Tips for morning grouches: How to beat drowsiness

11 Feb 2019 / 13:36 H.

Puffy eyes, poor coordination, easily irritated - almost everyone will occasionally experience drowsiness after waking up. But some are hit harder by sleepiness than others.

“This is partly due to our genes,“ says sleep researcher and psychologist Hans-Guenter Weess. This drowsy state can last up to one hour, depending on your predisposition. That is completely normal, says Weess.

But drowsiness can be fought off if you need or want to get going faster. The goal here is to activate the so-called sympathetic nervous system. This can be done in several ways, for instance by triggering the heart and circulatory system.

“This can of course be achieved through sport and exercise,“ Weess says. “But you can also alternate between hot and cold water in the shower.”

Another remedy for drowsiness is bright, natural light, which helps the body reduce the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

“In the winter, you can resort to light therapy lamps,“ Weess says. You could set one up on your breakfast table. Just half an hour near such a lamp will leave you noticeably more awake.

And in the end, morning grumpiness is also a mental issue: “Anticipation helps get the sympathetic nervous system going,“ Weess says. Keeping in mind a highlight of that particular day will help you get out of bed more easily. - dpa

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