Many of us have been conditioned to take a “wake-up” java break when we feel fatigued. But there are healthier alternatives  that more naturally perk up your body and mind.

I’m going to outline those here plus I’ll share an important secret about a common device that might be contributing to your daytime grogginess.

Here are my 5 key ways to stay awake without coffee:

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1. Move!
If you’re sitting at a desk or idle for more than 90 minutes and your energy level is crashing, get up and stretch or do some neck rotations. Take a walk. If you’re in the right clothes (and an appropriate setting), try doing a series of jumping jacks. Activate the body to increase blood flow and amp up your vital life force. You can feel better in as little as 5 minutes of physical activity.2. Breathe!
Take a break and use an ancient yogic breathing technique to get your juices flowing again. Do this standing or seated. Breathe only through your nose and take a deep inhalation as you raise your arms overhead. Then quickly lower your elbows to your side as you exhale in one full breath out. Repeat in a steady rapid yet rhythmic pace for 10 or 15 rounds.

This immediately clears out the cobwebs and helps circulate oxygen to all your cells for better functioning. You may feel slightly lightheaded at first. If it’s uncomfortable, next time doing fewer reps. Ultimately this technique should give you a surge of energy.

3. Eat!
Find a nutritious snack to energize you. Healthy combinations of fruit and nuts are excellent sources of revitalizing fuel for the body and mind. Stay away from sugary treats or you will have a burst of energy that will drop off suddenly and you’ll feel worse. Choose good sources of munchies. Try my 8 recommendations.

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4. Rest.
Taking a time-out is extremely restorative. Especially if you’re working at a computer, you can reduce eye fatigue just by closing your eyes or looking away from the screen for a few minutes.

For a truly relaxing break, I suggest a few minutes of meditation. Sitting or lying comfortably, close your eyes and breathe very slowly and deeply. Count to 5-6 on the inhalation and 7-8 on the exhalation. If quieting your mind is too challenging for you, try downloading my free audio 3MinutestoDestress.com It’s a guided experience that recharges your body and brain.

If you’re seriously sleep deprived, you may need a 20 minute power nap. Or use an even more restorative technique with my Integrative Relaxation program (which is part of my Sports Recovery Plan)

5. Talk.
Start a conversation with an associate or friend. Just chatting with someone activates brain functions that wake you up. You’ll feel more mentally alive. If struggling to stay awake is a daily challenge, you may simply need more sleep or you may need to ditch your snooze alarm. Snooze buttons are detrimental. In fact, I don’t even recommend using an alarm clock. But I know without an alarm clock some clients would be awake all night worrying that they might oversleep.

The problem with alarms is that they cause an invasive and jarring interruption of your sleep. When you add snoozing to the equation, you totally confuse your internal clock. In that time between being asleep and awakening, you enter a state of sleep inertia during which you feel foggy-brained and tired.

Using the snooze perpetuates that unpleasant stage and deprives you of waking up slowly and fully so that you feel refreshed and alert. So you’re left feeling stressed and unfocused throughout the day.

Here’s a big tip: If you must rely on an alarm clock, try a progressive light device that will allow you to wake up slowly and quietly with just the influence of increasing light levels. And instead of coffee, start the day with some herbal or green teas.

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Peggy Sealfon

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