases daytime alertness and improves night-time sleep, and helps release serotonin – the hormone responsible for our feelings of happiness and well-being.
8. Practice good sleep hygiene
The most common reason for morning fatigue is not getting sufficient restful sleep. Studies show that the adult body needs at least seven to nine hours of sleep daily to be healthy. Make sure to maintain a proper sleep schedule every day. Reduce the usage of phones and other devices before bed, and avoid working on stressful things before going to sleep.
9. Address possible underlying causes for constant fatigue
If your morning fatigue is regular and persistent throughout the day, it might point to medical reasons such as allergies, sleep apnoea, depression or even heart diseases. Make sure to consult a doctor and get the necessary treatment for long-term health.