Increase Performance and Feel Great All Day!

By: Bel Marra Health | Brain Function | Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 05:29 AM

energy levels and mental healthIt is not unusual to feel unwell first thing in the morning. For many people the most aggravating sensation is a feeling of fog that can linger for minutes or even hours. In some cases people complain about nausea or dizziness after they get up in the morning. Their performance whether it is at work or doing chores around the house is substandard in the early hours, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are ways we can feel great in the morning.

Energy Levels and Mental Health

Scientists fascinated with physiology have spent years researching issues associated with rising in the morning. They say to feel great first thing in the morning both physical and mental health have to be in good balance. Most experts agree that what happens in the morning begins with what you do at night. For instance, if you have a big meal shortly before going to bed it triggers your metabolism, making it more difficult for you to sleep. Being bloated can also make you uncomfortable. A lack of sleep at night naturally means you won’t feel very fresh when the alarm goes off in the morning. The best advice is, don’t eat within 2 or 3 hours of heading to bed. Sleep also becomes a problem if you consume lots of caffeine, sugar or alcohol throughout the day. Nutritionists recommend avoiding fatty foods if you want to get a good night’s rest as well.

Your evening mood is as much a factor as your eating habits. When you go to bed in a foul mood, chances are you won’t get a good sleep. Psychologists say it is a “perpetuating cycle” because lack of sleep itself leads to a bad mood. Once you get into this pattern it is hard to get out. Experts suggest calming yourself down with meditation or music prior to bedtime.

The Study – Mental Health Performance

A study outlined in “Nature Neuroscience” last year reported that music helps release mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal tested dopamine in the brain and discovered those who listened to music had higher levels of the chemical. Dopamine has long been associated with feel good states in response to stimulants such as food, love, drugs, and money. The authors of the study say their work shows that humans gain a lot of pleasure from listening to music. Other studies have shown that listening to music can reduce pain and depression so many doctors suggest that listening to music in the morning will help you feel more alert, improve your performance, as well as  your mental health.

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How you slept, whether you are properly hydrated, what you ate the night before, will all determine how easy or difficult it is to lift yourself out of bed in the morning. Simple stretching can make a big difference in how alert and ready you will feel to start your day off.  According to the American Council on Exercise, stretching will increase your physical and mental relaxation, will eliminate the stiffness and subsequent soreness that has built up overnight, and will get the blood flowing so you can think more clearly. Some people like to do a full exercise program in the morning; however, fitness experts have mixed reactions to this idea.

Some studies including one conducted by Brigham and Young University, show that working out first thing in the morning reduces appetite. For years scientists have been telling us how important it is to start off the day with a good, healthy breakfast. If you want to start off your day alert and ready to give your best performance, you need to eat.

That magic button fondly known as “Snooze” was originally invented in 1959. Today a third of Americans hit it 3 times each morning; if they want to feel fresh in the a.m they should try to stop.  If you can’t stop, you might want to talk to your doctor about possible solutions.

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