By: Joe Oliveto
If the amount of caffeine you need to wake up in the morning is approximately "all of it," you're not getting the quality, restorative sleep that seems to belong exclusively to babies and dead people. Falling asleep is difficult enough. Getting real rest when you're off in dreamworld is something else altogether.
Thankfully, as with so many other life problems, there's a hack for that. A lot of them, in fact. These easy tips will help you greet the world in the morning without feeling like you want to murder it.
Drink coffee right away, go right back to sleep, win at life
Caffeine takes a few minutes to kick in, during which time you come as close to killing someone as possible without needing to report yourself to the police. The "coffee nap" trick -- drinking some java right before taking a short nap to get the biggest boost when you wake up -- also works to avoid morning grogginess. Set your alarm a little earlier than usual, enjoy your energy beverage of choice, then get back to sleep for a few minutes. You'll wake up feeling much less stabby than usual.
Turn down the thermostat
To get the kind of restful sleep that results in high energy in the morning, Harvard recommends setting the temperature to somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave the curtains open
The ability to say, "Eff you, sun, I'm sleeping in," is a pretty recent development in human history. Our dumbass caveman bodies haven't exactly caught up with tech advances like curtains, so the sun is still a major energy source. It's the closest we come to being like Superman. Embrace your natural circadian rhythms by sleeping with the blinds open, so you get some of that sweet vitamin D as soon as you wake up.
Meditate for better rest
Yeah, this again. Maybe we're peddling mindfulness with the fervor of a Scientologist, but to be fair, mindfulness actually works. Along with reducing stress and improving heart health, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that it can also improve not only sleep quality, but the ability to function during the day. Get started with YouTube.
Set the electronics aside an hour before bed
According to Harvard, light from smartphones, laptops, and TVs can suppress the secretion of melatonin. That's a sciencey way of saying the human body was not meant to Snapchat after the sun goes down, because our brains won't know it's night. Reset your internal clock by stepping away from the iDevices before bed.
Don't drink before bed (sorry)
Oh, come on. A review of major scientific studies shows that alcohol may get you to sleep more quickly, findings which were further confirmed by everyone who ever went to college. But drinking before bed results in more disrupted sleep overall, with obvious negative consequences for your energy levels.
Dammit, science. You're ruining sleep for everyone!
Credit: Flickr/Mark Sebastian
Get more physical activity during the day
Sorry to get all angry gym coach on you, but you gotta get off your ass. Getting about 150 minutes of exercise a week not only improves sleep quality by 65%, but also results in feeling more alert and energized during the day. Get started with these fitness apps.
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