A three-part Rx for waking up with energy

A three-part Rx for waking up with energy

How often do you wake up feeling perky? Once in a blue moon? Never?

New research suggests that paying close attention to three things — sleep, exercise and breakfast — could turn you into a morning person.

The University of California, Berkeley’s three-pronged prescription includes substantial physical activity during the day, sleeping longer and later in the morning, and having a low-sugar breakfast high in complex carbohydrates.

The study tracked more than 800 people for two weeks. Participants ate a variety of breakfasts, wore watches to record their movements and sleep, logged their food intake and alertness levels.

First, participants were asked to exercise during the day. The researchers found a high correlation between activity and those who reported waking up feeling refreshed. No surprise there. Exercise is known to lift our mood.

Snoozing longer and later than normal was found to be important in helping participants wake up feeling refreshed. The researchers say most of us already operate on a sleep deficit, so extra sleep never hurts.

Study participants ate three kinds of morning meals: A standard breakfast with moderate fat and carbohydrates, a high-protein muffin and milkshake breakfast, and a high-carbohydrate or high-sugar glucose drink breakfast. They wore blood-glucose monitors throughout the day.

The high-sugar breakfast left those who ate it feeling groggy. The high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein breakfast left participants feeling energetic.

So if you’re looking to wake up on the right side of the bed, focus on sleep, exercise and breakfast. Set your alarm a little later and see what happens.


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