Want to unlock the secret to waking up refreshed and alert? Do these three things
When your alarm clock goes off, do you hop out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day? Or are you groggy, tired and would rather hit snooze and sleep longer? A new study shows that the secret to feeling more energetic in the morning is to do three things. Viv Williams has the details in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."
ROCHESTER — How often do you wake up feeling groggy, sluggish and tired? Too often? Fret not, because a new study shows that you can wake up feeling more alert and ready to face the day if you pay attention to three things: sleep, exercise and breakfast.
Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley tracked people's behavior over two weeks. They found that the secret to alertness is a three-part prescription that includes exercise the previous day, sleeping longer and later into the morning, and eating a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates, with limited sugar.
“All of these have a unique and independent effect,” says Dr. Raphael Vallat, first author of the study. “If you sleep longer or later, you're going to see an increase in your alertness. If you do more physical activity on the day before, you're going to see an increase. You can see improvements with each and every one of these factors.”
When it comes to breakfast, what should or shouldn't you eat? The research team found that the worst type of breakfast contains a lot of simple sugar. Study participants who ate a sugar-infused breakfast struggled with sleepiness. But the best breakfast is high in complex carbohydrates with a modest amount of protein. They found this combo to be linked to people being able to rev up their alertness quickly in the morning and then sustaining it.
Morning grogginess is not just annoying. It can cause auto accidents and injuries on the job. The researchers cite the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in Pennsylvania and the nuclear accident in Chernobyl as examples.
If you want to feel more alert in the mornings, give the three-part prescription a try. Exercise, sleep longer (which may mean going to bed earlier) and eat a complex carb-rich breakfast that's low in sugar.
The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
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