(NaturalHealth365) There are morning people, and then there are night people. Why is it that some people are able to wake up at the crack of dawn, alert and perky, as soon as their feet hit the floor? And why are there others who don’t wake up till sometime after 8 or 9 am, and you can’t talk to them until they’ve had at least one cup of coffee?
Scientists have pondered this for years, and while many simply chalk it up to genetics, the science shows something quite different. In fact, genetics only plays a very small part in how alert a person is in the morning. A new study has uncovered some keys to improving your morning alertness and minimizing grogginess upon waking.
Study finds that your morning alertness is linked to what you eat plus much more
Researchers at the University of California followed 833 participants to analyze the relationship between the foods they ate and morning grogginess. Over a two-week period, participants were given premade meals, along with muffins that had specific nutrients. Not everyone received the same amount of nutrients; some participants got more and some less. They each received a standardized breakfast that included either complex carbs and fats in fairly moderate amounts or high protein and high simple sugars.
The purpose was to observe the way each participant responded to the different diets when they woke in the morning. And, although it’s clear this study only used unhealthy food choices for its “carbs,” “fats” and other “nutrients” … the results are still worth observing.
Throughout the study, the participants wore glucose monitors continuously to keep track of their blood glucose levels. The participants that consumed breakfast containing high amounts of sugar had difficulty waking up and staying alert.
On the other hand, the participants who consumed a greater percentage of complex carbohydrates, which reduced simple sugars and added more protein or fat, did not have as much difficulty waking up in the morning. They were alert very quickly after waking, and that alertness was ongoing.
But that was only part of the puzzle.
Sleep played a significant role in morning alertness as well. Participants who slept longer (between 7 and 9 hours a night) than usual, woke up better and were alert faster.
The last piece of the puzzle is maintaining a controlled, healthy blood glucose response after consuming breakfast is the key to better, more effective alertness in the morning. This is common sense: the quality of your diet has everything to do with maintaining a “healthy blood glucose response.”
It should be noted that many integrative healthcare providers and health coaches see great improvements in morning energy by simply advising their clients to try “intermittent fasting.”
How to wake up alert and refreshed
If you want to wake up alert and refreshed, try this three-step approach suggested in the study and common sense:
Eat a breakfast higher in complex carbohydrates coupled with some quality protein or fat, plus avoid simple sugars. You may find that skipping breakfast works even better for you – as suggested here. Just be sure to drink 8-10 ounces of pure, clean water as soon as you can in the morning. You can even add a healthy superfoods powder to your morning glass of water filled with dried medicinal mushrooms, sea vegetables and/or greens. (i.e. “Pure Synergy” from The Synergy Company)
Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. The most restorative hours to be asleep are from 10 pm to 2 am. And, to help you with sleep, stay away from artificial (white) light from cell phones, computers and other electronic devices, for about 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Keep your blood glucose levels stable. Some helpful tips include: eating a healthy (organic) diet, chewing your food much more, regular exercise, drinking lots of clean water, learning to manage your stress, spend more time in nature, getting enough sleep in a dark bedroom with minimal to no light, and avoiding smoking and alcohol will help you stay healthy and maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day.
Making your health a top priority is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and others. After all, if you don’t feel well … how can you help others?
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