A new study identifies four key factors that make a difference to waking up well in the morning — moving to your lunchtime alert and refreshing at one end of the scale, or Fighting through lurching And the Multiple clicks on the snooze button at the other end.
The team behind the study says that these factors, regardless of what genetics an individual was born with, can all be modified to some degree to ensure a better start in the morning.
“Why do we humans swing in our wakefulness from day to day?” The team of researchers led by neuroscientist and sleep researcher Rafael Vallat of the University of California (UC) Berkeley asked published paper.
“Why do we wake up one morning feeling awake, and another morning, wallowing in this level of alertness when we wake up?”
A total of 833 people took part in the study, most of them twins (this helped the researchers filter out differences due to genes). Over the course of two weeks, food intake, physical activity, sleep patterns and glucose levels were recorded, while the volunteers also rated their alertness at several points in the day.
The first factor that matters is sleep pattern: the duration, timing, and efficiency of overnight sleep. Sleeping longer and waking up later than usual was associated with improved alertness in the morning.
The second factor was how much exercise the subjects got the day before. higher levels of a movement per day (as well as less physical activity At night) they were It is associated with more sustained and less disturbed sleep, which in turn predicted increased alertness of the participants in the morning.
Third, there was the breakfast. Morning meals with more carbohydrates led to better levels of alertness, while more protein had the opposite effect. By keeping the calories in the meals served the same, researchers can focus on the nutritional content of what is eaten.
Finally, higher blood sugar levels after breakfast—tested with a pure liquid glucose drink—was associated with decreased alertness. The decrease in blood glucose, which was seen after the participants ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, improved alertness.
In other words, how the body processes food matters, and a lot of sugar It leads to a breakdown of sugar Instead of a sugar rush in the morning.
Other factors that came into play regarding daily alertness included the mood and age of the volunteers, although these factors could not be controlled quite as well as what time you went to bed and what you had for breakfast.
“Our findings reveal a set of key factors associated with alertness that are, for the most part, immutable. Instead, the majority of factors associated with alertness are modifiable, thus allowing for behavioral intervention,” Type Vallat and colleagues.
The team is keen to investigate some of the mechanisms underlying these associations to gather more accurate data. Participants reported their levels of alertness, which were not measured using any scientific tools.
However, in addition to reporting their daily behaviors, the participants ate standard meals and wore an accelerometer wristwatch (to measure sleep and activity) and a continuous glucose monitor (to measure blood sugar levels after meals), which is better than most studies that rely on questionnaires alone.
Another challenge for future studies is to determine how and why sleeping longer and sleeping later, compared to that person’s typical norm, enhances morning alertness—at least in this study. We know this from other research Excessive sleep can also affect well-being.
Improvements in sleep quality affect many other areas of our lives, not least the safety of those working in jobs where mistakes can be fatal, including firefighters, nurses, and airplane pilots.
This question is scientifically fundamental but also societally relevant given that failure to maintain alertness throughout the day is a major causal factor for road traffic and occupational accidents, and is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Type researchers.
“Moreover, inadequate sleep leading to poor daytime alertness is estimated to be responsible for significant work-related loss of productivity, increased healthcare utilization, and absenteeism.”
Research published in Nature Communications.