Drink a glass of water first thing
Fatigue is a classic symptom of dehydration, and even a mild case can trigger feelings of sleepiness, changes in cognitive ability, and mood disruptions. Let a glass of water freshen up your entire body before you get moving.
Stretch out your tired body with yoga
There’s a reason it feels so good to stretch when you wake up. Overnight, during REM sleep, your muscles are literally paralysed (atonia), and reactivating them releases energy-stimulating endorphins.
Splash your face with water
Cold showers are reported to reduce sick-day absences from work. If you don’t want to take a full shower, a splash of cold water to the face, to signal a temperature change to your body, may also do the trick.
Is getting out of bed the main problem? Keep a spray bottle or water mist by your bedside table so you can lean over and mist yourself without even opening your eyes!
Eat breakfast to spark your energy
The jury is still out on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But research does say that skipping this first meal can negatively affect your energy and ability to pay attention throughout the day.
Food is fuel. Give your body some calories to put it into action at the start of the day.
But if you’re working out in the morning, remember to eat after, not before. This will (a) burn more calories, (b) boost your metabolism, and (c) help you avoid an unsettled stomach.
Reach for a combination of fatigue-fighting foods like lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and lower-sugar fruits.
Avoid having sugar until lunch
All breakfasts are not created equal, so take stock of your morning food choices. Sugary items like sweetened coffee drinks, pastries, and breakfast cereals can lead to the classic blood sugar spike-and-drop that leaves you feeling drained.
Drink less coffee
That’s right, we said less coffee — but not none! Though coffee has plenty of health benefits, chugging a lot in the morning may indirectly contribute to increased fatigue later in the day.
Avoid the big mugs. Purchase a smaller cup, if you have to, to help reduce the amount you drink.
Go outside to activate your brain
Sunlight bumps up your body’s serotonin levels, leading to improved sleep — and, therefore, increased daytime energy.
Sounds like a perfect reason to carve out a portion of your morning in the great outdoors.
Get some cardio in, throughout the morning
Sure, when you want to crawl back into bed, exercise may sound pretty unappealing — but it may be exactly what your body needs to get help booting up. Research consistently correlates aerobic exercise with reduced fatigue.
See if you can squeeze in a quick walk or bike ride, or try a longer workout for even more benefit.
Pro-tip: When pressed for time, get your body up with a few rounds of high-knees and jumping jacks. Even 30 seconds of torso twists could do the trick or plan a short cardio commute on your way to work.
Address your stress
Is it possible that negative feelings about your job or stressors at home are draining you of morning oomph?
You may not be able to fix certain situations overnight, but once you’ve identified them as a source of mental and physical exhaustion, you can often take some action to alleviate them.
Pro-tip: Streamline harried mornings at home by making school lunches the night before, or make time for morning meditations and create calm before your day begins.
Give yourself something to look forward to
Sometimes all we need for an energy boost is a little excitement on the horizon.
To beat morning fatigue, consider scheduling a phone call with a friend during your commute, pencilling in an outdoor walk on your midmorning break, or pre-making an appealing breakfast that calls you out of bed.
Pro-tip: Let another schedule determine yours. Make an earlier morning podcast or radio show part of your wake-up routine.
Go deeper with mental health
If morning fatigue becomes a chronic problem, it could be caused by depression or anxiety. People with depression can feel worse in the morning or only feel depressed in the morning.
The only way to know, however, is to track your mood or see a professional.