13 Fatigue-Fighting Hacks to Supercharge Your Mornings

When waking up is hard to do, consider the following strategies.

We’ve all had those mornings when we just can’t shake a feeling of sluggishness, even when we’ve technically gotten enough sleep. In an effort to perk up on tired days, many of us load up on cup after cup of coffee.

But over-caffeinating can leave us jittery and anxious (not to mention perpetually running to the bathroom).

Perhaps there’s a better way to banish morning fatigue and get on with your day with the energy you need.

1. Don’t Hit Snooze — At All

That beloved button on top of your alarm clock may not be so helpful after all.

Spending the last half hour or so of nighttime rest in what researchers call “fragmented sleep” has consequences for your ability to function throughout the day.

Pro-tip: Try the 90-minute sleep cycle hack by setting two alarms — one for 90 minutes before you want to wake up and one for when you actually want to wake up.

The theory is that the 90 minutes of sleep you get between snoozes will be a full sleep cycle, allowing you to wake up after your REM state, instead of during.

2. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing

Fatigue is a classic symptom of dehydration, and even a mild case can trigger feelings of sleepiness, changes in cognitive ability, and mood disruptions. Let a glass of water freshen up your entire body before you get moving.

Pro-tip: If you find you still can’t shake morning lethargy, try upping your intake of water and other noncaffeinated beverages throughout the day.

3. Stretch Out Your Tired Body With Yoga

There’s a reason it feels so good to stretch when you wake up. Overnight, during REM sleep, your muscles are literally paralyzed (atonia), and reactivating them releases energy-stimulating endorphins.

Pro-tip: If you have a bit of time for morning yoga, take it; just 25 minutes has been shown to boost energy levels and brain function.

4. Splash Your Face With Water

Cold showers are reported to reduce sick-day absences from work. If you don’t want to take a full shower, a splash of cold water to the face, to signal a temperature change to your body, may also do the trick.

Is getting out of bed the main problem? Keep a spray bottle or water mist by your bedside table so you can lean over and mist yourself without even opening your eyes!

Pro-tip: One cult-favorite product is Saborino’s Morning Face Mask from Japan, which has essential oils to activate your senses. In one minute, this sheet mask cleanses, invigorates, and moisturizes your skin.

Note: People with sensitive skin may want to avoid this product.

5. Eat Breakfast to Spark your Energy

The jury is still out on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But research does say that skipping this first meal can negatively affect your energy and ability to pay attention throughout the day.

Food is fuel. Give your body some calories to put it into action at the start of the day.

But if you’re working out in the morning, remember to eat after, not before. This will (a) burn more calories, (b) boost your metabolism, and (c) help you avoid an unsettled stomach.

Pro tip: Build a fatigue-fighting breakfast instead.Since what you eat at breakfast can affect how you feel for hours, making the right choice is critical for your morning.

Reach for a combination of fatigue-fighting foods like lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and lower-sugar fruits.

6. Avoid Having Sugar Until Lunch

All breakfasts are not created equal, so take stock of your morning food choices. Sugary items like sweetened coffee drinks, pastries, and breakfast cereals can lead to the classic blood sugar spike-and-drop that leaves you feeling drained.

Pro-tip: Pay attention to nutrition labels to see how much sugar you’re getting at breakfast — and cut back wherever possible. Keep whole foods like apples, carrots, and oranges on hand for easy access.

7. Drink Less Coffee

That’s right, we said less coffee — but not none! Though coffee has plenty of health benefits, chugging a lot in the morning may indirectly contribute to increased fatigue later in the day.

Participants in one study reported feeling more tired the day after they had consumed caffeinated drinks. Experimenting with a reduced amount of caffeine in the morning actually may make you less tired.

Pro-tip: Avoid the big mugs. Purchase a smaller cup, if you have to, to help reduce the amount you drink.

8. Go Outside to Activate Your Brain

Photo by Tobi from Pexels

We’ve all had those mornings when we just can’t shake a feeling of sluggishness, even when we’ve technically gotten enough sleep. In an effort to perk up on tired days, many of us load up on cup after cup of coffee.

But over-caffeinating can leave us jittery and anxious (not to mention perpetually running to the bathroom).

Perhaps there’s a better way to banish morning fatigue and get on with your day with the energy you need.

9. Get Some Cardio in, Throughout the Morning

Sure, when you want to crawl back into bed, exercise may sound pretty unappealing — but it may be exactly what your body needs to get help booting up. Research consistently correlates aerobic exercise with reduced fatigue.

See if you can squeeze in a quick walk or bike ride, or try a longer workout for even more benefit.

Pro-tip: When pressed for time, get your body up with a few rounds of high-knees and jumping jacks. Even 30 seconds of torso twists could do the trick, or plan a short cardio commute on your way to work.

10. Address Your Stress

Is it possible that negative feelings about your job or stressors at home are draining you of morning oomph?

You may not be able to fix certain situations overnight, but once you’ve identified them as a source of mental and physical exhaustion, you can often take some action to alleviate them.

Pro-tip: Streamline harried mornings at home by making school lunches the night before, or make time for morning meditations and create calm before your day begins.

11. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to

Sometimes all we need for an energy boost is a little excitement on the horizon.

To beat morning fatigue, consider scheduling a phone call with a friend during your commute, penciling in an outdoor walk on your midmorning break, or pre-making an appealing breakfast that calls you out of bed.

Pro-tip: Let another schedule determine yours. Make an earlier morning podcast or radio show part of your wake-up routine.

12. Go Deeper With Mental Health

If morning fatigue becomes a chronic problem, it could be caused by depression or anxiety. People with depression can feel worse in the morning or only feel depressed in the morning.

The only way to know, however, is to track your mood or see a professional.

Pro-tip: Dig a little deeper. Asking some key questions about your mental health state may reveal an underlying condition that needs professional attention.

13. Ultimately, Practice Good Sleep (and Waking) Hygiene

If your bedtime habits can have so profound an effect on your rest, so too could your waking routine. You’ve probably heard of sleep hygiene — the handful of best practices that help you fall asleep at night. These include:

  • turning off screens an hour before bed
  • turning in at the same time each night
  • creating a comfortable sleeping environment

Getting up at the same time each morning helps maintain circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock that’s responsible for feelings of sleepiness.

Make an effort to rise at the same time every day — even on weekends — to see if you can banish the midmorning slump.

Launch a Successful Ad Campaign with 5 Simple Tips

Do you know?

Launching an ad campaign and seeing it turn out into a great success, can be one the most fulfilling milestones for your business. But make no mistake; it involves a lot of analysis, research, and planning. 

And rightfully so, because of the high stakes and the no room for error. Therefore before you take your ad campaign off the ground, you want to make sure all necessary preparations, budgets, and tools made ready.

Now:

Though advertising campaigns typically range from specific product promotions to range of services, it also extends to whole brand promotions like Apple’s infamous “Think Different” campaign. 

Like most business endeavors, ad campaigns are not 100% fail-proof. Hence, there is a degree of trial and error. Coupling persistence with determination, there is a high chance your ad campaign will be a big hit. 

All you need to do is keep the following steps in mind:

1) Determine campaign objective and plan/campaign fits 

Firstly:

You need to ask yourself some questions. To begin with, what do you plan to achieve with your ad campaign? 

You need to keep the main objective in mind every single step of the way into the ad campaign. Let it be your lead and decision guide. For these reasons, the ad campaign’s objectives and goals need to be crystal clear and cutting edge sharp.

“We are looking to increase sales” or “better serve more customers” isn’t just going to cut it. We need to define how many of which products you are hoping to sell.

And so far as the campaign is concerned, there are a few parameters you need to hold the whole piece today. And time is the most crucial parameter (after money), since ad campaigns tend to lose their effectiveness over time. 

Even Squirrel of the Voya Financial had to be retired eventually.

 Here the deal:

Consider this a quick advertising marketing campaign formula: Specific desired Objective + Projected Life span of marketing campaign + Monetary Budget?

E.g., Sales of Tickle-me Elmo dolls increase by 60% in six months.

Please bear in mind, the amount of money you are going to be spending on the campaign will directly affect how long the campaign runs and your choice of strategies to adopt for the ad campaign.

Social media campaigns like Facebook ads are way cheaper than the Superbowl TV ad.

However, you don’t want to depend on free promotions and ad strategies. You might be a small business. This could be one of the biggest marketing mistakes you make. 

2) Determine how you will measure success

You need to define your target market and figure out where they usually hang out. As the saying goes, no product is for everyone. So, if you are offering swimming suits to surfers, then you would be better off advertising to 

Find out where your target audience usually spends its time. If you’re offering math tutoring services, then your best bet is to advertise at the local college instead of at the mall. If you’re selling a strategy guide for a specific video game, then you might consider putting an ad on the video game’s fan websites. Targeting is becoming increasingly easy with the use of systems such as Google’s AdWords, which allows you to select the types of sites you want your ad to appear in and maximize your chances of getting a response.

Find out where your target audience usually spends its time. If you’re offering math tutoring services, then your best bet is to advertise at the local college instead of at the mall. If you’re selling a strategy guide for a specific video game, then you might consider putting an ad on the video game’s fan websites. Targeting is becoming increasingly easy with the use of systems such as Google’s AdWords, which allows you to select the types of sites you want your ad to appear in and maximize your chances of getting a response.

3) Locate your target audience.

  • Determine the right target market for your product.
  • Create a message that speaks to your audience.

When creating the wording for your fliers, newspaper advertisements, television, or online text ads, relate to your target audience by speaking from their side. The famous advertising campaign by the state of Texas, intended to persuade people to stop littering the highway, was successful because it spoke the language of their teenage male target audience: “Don’t Mess with Texas.” Your message should be clear and actionable and should leave no doubt in your customer’s minds as to what the product or service is.

4) Time your campaign. Analyze the selling cycles

What metrics are you going to use? How will you tell if your marketing campaign has succeeded or not? If you have a marketing objective such as “Sales of face beauty marks will increase 50% in three months,” the metric you’re going to use to measure the success of your marketing campaign is the number of sales made over the three months. But the number of transactions may not be an appropriate metric at all if your marketing objective is to increase the awareness of your brand or to improve your website’s search engine page ranking.

Analyze the selling cycles of your product with other retailers and advertise before the peak of the buying season for the product. For example, if you’re selling winter coats, don’t launch your ad campaign in April.

5) Start slow and test often.

Do a preliminary test to see the effects of your wording, placement, and call to action by placing a large number of ads in a small geographical area, such as a mall or a neighborhood. If the results are good, then extend the campaign to the surrounding suburbs; if they aren’t so good, play with the wording and placement and try again.

Once you’ve measured the results of your marketing campaign, you’ll be able to make decisions about the marketing strategies you’ve used and future campaigns. Suppose that your bike seat marketing campaign increased bike seat sales 41%. You’d decide to repeat it next year wouldn’t you?

Wrap Up

In a way, any marketing campaign is better than none, because it means you’re directing your small business marketing efforts rather than just casting blindly here and there. But the best marketing campaign is the one that gets the results that you want, and that takes some planning and a coordinated effort.

The Effects of Cybersecurity on the Internet of Things

Cybersecurity for IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has undergone several new developments in a relatively short time. Today, lots of appliances, like washing machines and smartwatches, have live internet connections. Together, these connected devices perform different functions like cut down energy consumption, boost user productivity, and monitor user health. 

Cybersecurity for IoT
The effects of cybersecurity on the internet of things

The imaginations and limitations for the applications of this field are quite broad. As such, businesses seek to push the boundaries of what they can do with IoT. 

However, this great avenue for innovation and application comes with matching cybersecurity risks for IoT. Generally, hackers and other perpetrators of cybercrime may use these devices as a backdoor into your corporate network. 

Usually, cyber attacks target the weakest links in network security. As it happens, this weak link could be an Internet of Things connected device. 

Thus, enterprises must have a good understanding of the effects of cybersecurity on the Internet of Things. By doing so, you may not find yourself in a position where you have to explain how you were hacked through your light bulb.

 This kind of security breach might sound humorous but make no mistake; the threats are very real. To better understand the subject, here’s a brief overview of the Internet of Things. 

Security Effects of the Technological Advancements

Overview of the IoT

You can refer to any inter-networked connections of devices through the internet as an Internet of Things. Primarily, these devices exchange data among themselves across the network. The devices can be of many different kinds. You can have hardware sensors, watches, or even farming tools forming part of IoT. 

Because IoT devices send and receive data, with modern technology and sensors (which traditional devices can’t do), they are often called “smart” devices. 

Hence, devices like smartwatches, smart fridges, smartphones, or any other gadgets with “smart” preceding their names fall into the IoT category. A quick look back in time and you find that modern IoT evolved a great deal over the past couple of years. 

The category now covers lots of unique devices. As such, many of these devices have features that allow them to provide detailed analytical reports, offer real-time communication, and also learn on the fly. 

You can date IoT way back to the 1980s. During the early years of the 1980s, a vending machine was created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that could connect to the internet. The researchers could collect data from the vending machine upon request. Information such as the machine’s stock, the real-time temperature of stored drinks, and inventory were readily available. 

Though the growth of IoT was very slow in the early days, this changed in the late 1990s. You can attribute this to the advances in wireless internet, which earlier proved elusive. According to a 2015 report by Gartner, Inc, 2020 should see about 21 billion IoT devices in circulation. 

Possible Cybersecurity Risks of IoT

The first incident of concern was raised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about IoT products in an attempt to protect the privacy of the American consumer. Wired reported this incident also in 2015. 

The report stated a total of 25 billion objects, which the FTC mentioned were connected to the internet. Together these objects could collect, share, and distribute data according to preprogrammed protocols. 

Remember, Wired published this report in 2015. Therefore, you can expect an increase in this number in the last five years. However, the FTC didn’t stop there. The government agency proceeded to work with industry leaders to create a security checklist for companies in the diverse technological fields that manufacture IoT devices. This was one of the early and main steps securing the information IoT devices collected from users. 

The essential recommendation FTC made back in 2015 included a call on companies to create security protocols directly into IoT devices. Hence, companies have to ensure each hardware is secure against cyberattacks before implementing them into the internet network. By so doing, you perform security tests on the devices ahead of time. Instead of tackling security as an afterthought. 

Thus, the risks of any holes in the firewall and security settings reduce exponentially. 

Hence, when hackers attempt to prod and poke devices for weaknesses, your cybersecurity measures rise to the occasion. However, should your device sustain a breach, the entire network becomes vulnerable. According to a 2014 Hewlett-Packard Enterprise report, about 70% of all IoT devices are susceptible to cyber-attacks. 

Therefore, the need to build more security frameworks into and around IoT devices is essential moving forward. 

Protocols of Cybersecurity to Decrease IoT Risks of Cybersecurity

The high percentage of vulnerable IoT devices necessitate measures to safeguard this growing technology and the networks on which it’s devices thrive. Hence, FTC also recommended a “defense-in-depth” approach to cybersecurity. Thus, an IT department and enterprise must put security measures in place. Instead of releasing patches for cyber vulnerabilities of IoT devices in bits. 

To accomplish this recommended “defense-in-depth” security measure, you need to understand your IoT device from a security perspective. You need to know how it works, and how it connects with networks. Also, you have to perform security tests for possible security issues and flaws. Hereafter, you need to write essential security systems and firewalls for each device. 

In addition, IoT consumers should receive regular patches to cover potential flaws their usage might generate. On the other hand, employees of tech companies must receive regular and up-to-date training on the correct usage of Internet of Things devices and the effects of cybersecurity on such devices. This training must cover the security measures necessary to protect the network of the entire corporation. 

Furthermore, placing a limit on the amount of collected data can significantly reduce the risks of a cyberattack. The introduction of cloud computing and technology was a great advantage to the commercialization of the Internet of Things devices. However, IoT hardware now required continual data communication with the cloud. Hence, this placed such devices at a higher risk of a cybersecurity breach. 

Conclusion

The Internet of Things shows great potential for growth. Which means we are yet to realize its full capabilities. You can boost the productivity of your company, drive future projects, and cut expenses across many departments in your company. However, the same can be said for the cybersecurity threats it poses. As such, all the benefits of IoT are for not if you don’t take the needed cybersecurity measures. 

Hence, the priority of all stakeholders of IoT should be to safeguard all the newly minted internet access points connected across the network. This is not to imply that the Internet of Things makes up a large percentage of data usage within any given network. On the contrary, IoT’s data usage may take up a small portion of an entire network. 

Nevertheless, there should be active and specific cybersecurity in place. Hence, you always need to consider the potential cybersecurity risks before implementing any new IoT hardware and software into your network.