Don’t hit that snooze button! If you wake up feeling groggy, it’s actually the worst thing you can do—those few extra minutes with your pillow may feel great, but they may make you more tired. The extra sleep post-snooze is fragmented and lower quality, so you’re better off setting your alarm for the time you actually need to get up. Plus, “you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish,” Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona, tells CNN. “This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”
So what should you do if you wake up desperate to wrap yourself up in your comforter and stay in bed? Try these:
Drink a glass of water
“But the kitchen is so far away from my bed,” you say? Keep a glass of water on your nightstand—and drink it down first thing in the morning. Even mild dehydration (losing 1.5 percent of your normal water volume) can mess with your mood, your energy level and your ability to think clearly. It can even make it seem like certain tasks are much harder than they actually are…you know, like getting out of bed and tackling your to-do list. As soon as you open your eyes, rehydrate. It just may make that long walk to the coffee pot a little easier.
Play the perfect morning music
Replace the annoying beep of your alarm clock with some AM music. Your body releases dopamine when you listen to music, giving you an instant mood boost and easing the pain of an early wakeup. The makings of the perfect morning playlist, according to Spotify’s data team and music psychologist David M. Greenberg: songs that start slow and build up, positive lyrics and a BPM of 100-130.
Add this 90-second trick to your shower
A hot shower may be just the thing you’re craving after leaving your warm bed, but it makes it harder to wake up. Once the faucet is off and you step out into the cool air of your bathroom, your body temperature drops…relaxing you and making it tough to get going.
Instead, experts recommend a 90-second tweak to your shower routine: after you finish lathering up and rinsing off, make the water as cold as you can stand of 30 seconds, followed by as hot as you can handle for another 30—it’ll open up your capillaries and increase blood flow. Finally, finish up with another 30 seconds of cold water so you don’t get that groggy feeling when you finally step out of the shower.
Rise and shine
Emphasis on the shine. Instead of getting dressed in the dark with your eyes half closed, open up your curtains first thing in the morning for a blast of sunlight. It’ll tell your body’s internal clock that it’s time to start the day. Up before the sun is? Try a light therapy lamp—it’ll simulate natural light way better than a regular lamp.
We get it—morning exercise is a lot to ask when it already feels like a major effort just to brush your hair. But that’s exactly why you should make an effort: exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, giving you an instant energy boost. Best of all? You don’t have to leave the house to do it. Roll out a yoga mat in your living room for some stretches—even 15 minutes can help you wake up.
Still drowsy? Schedule a coffee nap
Don’t get back into bed just yet—but if you’re still feeling low on energy, plan on a coffee nap later in the day. Sound like an oxymoron? It’s not. Downing a cup of coffee and immediately taking 20-minute nap has been shown to restore alertness better than doing either on its own. That’s because your body produces a chemical compound called adenosine that makes you drowsy—part of coffee’s power is fighting that chemical. Your levels of adenosine drop while you’re sleeping, making that pre-nap cup of coffee that more effective when it kicks in once you wake up 20 minutes later.