6:25am REJUVENATION STATION
With your brain and body now engaged, it’s time to freshen up. But don’t take your normal hot shower. When combined with regular physical activity, “hot-to-cold” showers reduced sickness absences by 54 percent in a recent PLOS One trial study. Participants also reported more energy and a higher quality of life. Follow this plan to get started.
1 TURN DOWN THE TEMP
Stick a pair of spoons into your freezer. (We’ll come back to them.) Next, set your shower dial halfway between hot and cold. Every 15 seconds, turn it down a notch. When you start gasping, endure the chill for 3 minutes. This will fire up your nervous system, releasing a surge of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that influences alertness and mood to help combat those lost hours of sleep.
2 SPOON WITH YOURSELF
“Half of feeling energized is looking that way,” says Steven O’Neill, founder of the Grooming Clinic. “When you’re tired, it’s your eyes that give the game away.” So after your shower is finished, grab those spoons, run them under cold water, and place them on your eye bags for 60 seconds to minimize dark circles. Next, drape a cold washcloth over your face. It’ll reduce inflammation and make your skin look nice and tight.
3 WRAP IT UP
This last step locks in the wakeful look. “Swap your regular face wash for one with more pep,” says dermatologist Angela Lamb, M.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Try one with ginseng, which wakes up your skin and brain. Meanwhile, a good eye gel will sink in quickly and leave a reflective finish that makes you look more alert.