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Natural Ways to Wake Up Refreshed

By Author Name | Updated 10:45 AM 10.31.12

Do you stumble out of bed and head straight for the coffee? While a jolt of caffeine may rev you up, it can trigger an energy rollercoaster when it wears off. Instead of your daily java, we've compiled some ideas to get you going.

Open The Curtains

Why is it so hard to wake up during the winter? For one thing, you're not exposed to the strong sun that signals your brain to shut off the sleep hormone melatonin. Sunlight is also a major source of Vitamin D, a vitamin that helps improve bone and muscle strength.* Schiff® Mega-D3® provides 5000 IU of this critical nutrient along with Resveratrol and Red Wine Complex nutrients that help support key areas of health that often decline with age.*

Don't Skip Breakfast

Seize the day with an energizing combination of protein, carbs and a little healthy fat. These easy meals will keep you going until lunchtime.

  • Oatmeal with fat-free milk and fruit
  • A handful of dried fruit (apples, raisins, apricots, cranberries) and nuts
  • One tablespoon of peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers
  • Low-fat cottage cheese topped with berries and almonds
  • A fruit smoothie (bananas, berries) made with low-fat yogurt

Strike A Pose

A few minutes of gentle yoga are a great way to ease into wakefulness. The ancient practice of pranayama -- a combination of yogic breathing and simple stretches -- has been shown to lower heart rate, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being and confidence. Did you know people aged 21-76 practicing pranayama produced a significantly greater increase in perceptions of mental and physical energy, alertness and enthusiasm than other relaxation techniques.

Breathe Deeply

For many of us feeling rushed, anxious or frustrated is a fact of modern life. When you're racing around, your breathing becomes quick and shallow. The result? You're not taking in enough of the oxygen your cells need for optimal functioning. Try 6 to 10 reps of Three-Part Breathing. Inhaling through your nose very slowly, inflate your belly, expand your ribs, and feel the air fill your upper lungs. Now exhale in the same sequence. You can even do this exercise lying in bed!

Quick Massage

Researchers say that stimulating pressure receptors under the skin helps slow your heart rate, a characteristic of attentiveness. Chinese Pressure (Dao Yin) combines deep breathing with acupressure points -- such as your temples, earlobes, back, and calf muscles -- and you can do it by yourself. Apply pressure to each area, inhaling for three counts and then exhaling as you release the pressure.

  • Face and Head: Press on your temples under your eyebrows, down the sides and bridge of your nose, and pull down and around your earlobes.
  • Hands: Use your right thumb to massage the fleshy part of your left hand between your thumb and index finger, then reverse hands. Squeeze the inside of each arm with the opposite hand, moving from your shoulder down to your wrist.
  • Back: Using your fingers, apply pressure to your lower back above your hipbones.
  • Legs and Feet: With your thumb and fingers squeeze the side of each knee, move down your calves, and press the arch of each foot.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The best way to wake up rejuvenated is to get a good night’s rest. While you’re snoozing away, your body replenishes and repairs itself in a variety of ways. Protein synthesis is just one example of this. During sleep, your body produces proteins, which are the building blocks for all cells. These proteins help the body to repair itself from the cellular level up. This activity helps you look better too. No wonder they call it beauty sleep!

Melatonin helps set your body’s biological clock to initiate sleep.* To help promote healthy sleep patterns, we recommend taking a melatonin supplement at bedtime.* Schiff® Melatonin Plus is a great choice. It contains 3 mgs of melatonin, along with theanine, a natural amino acid found in green tea

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