We’re not morning people, and we typically don’t like people that are. There’s something to be said, we suppose, for rising with the sun and greeting the day with open arms. It’s just that we can never hear what those things being said are, because we didn’t go to sleep until 3 because we were up late talking to model friends about how they wanted to get into cigars. It’s a tough row to hoe, but somebody has go to hoe it.

But the workday (for most people) doesn’t start at 2pm, so sometimes we need a little jumpstart in the morning. Here are some of the things that our anecdotal evidence and science both have suggested will lift you up in an otherwise dreary morning.

This product

Really, any shower CD player will work, but this is the one we happen to get our sudsy mitts on. You can also get an MP3 player that uses radio to transmit songs from your iPod in another room, but those options are fewer, and we do so enjoy the art of the Rise and Shine mix CD. We’ve included for your consideration the single best song to start showering to in the morning. 

Evening prep

Setting yourself up for a good morning is half the battle. You’ll be subconsciously calmer, sleep deeper, and have less to hurry through in the morning. Clean up your place, stick the dishes in the washer, lay out some clothes, and if you pack a lunch, pack it. You may also want to do a short meditation. Award winning novelist Gabrielle Garcia Marquez suggested that one of the most important things a man can do is start and end every day with 20 minutes of quiet reflection. Works for him.

Your MITs

Zenhabits.org suggests that a good thing to do each morning in order to simplify your day and point yourself in the right direction is to set your three MITs (Most Important Things). There’s ample proof that long lists don’t get finished, and that your frontal cortex, where you actively think, is pretty easily overwhelmed. Even if it’s not true, making it seem like you’ve only got three simple things to do that day will clear your head and brighten your morning.

Just stretch

This is a slightly different method than the morning workout so often touted online as the best way to wake up quickly and kickstart your metabolism. This is more akin to easing the transition between sleep and wakefulness. If you find your alarm to be too jarring, you are probably the type of person that wakes up gradually, over about 30 minutes. Set your alarm volume lower, or too a mellow song, but set it 10 minutes earlier to allow you time to get up and stretch. 

Morning workout

For a morning workout to be truly effective you’ll have to make it at least 30 minutes long and it’ll have to be vigorous. That’s the amount of exertion required before the average human body a) begins to produce the endorphins that leave you feeling energized and b) reaches a point where the workout is cardiovascularly beneficial. The best setup for this is if you’ve got stationary cardio equipment in your house, especially if you live somewhere that isn’t sunny and warm all year round (Ed Note: not sure why you would do that…).

Get it on

This doesn’t work for everybody since, if you’re doing it right, carnal congress will release a series of proteins into your bloodstream that will signal to your brain that it’s sleepy time. However, if you’re doing it athletically, these could be mitigated or even outweighed by the above effect of physical activity stimulating your body and raising your alertness. It’s a super fine line to walk, but it’s one worth walking because either way, you’re getting laid.

Caffeine (soap)

This is really a thing. The placebo effect is very real and very, you know, effective. Even though caffeine can’t be absorbed through the skin, and if it is, needs to be metabolized in the g.i. tract to effect any kind of stimulation, this will probably still invigorate you. Why? Because you’ll think it will, and that will be enough. They even did science on it.

Caffeine (normal)

Duh.  90 percent of American consume caffeine in one form or another every single day. It increases alertness, makes you a better athlete, wakes you up, and fends off disease. It can cause you to be a little jittery, but only when used in excess. This is a no-brainer.  Here, buy some.

Water

There doesn’t seem to be any proof for this one that we can find, but it is echoed anecdotally over and over again. For some reason, drinking a glass of water (the colder the better) when you wake up just signals to your body that it’s time to wake up. The best theory we’ve heard is that your body is somewhat dehydrated in the morning due to 8 hours of respiration, but who knows? More importantly, who cares? It works.

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