Getting up in the morning and staying alert throughout the day can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you are not a natural early riser or a morning person. But today, I want to show you how to stay awake and alert without caffeine!
It is often hard to get up from bed, even with the alarms blaring. You even get annoyed and that is no way to start your day. Starting your day right is imperative to have a productive day at work, at home, or with whatever you have scheduled for the day.
Have you Read: 10 PRODUCTIVITY HACKS FOR 2023
I understand that you have the habit of shaking yourself awake with a cup of coffee every morning. See – you can’t keep doing that to yourself! Although caffeine gives you that burst of energy you crave at that moment, it usually does not last and there are certain downsides.
Side-Effects Of Caffeine Consumption
Being alert, energized, staying awake, and caffeine is often used in the same sentence. Caffeine is quite popular among the working class and students.
If you want to shake yourself awake or stay alert for a specific period of time, caffeine is the plug. This shows just how popular the use of caffeine is in keeping awake and staying alert.
Caffeine is a natural chemical that functions as a stimulant. This means that it works by stimulating the central nervous system, heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure. It is found in a lot of products including Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, Cola, Guarana, Yerba mate, and a wide range of other products. The most popular source of caffeine is coffee.
Caffeine in the form of coffee is a method a lot of people use to rouse themselves from morning drowsiness and shake themselves awake. Yes, that cup of coffee you take after you get out of bed or when you feel groggy and there is a tonne of work to do or that cup you take to chase away sleep while studying for your finals.
Caffeine can be a temporary fix for drowsiness and tiredness but it is not the best solution or strategy.
Although caffeine provides energy, it also comes with a lot of side effects. Some of the side effects include:
- Restlessness and shakiness.
- Insomnia and disruption of sleep patterns.
- Headaches and Dizziness.
- Accelerated heart rate.
- Anxiety and difficulty focusing (although there are conflicting research results on this point).
- Dependency and addiction, so you need to take more of it to get the same results. When you finally decide to stay off it, you realize you have withdrawal symptoms.
Some people refer to Caffeine as a miracle substance and others refer to it as junk but it is hard to outrightly label it as one thing or the other.
However, with the side-effects outlined above, it would be best to find alternatives that can boost morning alertness and energize you without the use of artificial stimulants.
How to Stay Awake and Alert Without Caffeine
- The 10-minute rule.
- Exercise and active work.
- Eat well, and don’t skip breakfast.
- Stay Hydrated.
- Commit to a regular sleep schedule and take power naps.
1.The 10-Minute Rule
The ten-minute rule is a technique or strategy to stay alert when you wake up. It is also great if you want to establish a consistent wake-up time.
All you have to do is make sure you stay awake for ten minutes after you hear your alarm ring in the morning. Once you stay up for the next ten minutes, you will notice that the urge to go back to sleep has reduced. You will be able to start your morning routines without feeling extra groggy.
2. Exercise and Active Work
In order to stay alert, you must start your day with something physical like exercise or work that actively engages your mind.
For exercise, you do not have to do anything overly strenuous or exerting, you could go for a run, a walk, or just jog. You may consider stretching and home workouts. There are a couple of apps that can help you with that and ensure consistency. Moving your body will help you stay awake and alert without the need for caffeine. You get to shake off any drowsiness and you also get the bonus of keeping fit.
At the start of your day, you could engage your mind with creative activities like writing, scheduling, drawing, programming or designing (if they are in your line of work or you have an interest in it). It is best to find an activity that is best suited to you. Please avoid passive activities like reading or meditation when your mind is not fully alert. This creative and active work helps keep your mind focused and prevents drowsiness.
3. Eat Well and Don’t Skip Breakfast
Just as with your health, what you eat and when you do it can affect your ability to stay awake and alert throughout the day.
Ensure you do not skip breakfast, when you wake up, prepare something to eat. You could start off with a nutritious snack like baby carrots or a fruit.
Please note that skipping meals can cause your metabolism to go off balance which might result in rapid loss of energy. When you skip breakfast especially, your blood sugar level will be low and you will have low energy levels.
Skipping meals can also make you overeat at your next meal which can also lead you to feel tired and slow. You should also be intentional about eating healthy snacks and food during the day as they will help steady your blood sugar levels.
4. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration causes fatigue, fatigue adversely affects your ability to stay focused, productive, and alert. To avoid being dehydrated, you should drink water regularly. Experts say, drinking six to eight (6-8) cups of water is sufficient to keep you hydrated. You will also feel refreshed. Contrary to popular belief you must not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
5. Commit to a Regular Sleep Schedule and Take Power Naps
One major cause of drowsiness and tiredness during the day is a lack of adequate sleep. If this resonates with you, you must be intentional about committing to a sleep schedule.
Adults need between six to eight hours of sleep to function properly. You should set a bedtime and stick to it. It is wrong to deprive yourself of sleep during the week and think to catch up on sleep on the weekend.
It is a horrible strategy that will affect your productivity and may lead to a complete physical breakdown. Ensure you do as much as you can during the early hours of the day so you can sleep well at night.
You should also consider taking a nap during the day. A twenty-minute nap can do wonders. Ensure that you do not nap for more than twenty minutes, as you may end up entering into a deep sleep, which defeats the whole restorative purpose. Napping for more than twenty minutes may lead to grogginess instead of you feeling refreshed.
Finally, naps do not take the place of a good night’s sleep, ensure you sleep well at night. Also, do not nap late in the day as it might interfere with your regular sleep cycle.
6. Turn on the Lights
You might be wondering how light will help you stay awake and alert. Well, your body is tuned to the amount of light in a particular place. The more light there is the more alert you will be.
The trick is to turn on all the lights around you when you wake up or open up your windows.
Doing this will help your body register that it is time to wake up. You will be more awake.
Summary: Caffeine is Not the Best Option
There are better ways to shake yourself awake, get your day full of energy, and be alert without caffeine. Go through the list and see what works for you. You never know until you try. Keep in mind that these are healthy substitutes to caffeine.
Finally, as a bonus, you could play music or a motivational track immediately after you wake up. This is a healthy option to try. You could start working and get a slight jiggle in while the music plays or work while you listen to the motivational track.
I hope these tips help!