Do you wake up tired no matter how much sleep you get and continue to be sluggish for most if not the whole day or at least until you drink your morning coffee?
This can be a real struggle and unfortunately, it’s something really common but which can truly affect people’s quality of life and workday productivity amongst many other things.
Thankfully, a study from the University of California, Berkeley, has seemingly found the secret to walking up refreshed and ready to take on the world.
As it turns out, you need to pay attention to three specific factors – sleep, exercise and breakfast.
The research included 833 people, their behavior being analyzed in detail over a period of two weeks.
They were also given a variety of breakfast meals and watches to record their movement.
Their sleep patterns were also monitored, including details such as the amount of sleep, the quality of sleep, timing and regularity.
Furthermore, the participants were required to journal their food intake and record their alertness levels throughout the day from the moment they woke up.
In order to also separate the influence of genes from behavior and environmental elements, twins were included in the study as well.
The researchers found that the secret to feeling alert in the morning includes exercising the day before, sleeping for longer hours and later into the morning and also having a breakfast rich in complex carbs and less sugar.
The first author of the study, Raphael Vallat, explains that “All of these have a unique and independent effect. If you sleep longer or later, you are going to see an increase in alertness. If you do more physical activity the day before, you are going to see an increase. You can see improvements with each one of these factors.”
Senior author Matthew Walker went on to stress that sleepiness is much more than just a slight inconvenience so it’s essential to know how to keep it in check.
“Many of us believe that morning sleepiness is a benign annoyance. However, it costs developed countries billions of dollars every single year through loss of productivity, increased healthcare utilization, and work absenteeism. More important, however, is that it costs lives — it is deadly. From car crashes to work related accidents, the cost of sleepiness is deadly. As scientists, we need to understand how to help society wake up better and help reduce the mortal cost to society’s current struggle to wake up effectively each day.”
Walker, Vallat and their team’s findings have been published in the Nature Communications journal, where you can read the study in its entirety if you wish to learn more.