Do you always wake up groggy? There is a solution to this.
Scientists believe they’ve found a foolproof three-step formula to turn sluggishness into a fresh morning feeling.
Although these are just three factors, some might find it a little difficult, given that it involves exercising and avoiding sugar.
University of California researchers believe the key to feeling renewed in the morning is a combination of intense exercise, seven to nine hours of sleep, and a high-carb, low-sugar breakfast.
“We know there are people who always seem to have bright eyes and busy tails when they first wake up,” said author Professor Matthew Walker. “But if you think you’re not like that, you tend to think, ‘Well, I guess it’s just my genetic fate that I’m slow to wake up. There’s really nothing I can do about it, short of using the chemical stimulant caffeine, which can interfere with sleep.
“But our findings offer a different, more optimistic message,” he continued.
The formula published in the journal Nature Communications was developed after analyzing hundreds of people.
While research has shown intense exercise helps drowsies, scientists couldn’t explain exactly why – but did note that it exhausts a person and is a known mood booster.
“It is well known that physical activity, in general, improves your alertness and also your mood level,” said study co-author and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Raphael Vallat.
The researchers found a strong correlation between mood and levels of alertness, those who were, on average, happier were also more alert.
“It may be that better exercise-induced sleep is part of the reason that exercise the night before, by aiding sleep that night, leads to superior alertness throughout the following day” , Vallat said.
While seven to nine hours of sleep is ideal, even just a little more can help. Sleeping in — staying in bed after waking up — can also help combat that fuzzy feeling, according to Walker.
The recommended amount of sleep, and especially good quality sleep, can rid the body of “sleep inertia” – impaired cognitive and sensory-motor performance after waking. Getting enough sleep also helps rid the body of a chemical called adenosine, which tires us out and builds up throughout the day.
Sleeping later can also help you stay alert.
“Since the majority of individuals in society don’t get enough sleep during the week, getting more sleep on any given day can help eliminate some of the adenosine sleepiness debt they carry,” Walker said.
Participants also received different meals for breakfast, kept a food diary for two weeks, and wore watches to record physical activity, amount, quality, timing, and regularity of sleep. They also self-recorded their level of alertness from the time they woke up and throughout the day,
All of the pre-made breakfasts were centered around a muffin and packed with different nutrients. Some only had a muffin while others came with items such as chocolate milk, protein shake or fiber bars. Some also received a dose of glucose.
Participants were asked to fast for eight hours before having breakfast and for three to four hours after eating. They also wore a glucometer.
The researchers wanted to test the distribution of breakfast meals high in sugar, protein and carbohydrates. A high-carb, low-sugar breakfast has been found to be the best meal for waking up feeling refreshed.
Breakfasts with lots of sugar left participants feeling the worst because it can raise your blood sugar levels, which negatively impacts the brain’s ability to return to waking consciousness.
“A high-carb breakfast can increase alertness, as long as your body is healthy and able to efficiently remove glucose from that meal, preventing a continued spike in blood sugar that otherwise blunts your alertness. brain,” said Dr. Vallat.
While most people assume that feeling sleepy in the morning is nothing more than a boring part of our lives, Walker shared that it “actually costs developed nations billions of dollars each year due to the loss of productivity, increased use of health care and absenteeism from work”.
He also said lightheadedness in the morning can be deadly, leading to car accidents and work-related incidents.
“As scientists, we need to understand how to help society wake up better and help reduce the deadly cost of society’s current struggle to wake up efficiently every day,” Walker said.
“How you wake up each day is largely under your own control, depending on how you structure your life and sleep.”
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