Dragging yourself out of bed when you wake up in the morning can be a struggle for all of us and sometimes all we want is five more minutes to snooze.
But usually, the appeal of a hot, steaming shower to wash away the cobwebs is the thing that makes us put our feet on the floor and get up.
However, new research suggests we’re actually doing our morning shower all wrong – and it could be making us more tired overall.
Health site Self reports a hot shower actually has the opposite effect to waking us up and actually makes us drowsy. So drowsy, in fact, that doctors recommend a hot shower to people who struggle to sleep.
The moment when you step out of the shower (or bath) into the cool air causes the body temperature to drop dramatically, causing a more relaxed state.
In order to feel more refreshed and energised, the site recommends a completely new shower routine – cold, hot, cold.
Just before you get out of the shower, you should turn the water to a cold temperature for 30 seconds. Then push the temperature back up to hot to open up the blood vessels, before plunging into the chilly temperature once more.
The site reports exposure to cold temperatures and cold immersion is linked to an increased tolerance of stress, a stronger immune system, increased fat burning and even effects of anti-depressants.
Understandably, starting your day by shrieking through your shower might not be for everyone – so there are a few other ways you can make yourself feel more awake in the morning.
The first is to increase strength training in the gym – which has been suggested to help you sleep better. Studies have shown weight training produces a molecule called adenosine, which makes you drowsy. If you’ve had a good quality sleep, you’re much more likely to wake up feeling refreshed.
If that’s not your thing, try pampering yourself – maybe with an overnight treatment – to make sure you wake up feeling totally refreshed.