5 Ways to Wake Up Without Caffeine

Your alarm clock rings, and your eyes flutter open. You hit snooze. You doze off, but your alarm goes off again. You're definitely not ready to face the world, so you go make yourself a cup of coffee before getting ready for your busy day. But here’s the trouble, your morning coffee doesn't give you the same jolt it once did. And that's because over time, we become desensitized to caffeine's stimulating effects. So what do you do now? Try adding one or more of these ways to wake up without caffeine to your morning routine:

1. Exercise

Rolling out of bed and working out will release endorphins that not only wake you up, but also make you feel great. Going for a morning run is an excellent way to boost your energy level. If running isn't your workout of choice, you have other options: try stretching or yoga. Check out these 10 stimulating poses sure to lift your energy level. Pressed for time? Try the 7-minute workout. This workout consists of 12 bodyweight exercises. All you need is a chair and wall to do them. Be warned that this program is high intensity and requires a basic understanding of proper form.

2. Cold Showers

Showering in warm water relaxes you and makes you feel more lethargic. The instant temperature change of a cold shower relieves stress and makes you feel more alert. Sure, this isn't a fun way to wake up, but you'll get used to it over time. Not sold on giving up your warm, morning shower? Try this compromise: clean your body and wash your hair in warm water, then shower in cold water for the last minute to jolt yourself awake. If you can't stand the thought of subjecting your body to a cold shower, splash your face with cold water or drink a very cold glass of water. Both trigger adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain.

3. Energizing Foods

Keep in mind that old expression, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." An apple's natural sugars and other carbohydrates help stabilize your blood sugar. If you're not a fan of apples or you’re looking for variety, bananas, oranges, and other fruits do the same. Eating a protein-rich food with your fruit, such as eggs or Greek yogurt, will keep you from feeling hungry until lunch time.

4. Sunlight

Sunlight alerts your body's internal clock to wake you up better than artificial light. Get up and go for a walk, even if it's a short one around the block. Getting that proverbial "breath of fresh air" can reduce feelings of stress and fight fatigue. Studies show that enjoying the morning sun is linked to a better mood and lower BMI. Who'd have thought that walking in the sunshine could make you feel alert, put you in a good mood, and help you lose weight?

5. Morning Routine

Set your alarm for the same time even on the weekend. If you vary the time you wake up, your body has to continually adjust, which causes fatigue. Allow yourself time for an activity that engages your brain. Do the morning crossword puzzle. Create a playlist of energizing songs and listen to it while you get ready. Call Mom. Yes, you read that right. Who usually woke you up when you were a kid? Research shows calling Mom reduces feelings of stress. However, chatting with anyone with whom you have a strong, personal connection can charge you up, too

Waking Up Doesn’t Always Mean Coffee

Whether you're trying to reduce your caffeine intake or finding that cup of Joe just doesn't do the trick anymore, there are plenty of non-caffeinated ways to wake up in the morning. The varied list of options above has something for everyone. What's great about them is that they don't just get you going in the morning, they're also wonderful tips for healthy living.