14 Simple Sleep Hacks to Make You Wake Up More Energized
If the amount of caffeine you need to wake up in the morning is approximately "all of it," you're not getting the quality, restorative sleep that seems to belong exclusively to babies and dead people. Falling asleep is difficult enough. Getting real rest when you're off in dreamworld is something else altogether.
Thankfully, as with so many other life problems, there's a hack for that. Fourteen, in fact. These easy tips will help you greet the world in the morning without feeling like you want to murder it.
Drink coffee right away, go right back to sleep, win at life
Caffeine takes a few minutes to kick in, during which time you come as close to killing someone as possible without needing to report yourself to the police. The “coffee nap” trick -- drinking some java right before taking a short nap to get the biggest boost when you wake up -- also works to avoid morning grogginess. Set your alarm a little earlier than usual, enjoy your energy beverage of choice, then get back to sleep for a few minutes. You’ll wake up feeling much less stabby than usual.
Turn down the thermostat
To get the kind of restful sleep that results in high energy in the morning, Harvard recommends setting the temperature to somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave the curtains open
The ability to say, “Eff you, sun, I'm sleeping in,” is a pretty recent development in human history. Our dumbass caveman bodies haven’t exactly caught up with tech advances like curtains, so the sun is still a major energy source. It's the closest we come to being like Superman. Embrace your natural circadian rhythms by sleeping with the blinds open, so you get some of that sweet vitamin D as soon as you wake up.
Meditate for better rest
Yeah, this again. Maybe we’re peddling mindfulness with the fervor of a Scientologist, but to be fair, mindfulness actually works. Along with reducing stress and improving heart health, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that it can also improve not only sleep quality, but the ability to function during the day. Get started with YouTube.
Set the electronics aside an hour before bed
According to Harvard, light from smartphones, laptops, and TVs can suppress the secretion of melatonin. That's a sciencey way of saying the human body was not meant to Snapchat after the sun goes down, because our brains won't know it's night. Reset your internal clock by stepping away from the iDevices before bed.
Don't drink before bed (sorry)
Oh, come on. A review of major scientific studies shows that alcohol may get you to sleep more quickly, findings which were further confirmed by everyone who ever went to college. But drinking before bed results in more disrupted sleep overall, with obvious negative consequences for your energy levels.
Dammit, science. You’re ruining sleep for everyone!
Get more physical activity during the day
Sorry to get all angry gym coach on you, but you gotta get off your ass. Getting about 150 minutes of exercise a week not only improves sleep quality by 65%, but also results in feeling more alert and energized during the day. Get started with these fitness apps.
Keep a set sleep schedule
If your circadian rhythm is screwed up, you won't wake up refreshed. Work toward making sure you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. And make sure that those times aren’t midnight and noon, respectively.
Listen to hypnosis recordings
According to a study from the University of Zurich, listening to a hypnosis audio can lengthen the amount of time spent in quality, restorative sleep, because apparently that “You’re getting verrrrrrysleeeepy” nonsense is actually legit. Try it out yourself.
Smell some peppermint oil to wake up
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the scent of peppermint can make you feel more alert in the morning. The benefits are worth admitting you're into aromatherapy.
Write down what you're grateful for
“Be grateful” is the type of advice you usually find in new age books and bad Instagram accounts, but SCIENCE says keeping a written record of everything you’re grateful for can help you get more restful sleep, probably by improving your mood.
Listen to classical music while going to sleep
In a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, researchers found that listening to classical music while going to bed can calm the body down, giving you more energy in the morning.
Listening to rave music has the opposite effect, as indicated by the study “A Clinical Review of the Assholes Who Lived Above Me Freshmen Year,” published in the Journal of Stupid Dipshits.
Practice a simple breathing trick for better rest
Breathe in for a count of four, hold it for seven, exhale for eight. Repeat until relaxed. You just inhaled your way to rejuvenating sleep without breaking the law.
Wear an eye mask and pop some melatonin
When all else fails, remember that cheap aids like melatonin and eye masks have been shown to actually have a positive effect on sleep quality, without the terrifying side effects mentioned in every single sleep med commercial ever.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Joe Oliveto is a writer for Thrillist and considers a good night's sleep to be "I didn't have that stress dream about failing a class I forgot to attend." Follow him for more stress dreams on Twitter.