Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Ugh…the sound of your alarm clock rings in your ears. You were having a great dream. You roll over and manage to hit the snooze button to gain nine more minutes of precious sleep. When the alarm rings again, you know it's time to roll out of bed. Another day of school awaits.

Your feet hit the floor of your bedroom and you slowly begin to make your way through your morning routine. You need to shower, grab a bite to eat, and get dressed before you make the walk to the bus stop.

If you're like many kids, you may go about these normal morning tasks without much excitement. After all, you stayed up late the night before reading. Your brain just doesn't seem to want to wake up in the morning! But you also don't want to start your day off on the wrong foot. You need a jolt to break out of your sluggish state. So what can you do to wake your brain up?

How about some coffee or an energy drink? A caffeine boost is sure to do the trick, right? After all, that's what most of us have learned over the years. Caffeine, whether in the form of a strong cup of coffee, an ice-cold soda, or a sugary energy drink, will wake you up and give you energy, right?

Researchers have discovered that caffeine may not have the effect we expect it to in many situations. Why is that? Experts believe that caffeine creates dependence and our bodies quickly become used to its effects.

As a result, regular caffeine users often will not get a true energy boost that they expect. Instead, the caffeine only makes them as alert as a person who doesn't drink any caffeine on a regular basis. Without caffeine, regular users are less alert, so the caffeine does improve their alertness, but only up to the point experts would consider normal.

Experts note that caffeine does provide a boost to those people who don't drink caffeine on a regular basis. At the same time, however, it also tended to make them jittery and anxious. So, if drinking coffee on a regular basis won't boost your brain, what will?

If you're having trouble waking up your brain and getting going, there are several things you can do that don't involve drinking massive amounts of caffeine. Here are a few ideas to help you wake up refreshed and energized:

  • As soon as you get out of bed, drink a glass of water. Your body needs plenty of water on a daily basis. A drink of water first thing in the morning will help kick your body's metabolism into gear.
  • When your alarm goes off in the morning, get up! Don't hit the snooze button. Instead, make sure you get to bed at the proper time the night before, so you get enough sleep. Hitting the snooze only delays the inevitable and often causes anxiety if you have to rush to get ready.
  • Turn on the lights! Often we are tempted to stay in the dark as long as possible, since we're sleepy. However, opening the curtains and turning on the lights will help stimulate the brain. In response, the brain will release certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which can elevate your mood.
  • Cool off! If you really want to kick-start your brain, splash some cold water on your face. If you can stand it, taking a cold shower works even better. Either way, starting the day with a dose of cold water to the face or body will definitely clear the cobwebs and bring you fully awake!
  • Crank up the tunes and get some exercise! If you're not a morning person, the thought of loud music and heart-pumping exercise first thing in the morning might sound awful. Your body, however, will love it if you give it a try. There's no better way to set your day on the right path than to give your body some healthy exercise while listening to upbeat music.
  • Eat! You've been told hundreds of times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There's definitely some truth to that. You'll be fully awake, alert, and ready to hit the ground running if you fuel your brain and body with a healthy breakfast.
  • Exercise your brain. If you have time to waste before school starts, exercise your brain. Do a crossword puzzle. Play a game on your smartphone that requires you to think. Getting your brain working with simple games can help you be more productive the whole day long!

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