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Top Tips To Wake Yourself Up If You Haven't Had Enough Sleep

by Jed MacEwan(more info)

listed in sleep and insomnia, originally published in issue 222 - May 2015

For some, not getting enough sleep can cause a real dilemma first thing in the morning when it comes to getting out of bed and preparing themselves for the day ahead. A lack of sleep can lead to a loss of energy and motivation throughout the day, which is no good when you have a job, children or list of tasks that need attention. Sleep deprivation can also have an immediate effect on your appetite, creating cravings for high fat foods that can quickly lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. A memory foam mattress specialist in the UK  have compiled a list of tips that will to help Britons to wake up, freshen up and provide a boost of energy to counteract the drained feeling that comes as a result of a short or bad night's sleep.


Top Tips to Wake Up

Get out of Bed Straight Away

Whilst it may be tempting to lie in bed and chase that extra couple of minutes’ sleep, as well as consider what's going to take place during the day ahead, the best thing to do is get out of bed straight after waking. If considering hitting the snooze button, don't. While you may plan to only take a short nap, this can lead you straight back to a deep sleep, potentially sleeping through any additional alarms, or alternatively being woken mid-way through the sleep cycle. This can lead to a deeper feeling of fatigue, which will have an effect on both energy levels, moods and appetite throughout the day.

Swap the Morning Coffee for a Glass of Cold Water

Everyone thinks that coffee is the key to waking up first thing in the morning, but this has become a bit of an urban myth, particularly if it's relied upon as part of a daily routine. Those who don't drink coffee very often will find that a cup gives them a temporary burst of energy first thing in the morning, which is ideal. For those who regularly drink coffee, however there just won't be the same effect and it could actually become a culprit contributing to the struggle to get a good night's sleep. Just like any other addictive substance, the more it's consumed, the less effective it becomes. Therefore, if coffee is a staple part of a morning routine, a cup will simply help keep the caffeine withdrawal symptoms at bay instead of actually providing the desired burst of energy.

Whilst the first few days without it can be difficult, particularly as the withdrawal symptoms will leave behind feelings of fatigue and grogginess and may even affect your mood, this will only last for a few days. A glass of water or a cup of hot water with lemon is far more beneficial in the long run. Initially, it refreshes the body and kick-starts the metabolism, particularly if consumed before breakfast, but it also has numerous other health benefits.

Consume a Nutritious Breakfast

Breakfast is such an important part of the daily routine for many reasons:

  • A healthy breakfast keeps the body satisfied until lunchtime, preventing irresistible cravings to snack on high sugar and high fat foods between meals, which simply offer a brief burst of energy. For those who do find themselves feeling peckish between breakfast and lunch, fruit is key - unhealthy snacks will only lead to the body craving further sugar and fat as blood sugar peaks and plummets, leading to more snacking and a disrupted appetite that will impact on main meals. By following an erratic diet throughout the day you’re likely to get to bedtime with unspent energy, meaning that your sleep that night will be disrupted, you’ll start the process of ‘emergency’ snacking the following day and the cycle will be repeated;
  • The right breakfast foods can provide a boost to the brain and mood levels. Choosing fruit or cereals containing bran, oats or muesli is more beneficial than a glucose-based breakfast, and far more beneficial that no breakfast at all. Whilst the body needs energy, so does the brain, particularly in order to function properly throughout the day, especially when it comes things like sociability, reaction speeds, memory recall, or any task that requires good hand-eye coordination. It's also been scientifically proven that eating shortly after waking, after not eating for a prolonged period of time throughout the night, boosts sugar levels and keeps the feeling of stress and fatigue at bay;
  • Eating breakfast regularly is a great tool for weight management, believe it or not. Whilst many think they can lose a few pounds by skipping breakfast, it's definitely the most important meal of the day and the worst one to miss. The intake of food gets the metabolism working, which in turn starts to burn calories. Waiting until later in the day to eat something will only make the body crave unhealthy foods, typically carbohydrates, which are harder to break down.

It may be more tempting to spend an extra 15 minutes in bed than in the kitchen preparing a nutritious breakfast, but the latter is far more beneficial. If time is an issue, be sure to grab something simple such as a piece of fruit or a breakfast bar.

Find some Light and Fresh Air

Something as simple as opening the curtains in the morning and allowing fresh light into the room can tell the body that, even though it doesn't feel very awake, it is time to wake up and get prepped for the day ahead. By exposing the body to light, you’re kick-starting the production of energy-producing hormones that will help you get moving.

Fresh air can have the same effect on the body. If there's enough time, going outside for a brisk walk or even a jog can kick-start the body and provide a burst of energy. However if time is limited, simply popping outside for just a couple of minutes is enough to get some fresh air into the lungs and wake the body up.

Do Some Morning Exercise

Nothing gets the heart pumping, oxygen flowing to the brain and energy levels rising than fitting in a workout before starting the day, whether it's in the comfort of your own home, on the street, or even in the gym. We're not suggesting a fully intense workout each morning, but just 20 minutes of cardio is enough to do the trick.

Splash your Face with Cold Water

Simple, yet effective. Splashing cold water on any part of the body, but particularly the face, is a shock to the system that triggers various hormones to get the heart pumping faster, leading to more energy. Alongside this, it has numerous benefits for skin, including tightening the skin and reducing the appearance of under-eye bags.

Whilst the above are great tips for waking yourself up after a bad or short night's sleep, the truly best way to feel energized throughout the day is to get a good night's sleep. This list isn't a means to an end; whilst we'd advise these tips to be carried out daily, particularly if fatigue kicks in first thing in the morning, they're even more effective following a decent night's sleep.


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About Jed MacEwan

Jed MacEwan is the director of Ergoflex, a memory foam mattress company with a product line developed to offer superior performance and sleep quality. Ergoflex operates in the UK, Europe and Australia, with an established reputation as a premium brand and technical foams specialist. He may be contacted on Tel: 0800 024 1122; 


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