We’ve all been there: dozing off at our desks, trying desperately to muster up the energy to finish that assignment before the day ends. It’s easy to just throw back another cup (or three) of coffee, but perpetuating the caffeine boost-and-crash cycle is just going to leave you with the same problem later on—or worse, make it difficult for you to actually get quality sleep at night.
Next time you’re desperately considering propping your eyelids open with toothpicks, try these easy tricks to re-energize yourself and power through the rest of the day.
1. Get up and take a walk outside.
Take a walk through the building if you really can’t get outside (or if the weather’s ugly). But ideally, a nice dose of fresh air will do you good. “You’ll get sunlight and really give your brain a rest,” Rachel Salas, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who specializes in sleep medicine, tells SELF. “Recharge and stop and smell the roses.”
2. Do some meditation exercises.
Meditation can work really well if you’re just feeling drained, Salas says. “Implementing a two-minute meditation, even in your office, can recharge you,” she says. Integrative medicine expert Taz Bhatia, M.D., agrees: “If you can develop that skill and use it in the workplace, it really helps with energy.” But she notes that for some people, it can be hard. Try one of these relaxing apps if you’re having a tough time figuring out how to start.
3. Take a coloring break.
“I think the majority of this fatigue is mental fatigue,” Taz says. So taking a mental break is probably what your body needs. “Turn off the computer screen and do something else, like coloring in a coloring book or even knitting or journaling for a few minutes, whatever you like to do,” Taz recommends. Just make sure if you’re staring at a computer all day that your break activity doesn’t involve an electronic screen, too.
4. Chat with your co-workers.
“One thing I personally do is take a break and go talk to my colleagues or people on my team and talk about things other than work,” Salas says. “That always recharges the group. I call it ‘solace rounds.'” Taking a breather can work wonders if you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or just hitting a wall and need a change of pace.
5. Use aromatherapy.
Eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary are all scents known for having uplifting and energizing effects. “When you inhale them, they go from the nose to the brain, straight to the limbic system,” Taz explains. The limbic system controls smell, but also emotions, motivation, and behavior. When these uplifting scents hit the brain, “it in turn regulates neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine,” Taz explains, making you more alert.
6. Snack on some protein.
Low blood sugar, thanks to a nice boost right after lunch followed by a dip later, can make you feel sluggish. Taz suggests keeping some high-protein snacks, like nuts or nut butter, at your desk. They’ll give you energy and help stabilize your blood sugar. “Stay away from coffee and sugary foods, because you will get an energy burst but then crash,” she warns.
7. Or dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate has magnesium, which is a calming agent, Taz explains. But a square or two is also just a great emotional pick-me-up. “It just gives you a 30-second to one-minute relaxation response, so you have a minute to recharge and refocus.”
8. Get in a quick workout.
“Intense exercise can change the body’s temperature and that can alert you or wake you up, which is why we don’t recommend intense exercise right at bedtime,” Salas says. It doesn’t have to be intense though—even just doing some stretches at your desk can help. A small amount of exercise can increase your endorphins, boosting your mood and energy levels instantly. Try this easy 10-minute workout at your desk.
- 11 Weird Ways To Wake Yourself Up ASAP, Because Being Tired Is The Worst
- 1. Make Your Bed
- 2. Tug On Your Hair
- 3. Go Look At The Sky
- 4. Pop A Super Minty Mint
- 5. Read Some Fiction
- 6. Drink A Cold Glass Of Water
- 7. Smell A Zesty Essential Oil
- 8. Puzzle Yourself Awake
- 9. Strike Up A Convo With A Stranger
- 10. Treat Yourself
- 11. Flip Your Head Upside Down
- Make your coffee bitter
- Grab a few minutes of direct sunlight
- Pull your hair
- Splash cold water on your face
- Use your computer as an alarm clock
- Take a meme break
- Pop a strong mint
- Massage your hands
- Interact with a complete stranger
- Play fast-tempo music
- Stretch your back, neck and legs
- Take off some layers
- Flip your head upside-down
- Bite a lemon!
- What’s The Best Workout To Help You Wake Up In The Morning? The Scientific 7-Minute Workout Can Give You A Surprising Boost
- Enjoy the SilverSneakers store!
- Wake up the muscles in your shoulders, hips, and core before your feet even hit the floor.
- How the Morning Bed Workout Works
- Exercise #1: Rollover
- Exercise #2: Glute Bridge
- Exercise #3: Clamshell
- Exercise #4: Reverse Clamshell
- Exercise #5: Book Opener
- Exercise #6: Seated Shoulder Squeeze
- Check Your SilverSneakers Eligibility Instantly
- Energizing Stretches to Wake You Up in the Morning
- Alarmed Forces How To Quickly Wake Up A Foot That Has Fallen Asleep
- 1. Leg Position
- 2. Stand Up
- 3. Foot Bath
- 4. Get a Massage
- 5. Shoes
- 6. Yoga
- 10 morning stretches to help kick-start your day
- Sitting exercises
- Standing exercises
- Remember to stretch safely
- 3 Stretches That’ll Help You Wake Up in the Morning
- Yes, maybe, no
- Hip swinger
- The crossover
- Follow the morning stretch sequence below for an alternate way of saluting the sun—no chaturangas required.
- 1. Plank pose
- 2. Forward fold
- 3. Butterfly position
- 4. Backwards frog
- 5. Torso stretch
11 Weird Ways To Wake Yourself Up ASAP, Because Being Tired Is The Worst
Getting up when you’re still feeling tired can be difficult — especially when you realize you have to be at work pretty much right now. And with long hours grogginess stretching out before you, the fatigue can feel even more overwhelming. But that’s where all the clever ways to wake yourself up ASAP can come in handy.
While this is usually done with an onslaught of coffee and energy drinks, you may eventually need to turn to less obvious ways of waking yourself up. These tricks include ways to get the blood flowing to your head, ways to clear the bleariness from your eyes, and tips for making you feel human again.
Of course, a good night’s sleep is always the best way to achieve this. Everyone should be snagging the recommended seven to nine hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And yet, nobody’s perfect and sometimes sleepiness will reign supreme.
If that’s the case, start by making a pact with yourself to get more sleep tonight. But until then, try some of these fancy tricks to wake yourself up and get through the day, whether you’re trying to get going in the morning, and prevent yourself from snoozing at your desk. Below are some ways to do just that. And surprisingly, no coffee is required.
1. Make Your Bed
Before you stumble out of bed and try to do anything else, turn right around and make it. “While making your bed just might be the chore you’ve hated since you were a kid, for a lot of people this simple act can feel like your first accomplishment of the morning and leave you feeling energized and ready to conquer the rest of your day,” Sarrah Hallock, holistic nutritionist and health coach from GoodLooks, tells Bustle.
It sounds so simple, and yet it’s a small habit that can start your day off on a good foot, help you feel more prepared, and thus more energized.
2. Tug On Your Hair
While this tip may sound bizarre, it really can help wake you up. All you have to do is gently tug at your hair to get blood flowing to your head, which can help you feel more awake. And the sensation can be a big help, too, since a light tug will help you feel more alert — and make it easier to get on with the day.
3. Go Look At The Sky
Even if you’re rushing sleepily into the office, and are dying to sit down, you can still probably find time to spend a few moments outside. “The proverbial ‘breath of fresh air’ has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and fatigue,” noted Kate Bratskier on Huffington Post. Taking a moment to pause, go outside and take a walk can help you feel more alert, and ready to take on the activities waiting for you afterward. The benefits will be totally worth it, so go catch yourself some rays.
4. Pop A Super Minty Mint
If you’re nodding off, one quick way to wake yourself up is with a hit of minty freshness, which can come in the form of gum, breath mints, and even peppermint tea. The effervescent effects will do a great job of waking you up. And, with gum, some studies have even shown that the act of chewing can make you more alert.
If you tend to feel groggy or sleep at work, keep a few mints (of the extra strong variety) and other refreshing items on hand, for a quick pick-me-up.
5. Read Some Fiction
If you’re too sleepy to concentrate at work, then it might be a good idea to step away and do something else for a while. This might include going for a walk or stepping out into the sun, in order to feel revived. But you can also delve into a good book or try doing something creative. “Writing can help wake up the brain and the body,” Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, tells Bustle. So if you’re feeling sleepy, allow yourself a few minutes to read, and you may perk right up.
6. Drink A Cold Glass Of Water
If your coffee supply has run out, you may want to pour yourself a cold (very cold) glass of water. “Like shower, it’ll trigger your adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain,” Bratskier said, which are all good things when you’re seconds away from falling asleep.
You can also splash cold water on your face to feel more alert, thanks to the brief shock it’ll provide. Simply pop into the bathroom, gently pat your face, and continue on with your day.
7. Smell A Zesty Essential Oil
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Ever notice how bright, happy scents can perk you up? Use this to your advantage by keeping a few essential oils stashed in your desk, for moments when you’re extra tired. “Eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary are all scents known for having uplifting and energizing effects,” said Amy Marturana on SELF. So get thy sleepy self to a health food store and stock up.
8. Puzzle Yourself Awake
If you’re too tired to get up, go outside, or pour a glass of water, then the least you can do is reach for a fun puzzle. “If you can’t stimulate your body, stimulate your brain,” suggested Kevin Daum on Inc.com. “Try a crossword or play Sudoku.” Anything that will get your brainwaves flowing.
9. Strike Up A Convo With A Stranger
Let’s say you’re standing at the bus stop, and feel your eyelids closing. The best thing you can do is turn to the person next to you and see if they’re down for a chat. “Acting tired is no big deal in front of friends, but our bodies tend to wake up pretty quickly to avoid any sort of social awkwardness,” Matthews Rogers said on Lifehacker. By being nice to them, listening to what they have to say, and (hopefully) having an interesting conversation, you may feel more refreshed.
10. Treat Yourself
While you may not want to go on a shopping spree in your half-asleep daze, consider treating yourself to something nice. “The rush of buying something new is always good for a perk up,” Daum said. You might get a friend a little gift online, or pick up some fresh flowers on a whim. Anything new and exciting can help wake you up.
11. Flip Your Head Upside Down
“With feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, bend down as far as you can go and look back between your legs,” Rogers suggested. “The massive rush of blood to the head can be a big pick-me-up, just be sure you don’t come back up too quickly, or dizziness replaces clarity.”
If you have to wake up quickly, these tricks might be just what you need to make it through the day. Just remember that they won’t stave off true sleep exhaustion, and aren’t a good replacement for real sleep.
This post was originally published on 5/7/2018. It was updated on 6/4/2019.
Photo: Danielle MacInnes (Unsplash)
Unless you’re a morning person, waking up each day can be a challenge. Getting through the day can be so hard, and your bed is so soft.
And there’s a scientific reason for this: “Circadian rhythms are longer than a 24-hour day, so our sleep clock pushes us later,” Rebecca Scott, Ph.D. of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center told Reader’s Digest. This means that your body’s transition into and out of sleep is more like a dimmer switch than one you can just flick on or off. In other words, it takes us a little while to fall asleep, and the same is true for waking up.
Given that most of us could use some help with that daily transition to being awake, here are a few simple tricks to wake yourself up naturally, quickly, and without spending more money.
Make your coffee bitter
When you feel like your coffee isn’t giving you the jolt you need, try reducing the amount of milk and sugar that you put in it. When every sip is more bitter than what you’re used to, you might just feel more awake while drinking it.
Grab a few minutes of direct sunlight
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a corner office that gets sun all day, light passing through windows just isn’t the same as the real deal. Step outside and let your skin grab some untouched sunlight, soak up some Vitamin D, breathe some fresh air and let your ears feel the openness of an unmuffled, non-office world.
Pull your hair
This one sounds bad but it really isn’t; slowly and gently tug at your hair to get blood flowing to your head in a new and refreshing way. It’s not as drastic as most of the other tips here, but if you’re just feeling the beginning tinges of sleepiness, it can help.
Splash cold water on your face
This one’s an oldie but a goodie, and it actually does work. Just don’t go overboard and come out of the office bathroom looking like you fell in. To really make this trick work to the fullest, step outside and let the fresh air hit your wet face.
Use your computer as an alarm clock
The basic idea is to make you actually pay attention to your alarm, instead of just going back to sleep. This way, your “alarm clock” is sitting across the room, so you have to get out of bed. It cost you hundreds of dollars—so you won’t slap it, and it forces you to actually use hand-eye coordination to look at the screen while using the mouse to stop the alarm.
Take a meme break
Sound juvenile? It might be, but laughter can help wake up a sleepy person better than almost anything but sheer terror.
Pop a strong mint
The stronger the better, because the effervescent effects do a great job of waking you up. If you’re on the verge of narcolepsy, consider getting a menthol stick—they’re so strong that they help actors fake tears.
Massage your hands
The area between your palm and your wrist is a fairly sensitive one. It’s also far enough away from the super-relaxing massage spots, like your neck or back, so giving it a minute-long deep rub can give you all the good feelings, while not putting you to sleep in the process.
Interact with a complete stranger
This is one that nobody ever thinks about until after it’s already happened by accident. If you’re feeling dead on your feet, mention something about the weather to someone nearby. Acting tired is no big deal in front of friends, but our bodies tend to wake up pretty quickly to avoid any sort of social awkwardness.
Play fast-tempo music
This one may seem obvious, or even cheesy, but if you’ve got the ability to listen to music where you happen to be falling asleep—take it! Play music you love, but absolutely keep it upbeat and fast.
Stretch your back, neck and legs
Don’t just sit up straight and yawn, but get out of your chair and stretch like you’re about to go running. Touch your toes! The point is to really stretch so that the blood gets flowing again throughout your entire body.
Take off some layers
It may seem like common sense, but we tend to forget the most basic things when our heads are cloudy with sleepiness. If you’ve got even one extra layer of clothing on and you’re feeling sleepy, taking it off might give enough of a chill factor to shake things up and stave off drowsiness.
Flip your head upside-down
With feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, bend down as far as you can go and look back between your legs. The massive rush of blood to the head can be a big pick-me-up, just be sure you don’t come back up too quickly, or dizziness replaces clarity.
Bite a lemon!
Whether you like the sour fruit or not, you can’t deny the zesty slap to the face that it can provide in a time of need.
And if all else fails, you can always pull a George.
This story was originally published on 5/20/11 and was updated on 6/7/19.
What’s The Best Workout To Help You Wake Up In The Morning? The Scientific 7-Minute Workout Can Give You A Surprising Boost
If mornings aren’t your jam, and you hit snooze eleventy-million times before diving head first into a pot of dark roast, you probably don’t have a lot of time for exercise before work. However, the best workout to help you wake up in the morning takes just seven minutes, and it can give you an energy boost that will carry you through your entire day. If you’re not in the know about the Scientific 7-Minute Workout, this quickie exercise routine incorporates cardio, circuit training, and abs.
Before you groan about being tired and not having enough time, consider the fact that if you commit to hitting snooze one less time, you can absolutely fit the Scientific 7-Minute Workout into your morning. OK, I’m not gonna lie and say I do this routine every morning, but I have gone long stretches where I began my day with this workout, and it did indeed make me feel more awake.
What’s more, if you think there’s no way a seven-minute exercise routine can both wake you up and provide physical and mental health benefits, a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal found that in this case, less is actually more. “Individuals who previously believed that they did not have the time for exercise can now trade total exercise time for total exercise effort and get similar or better health and fitness benefits.”
pelowfig on YouTube
You can access a variety of follow-along videos for this workout on YouTube so all you have to do is roll out of bed, hit play, and spend seven minutes jumping around. The Scientific 7-Minute Workout includes jumping jacks, wall sit, abdominal crunches, chair step, squats, tricep dips, planks, high knees running in place, lunges, and push ups. If you can’t do any of these exercises for whatever reason — push ups aggravate my chronic shoulder condition so I do them against a table — modify the moves to meet your needs.
By committing to just seven minutes, you can not only wake yourself up, you can get your exercise in for the day. “For years, a growing body of research expanded on the benefits of this highly efficient mode of training,” the study noted. “Researchers have examined how increasing the intensity of this type of training by using exercises known to significantly elevate the heart rate and limiting rest time could elicit even greater gains in even shorter overall exercise time.”
Seriously, if 30 seconds of high-knee running doesn’t wake you up, nothing will. If you can’t wake up without coffee, remember that this is your seven-minute workout in the privacy of your bedroom, which means that the rules of the gym don’t apply. You can do it in your pajamas — or in your birthday suit — and sip your coffee in between intervals. Whatever your jam is, you do you.
Amanda Russell on YouTube
Business Insider Video Producer Kevin Reilly tried the Scientific 7-Minute Workout for 30 days and reported in a YouTube video that he felt a mental boost that lasted all day long on the days he did the workout in the morning. Additionally, he said that the ease of being able to get up and just press play made the routine easy to stick to.
On the website Coach Me, people noted that exercising for just a short amount of time in the morning helped wake them up and feel more present throughout their day. “I exercise for 10 minutes in the morning,” one user noted in a Q&A. “I start with a few sun salutations, which gets the blood flowing and then do one fairly intense exercise — jumping jacks, max squats, max pushups, ab workout, etc. For me this works great. I build and maintain muscle and it gets me energized for the rest of my day.”
This is basically aspects of the Scientific 7-Minute Workout with some yoga thrown in. If you’ve tried everything else to get going in the morning, consider committing to getting up seven minutes earlier every day for a week, jump around your room in your PJs, and see if you feel more awake. If 30 seconds of jumping jacks doesn’t help you shake off the sleepies, you can go right back to hitting snooze and mainlining coffee.
Enjoy the SilverSneakers store!
Wake up the muscles in your shoulders, hips, and core before your feet even hit the floor.
The best time to exercise is whenever you can—morning, noon, or night. But starting your day with movement has a few key advantages.
For example, a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found exercising in the morning may help you consume fewer unnecessary calories throughout the day. Plus, the same study found people who worked out for 45 minutes in the morning end up being more physically active all day long.
“It’s just a good way to start your day, mentally and physically,” says Douglas Ebner, D.P.T., a physical therapist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “No matter what happens with your day, you know that you’ve already accomplished something positive.”
If that’s not enough to get you out of bed and into your sneakers, you’re in luck: You can do some simple, effective exercises before your feet even hit the floor in the morning.
The following six moves from Ebner help wake up the muscles in your hips, abdominals, upper back, and shoulders—and can all be done in your bed.
How the Morning Bed Workout Works
As soon as you wake up, do one set of each exercise below in order. Go at your own pace, and focus on really feeling your muscles engage during each movement. After one full round, you’ll feel less stiffness, more energy, and ready to tackle your day!
Prefer to get on the floor? All you need is a mat. You can perform these moves with or without shoes on, whichever is safest and most comfortable for you.
As always, safety is key. The exercises her may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
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Exercise #1: Rollover
Do 2 to 3 reps
Lie on your back toward the middle of your bed—you’ll want enough room to roll over without any risk of falling off. Extend your arms straight overhead and stretch your legs out long.
From here, lift your legs a few inches if it’s comfortable. Roll onto your right side, allowing your toes to come back to the bed as you do. Reverse the movement to roll onto your back again, trying to keep your legs lifted as you do.
Repeat on the left side to complete one rep. Do two to three reps total. If lifting your legs is too challenging, simply keep them on the bed as you roll from side to side.
One caveat: Skip this move if you suffer from vertigo or are prone to dizziness.
Exercise #2: Glute Bridge
Do 12 to 15 reps
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the bed about hip-width apart, and heels a few inches away from your butt. Press your arms into the bed for support, and brace your core to minimize the arch in your lower back.
From here, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to shoulders. As you get stronger, focus on getting your shins as close to vertical as you comfortably can at the top of the movement.
Pause, then slowly lower your hips to return to starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 12 to 15 reps total.
Exercise #3: Clamshell
Do 12 to 15 reps per side
Lie on one side with your knees bent and legs stacked one on top of the other. Keeping your feet together, slowly raise your top knee as high as you can without rocking or rolling backward. Your legs should resemble an opened clamshell.
Pause, squeezing your side glute at the top of the movement, then slowly lower back down to starting position. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Exercise #4: Reverse Clamshell
Do 12 to 15 reps per side
Follow the same setup as the clamshell: Lie on one side with your knees bent and legs stacked one on top of the other. But this time, keep your knees glued together, and lift your top foot as high as you comfortably can.
Pause, feeling the small muscles in the front of your hips engage, then slowly lower back down to starting position. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Exercise #5: Book Opener
Do 5 to 10 reps per side
Follow the same setup as the clamshell: Lie on one side with your knees bent and legs stacked one on top of the other. Extend both arms in front of your chest, and stack your palms together.
Keeping your arms straight, knees together, and gaze forward, lift your top arm up and toward the other side of your body. Reach as far as comfortable, expanding your chest.
Return your arm to starting position. That’s one rep. Do five to 10 reps on one side, then repeat on the other.
Note: If you don’t want to keep rolling from one side to the other to do the clamshell, reverse clamshell, and book opener, you can do all three exercises on the same side then switch to do all three exercises on the other.
Exercise #6: Seated Shoulder Squeeze
Do 12 to 15 reps
Sit at the edge of your bed with feet flat on the floor. If you’re performing these moves on a mat, you can sit on the mat or in a chair.
Pulling your elbows back and down, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Imagine you’re squeezing a lemon between your shoulder blades. Pause, then release. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps total.
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Energizing Stretches to Wake You Up in the Morning
It’s not always easy to wake up feeling energized, especially with the full day you may have that lies ahead. What’s the solution when that cup of coffee just won’t do the trick? Stretches, of course! This article will cover the early morning feel good stretches you need to energize your body, mind and soul.
Some people who are in a hurry to get through their workout skip the stretch portion of their exercise plan, thinking it’s not as important as the high intensity, fat burning exercises are. However, according to a 2008 Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics study, participants found that their fatigue lessened by over 20 percent (thanks to low impact exercises, such as stretches!) This study—and others—show that exercise doesn’t make you tired, but in fact, creates energy in your body!
The Classic Morning Stretch
No matter what age you may be, this classic morning stretch is perfect for all ages (from ten year old’s to 65 year old’s!)—it’s simple to do, and quick to incorporate into your morning routine! Simply start off in the sitting position, with your legs crossed in front of you. (If you feel tight, or it’s just uncomfortable to sit this way, sit with your legs under you, on your heels). Take a second to ensure your posture is straight, and your back is aligned with a straight spine. Place your hands on your knees and breathe in, deeply for a count of five. Do this 3-5 times, until you feel awake and alert with a relaxed body and mind. Then, continue on with the following stretches.
The Simple Seated Side Bend
Start in the sitting position on the floor (legs crossed), and ensure that your back is straight, your shoulders are rolled back and your palms are planted on the floor. Lean to the right side, and place your forearm and palm so they are both flat against the floor. Now, position your left arm so it’s straight up to the sky, and lean towards your right side—this stretch should feel pretty good right about now! Only lean as far as it’s comfortable, and then repeat with the other side.
The Cow Face Morning Stretch
Start by sitting on your bottom, with your back straight and your shoulders back. Then, place one leg (knee bent) on top of the other (and with your feet out to the side). Take a few breaths, and if it’s still comfortable, stretch your legs out a bit further. Take a few more breathes, and hold for thirty seconds.
Stretching is a smart way to start your day, because you’re not just waking your body up—you’re preparing it and prepping it with attention, care and love. Your self-awareness will improve, your flexibility will increase and you’ll feel healthy and well for your busy day ahead!
How To Quickly Wake Up A Foot That Has Fallen Asleep
How To Quickly Wake Up A Foot That Has Fallen Asleep
It’s tough for most people to jump straight out of bed, and it seems to be equally hard to quickly wake up a foot that has fallen asleep. But there are ways you can swiftly diminish that weird, tingly, numb feeling called paresthesia.
Fast Fix One: Change Positions
Paresthesia is due to both compressed nerves and reduced blood circulation from things like crossing your legs, so the first thing you need to do is change the position of the affected limb so the nerves can get back to properly communicating with your brain and your blood can begin flowing again.
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Fast Fix Two: Stand Up
Standing up can help further straighten out the pinched nerves in your legs and feet as well as promotes better blood circulation. Try moving the affected foot in small circles, stretching your calf muscles and lightly standing on the foot that fell asleep to help it “wake up.”
Fast Fix Three: Shake It Out Or Walk It Off
If possible, walk around a little bit to reduce the tingling and help your body return to normal function. Of course, this is only possible if some of the normal feeling and strength has returned to the affected foot. If not, try gently shaking the numb limb to help reduce the pins and needles feeling.
Fast Fix Four: Get a Massage
Try applying pressure to your foot or have a friend or lover give you a foot and leg massage. This can help increase blood flow, reduce numbness and relax tense tendons and muscles.
Fast Fix Five: Soak Your Feet In a Foot Bath
Strained muscles and poor circulation are sometimes to blame for paresthesia, so try soaking your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath to boost blood flow and draw out muscle-tightening toxins. You may also want to try increasing your intake of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins B6 and B12. A lack of these nutrients can sometimes lead to painful foot and leg issues.
You might have heard of the term ‘asleep foot’ a lot. There are a lot of explanations out there for a reason behind this particular medical condition, and there are a lot of solutions for it as well. First, you need to understand what it really is and what happens when your foot falls asleep? It is a condition whereby a person suffering from it feels as if his/her feet are numb. It occurs due to the insufficient blood supply to the foot. If you feel a burning or prickling sensation in your feet or any other part of the body, then there is nothing to worry about because it is a common condition. But, if you feel that your feet are numb most of the times, then you need to take it seriously and consult a doctor as it may lead to diabetes. The following ways will guide you on how to wake up your foot and help you overcome this problem:
1. Leg Position
The position in which you place your legs matters a lot when it comes to the circulation of blood in your feet. If you have a habit of crossing your legs over while sitting, then you might want to change it, as the crossing of the legs can cause the blood vessels around your knee area to narrow and cuts off the blood circulation. In order to avoid it, you just have to change the position of your legs back to normal. It is typically experienced that the foot which is crossed over is the one which becomes numb or falls asleep.
2. Stand Up
Another way which can help with this problem is standing up. Whenever a person stands up the gravity helps to bring the blood from the upper part of the leg towards the foot causing the blood to flow in the normal direction without any obstacle. While standing up, moving your feet in different directions for a good 15 to 20 seconds will help lessen the pain and resume the blood circulation.
3. Foot Bath
People who are fond of exercising also face this problem. Sometimes certain exercises can make your feet numb or cause pain. What you need to do is grab a big bowl or tub, fill it with warm water, then add some Epsom salts and put your feet in it, This remedy will help relax your muscles, but if you feel that your feet are swollen and not numb then icing is recommended.
4. Get a Massage
Get a foot massage
Massage is another way you can help wake up your feet. When your muscles are rubbed, it improves the circulation of blood in your body. The affected circulation of blood can also lead to cold feet at night. So, a nice and long massage does ensure a smooth blood circulation, but it also helps your mind to relax from the daily workload. Sometimes a massage serves you better than a counseling session or physical therapy. You need to keep yourself hydrated after getting a massage as it Helps to remove all the toxins from your body. Otherwise, you might experience other types of pain.
It is very important to make sure that you wear the shoes which fit you properly. If the shoe a person is wearing does not fit them properly, then it is possible for them to experience numbness in the feet, especially if they have been standing and walking a lot. On the other hand, if you choose to wear shoes which are not at all tight, and they have a nice grip then it is possible that you will not be experiencing such a problem. Although it is highly recommended that while sitting on the desk and working, you should take off your shoes so that your feet can breathe a little.
Read more: Best Socks for Sleeping
Yoga is a part of the Indian tradition and culture, which helps overcome and avoid many medical problems. It has a positive effect not only on your health but also on your mind and life. It requires a person to meditate and breathe in the fresh air as much a possible. Your body is positioned in many different and difficult positions, which ensure a smooth blood circulation all over the body and helps strengthen your muscles. Your legs become flexible due to practicing the different challenging positions. Therefore, you no longer face the problem of numb feet even if you cross them over or adopt various other positions.
It is very important for people to understand the need for smooth blood circulation as it is a cure for many medical problems and can also help you wake up your foot. There are times when your muscles become pulled and tired which can cause a prickling sensation in your feet or they might hurt. Walking always helps in these conditions, but for that, you need to make sure that the pace of your walk is not very fast, in fact, a slow one is recommended as walking fast may lead to a contusion. This resumes the blood circulation in your leg and feet.
Bending your arms on long car rides or crossing your legs are common causes of nerve compression resulting in sleeping hands and feet. That said, a popular misconception is that a lack of blood flow is the problem. According to Dr. Besser, it has nothing to do with blood flow—only nerves. “There are multiple blood vessels in the leg, for circulation, so it’s harder to cause blood flow blockage with a normal vascular system,” she says. “With nerves, however, there is only one per area, so it’s easier to cause the obstruction.” The good news is that there are home remedies for restless leg syndrome worth trying.
There are also all different types of paresthesia, associated with various other health issues such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Any nerve damage from an injury or surgery could cause it too, Dr. Besser says.
The only time you have to worry is when your symptoms are consistent, recurring, and last for more than a few minutes. That’s when it’s time to speak to your doctor. Otherwise, Dr. Besser says no long-lasting damage could happen from brief paresthesia. And as for waking the leg up, there is no right or wrong way to do so—it’ll happen on its own after you release the compression on the nerve. That said, your feet can also provide an early indication of more serious health concerns. Don’t miss the signs of disease that your feet can reveal.
10 morning stretches to help kick-start your day
Lying flat on your back, bring one knee to your chest and hold it in position with your arms or hands. You should feel a nice stretch in your lower back. If it feels comfortable, you can also do this stretch by bending both knees at the same time.
3. Spinal twist
Lying on your back, raise one of your knees, and gently roll it over to the opposite side. Make sure both of your shoulders stay in contact with the bed at all times. If it feels comfortable, stretch one arm out to the side, keeping it in line with your shoulders, and slowly turn your head to face your outstretched arm. You should feel the stretch on the sides of your upper body and your lower back. Breathe deeply and repeat on the opposite side.
Once you start to feel more awake, gently move to sit on the edge of your bed and move on to your next set of sitting stretches.
4. Upper back stretch
Sit on the edge of your bed, with your feet flat on the floor. Interlock your fingers and reach forward, bending from your middle back. Stretch with your hands forward at shoulder level. You should feel the stretch between your shoulder blades.
5. Neck stretch
Relax your shoulders and gently move your left ear towards your left shoulder, using your left arm to help. Only stretch as far as feels comfortable. Hold for 15-20 seconds and slowly repeat on the other side.
6. Shoulder stretch
Relaxing your shoulder blades back and down, reach one arm across your body and gently use your other arm to deepen the stretch. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Hopefully by now you’re beginning to feel more awake and your eyelids are slowly starting to open. When you’re ready, stand up and complete your final stretches.
7. Side stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and clasp your hands above your head. Gently lean your body to one side, feeling a deep stretch along the side of your body. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
8. Standing quad stretch
Stand up straight and hold onto the wall or a chair if you need to. Keep your feet hip-width apart. Reach back and grab your left foot with your left hand. Keep your thighs lined up next to each other and your left leg in line with your hip. Feel the stretch in your left thigh and hips. Repeat with your right leg.
9. Hamstring stretch
Stand upright and gently bend one knee as if you’re going into a sitting position. Place the opposite leg outright, pointing your toes towards the ceiling. Bend forward from your hips to feel a nice stretch along the back of your outstretched leg. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then repeat with your other leg.
10. Calf stretch
Placing your hands on a wall for support, step back on one leg and gently push your heel towards the ground, feeling a nice stretch along the back of your calf. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on your opposite leg.
Remember to stretch safely
It’s important to listen to your body each day and take these stretches at your own pace.. Don’t be disheartened if you’re not very flexible at first. With regular practice your body should become more relaxed and each day you’ll be able to reach that little bit further.
But only take yourself to a comfortable stretch without any pain. If you notice any sharp or shooting pain, ease off completely.
If you have an injury, speak to your doctor or physiotherapist first so they can recommend a stretching routine that’s tailored to you.
If you have some extra time in the morning and want to take your stretching routine up a notch, why not try our 15-minute morning yoga routine? Or check out our top tips on how to become a morning person.
3 Stretches That’ll Help You Wake Up in the Morning
Whether you’re an super active athlete or spend the majority of your time tethered to an office desk, stretching is crucial and beneficial—helping you prevent injuries and also relaxing tight muscles. Plus, kickstarting your morning with a few deep stretches before your commute can put you in the right headspace to take on a crazy-hectic day.
Jeff Brannigan from Stretch*d, a New York recovery center that teaches dynamic stretching, demonstrates three easy stretches that target your neck, shoulders, hamstrings, hips and glutes in just a few minutes. Do them as soon as you wake up; all you need is a resistance band and a little morning motivation to not hit that snooze button.
RELATED: 3 Easy Stretches That Will Relax You Before Bed
Yes, maybe, no
Sitting up straight with your legs crossed, place your right hand on the back of your head and push your head forward in a “yes” motion. Bring your head back to center and repeat.
Next, drape your hand over the top of your head with your palm resting on the left side (behind your ear) and pull your head down towards your right shoulder. Return to center and repeat.
Finally, hold your chin with your left thumb and forefinger and turn your head to look over your right shoulder, as if shaking your head “no.” Bring your head back to center and repeat.
RELATED: 4 Simple Stretches to Rid Yourself of Anxiety and Stress
Lying flat on your back, bend one knee and place your foot firmly on the floor. Loop a resistance band around the opposite foot and keep this leg straight. Stretch the leg with the band out away from your body, opening up your hips, before returning to center. Tip: Let the leg fall as close to the ground as possible while still controlling it with the band. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat, then switch sides.
Lie flat on your back with your legs together. Loop one foot through a resistance band. Stretch the leg with the bad across your body to the opposite side, stretching your outer thigh and butt. Maintaining control, lower your leg back to the floor, hold for 30 seconds and then repeat, then switch sides.
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In theory, getting up early for a pre-work yoga class is never a bad idea—it can help to undo the tech neck, tight hips, and lower-back aches brought on by the daily grind and intensified by long stretches of time in bed. But let’s be real: In an era when being “tired all the time” has its own clever acronym, an extra hour in bed often wins out over warrior poses at dawn. Fortunately, you don’t have to fully sacrifice lithe, flexible muscles in favor of a full eight hours of sleep. According to Samira Mustafaeva, a former world-champion gymnast and founder of the SM Stretching studios in Los Angeles and Russia, all you need is an eight-minute morning stretch sesh to set you up for a more limber day.
“Stretching can be done at any time of the day, but the morning is especially great because it awakens your muscles from slumber and gets you ready to go about your day,” she says, adding that a shorter routine is actually better because your joints will be stiffer after sleep. This is especially true if you’re starting as soon as you get out of bed, without a workout as a warmup. “Doing a few stretches in the a.m. with no prior workout is fine—just don’t do anything too sharp or pull too hard,” she says. “Push yourself as far as you are comfortable, without any serious discomfort, to wake up the body.”
Mustafaeva’s favorite morning stretches target all of the muscles in the spine and lower body that often become cramped during days spent sitting in front of a computer. And that’s not their only benefit. “Stretching in the morning activates all the bodily processes in the right ways, such as boosting your metabolism, reducing drowsiness, and improving one’s blood circulation by aiding in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs. Not to mention, it’s just a ‘feel good’ way to wake up and invigorate the start of your day!”
Follow the morning stretch sequence below for an alternate way of saluting the sun—no chaturangas required.
Photo: SM Stretching
1. Plank pose
Time: 1 minute
Okay, I know—60 seconds of a core-quaking plank probably wasn’t what you had in mind when you envisioned your leisurely morning stretch routine. But as Mustafaeva mentioned before, your muscles aren’t warmed up after sleep and it’s important to do get your blood circulating before you go into deeper stretches.
Luckily, you can choose your fighter for this one: either a straight-armed plank or one on your forearms. “Place your arms or elbows directly under your shoulders while facing forward,” says Mustafaeva. “Squeeze the glutes and engage your core as you exhale. Keep a flat back and do not arch your back. Keep the tailbone tucked in and keep breathing.” Once a minute is up, relax—and know that the hardest part of this sequence is over.
Photo: SM Stretching
2. Forward fold
Time: 1 minute
This stretch loosens up the entire back body, which is often tight after sitting at a desk all day. “Sit at a 90 degree angle with your legs together straight out in front of you. Make sure your knees are flat not bent, with your feet flexed,” instructs Mustafaeva. “Arch the lower back and fold yourself forwards. Try to lean forward with your stomach first, followed by your chest, while keeping your head forward. You should feel the stretch in the knee ligaments and the back of the thighs.”
Photo: SM Stretching
3. Butterfly position
Time: 2 minutes
You didn’t think Mustafaeva would forget about the inner thighs, did you? “Place the soles of your feet together, pulling your feet inward as close as possible toward your body,” she says. “Your knees should be facing the sides. Sitting upright with a straight back, place your arms in front of you and lean forward, crawling the fingertips away from the body and stretching out the back. Place your stomach on your legs, followed by your chest. Feel the stretch in the pelvic muscles and inner thighs.” Bonus: This is a great prep stretch if you’re working towards a full split.
Photo: SM Stretching
4. Backwards frog
Time: 2 minutes
This is another great one for the inner thighs, but it also brings the hips to the party. “Get on your knees and elbows and move your legs apart to the sides. Make sure the legs and pelvis are parallel while the lower legs are bent at a 90-degree angle,” says Mustafaeva. “Do not arch your back and try to push your pelvic region as close to the floor as possible. Your thighs will either make a triangle shape or be flat on the floor depending on your flexibility level. Feel the stretch in the pelvic muscles and inner thighs.”
Photo: SM Stretching
5. Torso stretch
Time: 2 minutes (1 minute on each side)
To end the routine, Mustafaeva suggests going for some side-body action. “Siting on your butt, spread your legs apart as far as possible to both sides. Make sure they are tilted on both the left and the right, with feet and knees facing up,” she says. “With a flat back and shoulder blades together, extend the left arm up and tilt your body to the right, stretching the left side. Repeat the same thing on the other leg—right arm is extended up and tilt your body to the left, stretching the right side.” Follow up this morning stretch with your daily horoscope and some “banana eggs”, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect morning.
Yes, you too can become a morning person—here’s your four-step guide to getting up earlier in just 3 weeks. Plus, check out these tips from early risers to further reduce your dependence on the snooze button.