Have you ever tried to quit coffee? Cue headaches, fatigue, and difficulty waking up. If you’re used to coffee, it’s hard to wake up without it.
Luckily, it’s possible to kick coffee for good. With just a little time and discipline, you can rewire your brain to function without that extra stimulation. Read on for our top suggestions on how to get up and go without your morning cup of coffee.
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What Happens When You Quit Coffee?
For many people, coffee is an essential part of their morning routine. They wake up, brew a pot of coffee or go through the local drive-thru, and start sipping on that delicious bean water.
Why is coffee such an important part of the wake-up routine? Because one cup of brewed coffee usually contains a whopping 96 mg of caffeine. That’s more than tea, soda, espresso, and even a typical energy drink. That’s a lot of caffeine!
In fact, the daily recommended amount of caffeine ranges up to 400 mg for an adult, depending on caffeine sensitivity. Just four cups of coffee puts your body right at the limit.
For one reason or another, some people decide to quit coffee. However, quitting coffee isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Heavy caffeine use can alter your brain as it tries to regulate your sleep cycle. Your brain will actually create more receptors for sleep chemicals to work around the caffeine.
When you quit coffee, you end up with way more sleep receptors than you need and an overabundance of sleep chemicals. This is when the morning fatigue sets in.
Anyone who has quit coffee knows that caffeine headaches are no joke. Alongside headaches, you might notice that you’re extremely tired, irritable, and have trouble concentrating.
How do you still manage to get up and go with all of this happening at once? Here are our tips on supercharging your mornings to get past your caffeine crash.
Keep a Bedtime Routine
One of the most effective ways to wake up in the morning is to get good sleep the night before. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you might want to put together a nightly bedtime routine.
Humans are habitual creatures that love a good routine. Creating a bedtime ritual helps your brain to recognize when it’s time to sleep so that you don’t lie awake.
Your bedtime routine should be tailored to your specific needs, but there are a few things that you may want to include.
First, you should avoid food and alcohol two hours before bed. Eating and drinking too close to bedtime can cause stomach irritation, making it hard to fall asleep. If you get the munchies, try pouring a cup of caffeine-free tea instead. We recommend our Rooibos Earl Grey for a soothing cuppa that will send you right to sleep.
Second, you should stay away from blue light and electronics for at least an hour before bed. These lights can disrupt your circadian rhythm and contribute to trouble sleeping. Instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through social media, try reading a book or working on a craft before bed.
Third, prepare your room for sleep. Pull all of your blinds, turn down the thermostat, and sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on your pillowcase to help you fall asleep.
Some other activities you can build into your bedtime routine include a warm bath, deep breathing exercises, and meditation.
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Get Enough Sleep
Getting a healthy amount of sleep is vital for getting your morning refreshed and ready to go. The CDC recommends a sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep a night for adults.
One of the main benefits of getting a good night’s sleep is higher energy levels on waking. However, getting better sleep can also lead to better decision-making and improved general wellbeing.
One way to get enough sleep is by setting a specific bedtime. If you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, your internal clock will eventually calibrate to help you sleep during that time.
Don’t Hit Snooze
We know how tempting it is to hit that snooze button first thing in the morning. Especially if you have a fun early morning plan, sometimes it feels like all you need is just five more minutes of sleep.
The short spurts of sleep you get in between alarms are called fragmented sleep, leading to increased fatigue throughout the day. Not only that, but it can also impact your ability to function in daily tasks.
Instead, try setting your alarm clock for seven and a half hours or nine hours of sleep, depending on how much sleep you want. There’s a popular theory that your full sleep cycle is 90 minutes long. As long as you sleep in 90-minute increments, you can sleep through your full REM sleep cycle and wake up feeling refreshed.
If you’re still having trouble with the snooze button, try establishing healthy sleep habits by setting your alarm clock on the other side of your room. This way, you have to get out of bed to turn it off. While you’re up, splash some cold water on your face to chase away the grogginess.
Drink Some Water (and Tea)
Dehydration can lead to drowsiness and fogginess. Even the seven to ten hours of waterless sleep you get each night can make you feel that way.
When you wake up, try drinking a large glass of water first thing. Even if you aren’t a morning person, just one glass might be all you need to wake up.
If you’re just missing your morning cup of Joe, try looking for a hot tea substitute. We recommend checking out our Coffee Alternatives Tea Box to help you find a good morning pick-me-up. You can choose caffeinated or caffeine-free options, depending on what you’re looking for.
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Eat Breakfast Early
Start your day by giving your body some calories to burn and kick-starting your energy. Skipping breakfast can lead to fatigue and trouble concentrating, so fixing yourself a nutritious breakfast is important.
You can even incorporate some foods that help fight fatigue! These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats like fish and chicken, whole grains, oats, and chia seeds.
Go Outside and Get Moving
Regular exercise is one of the best sleep medicines. Although a morning exercise routine is easier for early risers, you can get into a routine even if you’re a night owl.
Cardio activities like running, walking, cycling, and swimming, in particular, can help spark your energy and wake you up. Besides contributing to your overall wellness, cardio can also increase your serotonin production. With all that serotonin, you’ll be ready to face whatever the day throws at you.
Even better, do your morning cardio outside. Getting into the sun’s bright light and being in touch with nature throughout the day can help you sleep better.
You might want to stay away from sugary breakfast cereals and pastries that can cause a sugar crash in the middle of your morning. We know how good those sugar-coated flakes are, but you’ll have more energy throughout the day if you sub out that sugar for a healthy breakfast.
Some healthier breakfast options include fresh fruit and chia seed smoothies, oatmeal with fruit, or even an open-faced lox sandwich on seed bread, depending on your diet and lifestyle. If you like the taste of sugar at breakfast, try incorporating more fruit into your meal.
Practice Mental Health
Stress and anxiety can have a huge impact on your sleep patterns, ultimately resulting in poor sleep. In fact, stress-related sleep issues can result in irritability and fatigue when you don’t get enough sleep.
Set yourself up for success by taking inventory of your mental health. Identify sources of stress in your life, and see if you can’t change a few things to lower your stress levels.
You can also leave stress out of your bedtime routine by meditating. Practice deep breathing and meditation to clear your mind from stress slowly. Perform relaxing rituals like taking a bath, working on a soothing craft, or drinking a cup of decaffeinated tea to put your mind at ease before bed.
As a kid, did you ever get so excited about something that you had trouble sleeping? Maybe it was Christmas, maybe it was a trip, or maybe it was a fun event with friends. Whatever the case, the next day's activities made it easy to wake up and get ready.
You can use that same concept to hack your mornings. Try saving an interesting podcast, a delicious breakfast, or a fun conversation for the morning. That way, you have something that makes waking up easy.
Invest in a Good Waking Routine
Sleep hygiene is important, but so is a good morning routine. As we said before, humans are habitual beings. Like a bedtime routine can get you into bed on time, a morning routine can get you out of bed on time.
Your morning routine can include activities like walking, going to the gym, cooking breakfast, or taking your dog to the park. You can also incorporate a glass of tea, some household chores, or fun music into your routine.
Sum It All Up
Kicking coffee is hard. Going without that delicious bean water can cause tiredness and even physical discomfort – and no one wants that.
Luckily, you can kickstart your body into awareness by optimizing your sleep schedule and incorporating wakefulness into your daily routine. Make sure you prepare your body and your brain for sleep to get the sleep you need every night. Kiss your snooze button goodbye when you wake up and opt for an early jog, a healthy breakfast, or a cup of tea instead.
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