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Time your coffee. To avoid a crash, take your cup of joe right before you need to be most alert, not when you wake up. A review study reported that caffeine is more effective than naps at improving performance in tests measuring attention, perception, and reasoning.

Sleep with the shades up. People exposed to morning light wake up naturally during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, so you feel more refreshed, says Stanford University sleep specialist Jamie Zeitzer, Ph.D.

Rethink the snooze button. Those extra 15 minutes aren't enough to restore you after your sleep's been interrupted. Instead, turn in 15 minutes earlier or set your alarm 15 minutes later, says Dr. Nancy Collop, director, Emory Sleep Center at Emory University.

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