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Tired in the Morning?

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Updated April 30, 2014

Question: Tired in the Morning?
Is there a tea or some type of herbal spray or remedy that can energize people who have trouble waking and getting started in the morning?
Answer: Feeling tired in the morning can be due to difficulties with sleep or a medical condition, so the first step should be to consult your doctor to make sure that the problem isn't actually an underlying condition, such as depression, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, or diabetes.

Any type of stress, whether it's work stress, everyday worries, or family difficulties can make it difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep, which can leave you feeling tired and unrefreshed in the morning.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple technique that may help to reduce anxiety.

Meditation and regular yoga practice are other options. A professional counselor or therapist may be needed in certain situations.

Is your bedroom too dark when you wake up in the morning?

If so, it may be a reason why you feel sluggish. Light exposure plays a key role in telling the body when to go to sleep and when to wake up.

That's because the hormone melatonin, which helps with sleep, is produced in darkness. On the other hand, light—especially sunlight—causes the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps us wake up.

One way of increasing morning light is to open your drapes or blinds just before going to bed so that the morning light fills your room (doing it after you wake up doesn't work as well).

If you regularly drink coffee or caffeinated sodas, consider cutting back. Although many people rely on coffee for energy, consuming too much caffeine creates a vicious cycle, a dependency on caffeine, and can drain energy.

You don't have to cut out caffeine entirely. Green tea is a great alternative, because it contains less caffeine—about 8 to 30 mg per cup compared to 100 to 350 mg per cup of coffee.

Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine which has been found in preliminary studies to enhance learning ability, induce relaxation and relieve emotional stress, possibly through its effects on serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters.

Regular black tea or flavored black teas, such as chai (an Indian spiced tea), are other options to consider.

Certain plant oils have aromas are believed to help boost energy. These oils, called essential oils, are used in aromatherapy.

Here is information on how to make an energizing essential oil blend.

You can simply put a couple drops in a handkerchief or tissue and inhale the aroma, use a diffuser in the bedroom, or add a drop or two in the shower to allow the steam to vaporize the essential oils.

Just be sure to read these tips on using essential oils safely.

More:


Sources
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Juneja LR, Chu D-C, Okubo T, et al. L-Theanine - a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends Food Sci Tech. (1999) 10:199-204.

Yokogoshi H, Kobayashi M, Mochizuki M, Terashima T. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats. Neurochem Res. (1998) 23:667-673.

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