Monday morning. 7 o'clock. The alarm clock rings, you feel exhausted and absolutely not ready for the new day let alone a new week. It almost doesn't seem to matter how long you sleep - the end result in the morning is the same: tired, drowsy or just feeling exhausted. It's only just been the weekend - are you supposed to start the new week in top shape and motivated?
So what is the reason if not the length of sleep?
As is so often the case when it comes to health and well-being, the answer is not that short - but fortunately not too complicated either!
What might surprise you now: the preparation for a good start to the day actually begins the evening before. Keyword: sleep routine. In addition to sufficient hours of sleep, the quality of sleep is also extremely important. And that can be influenced – interestingly, not least by how you start your morning. So you see: the whole thing is a cycle.
In order not to go too far and talk about sleep routines, if the blog is supposed to be about the morning, I can refer to the blog post with a focus on sleep. On the other hand, here are a few selected points that have a positive effect on sleep quality:
- Stop eating (difficult to digest) meals 1-2 hours before going to sleep.
- No excessive alcohol consumption - it disturbs your sleep architecture
- 30-90min before going to bed no more screens - or at least reduce the amount of blue light significantly (tip: most devices are already equipped with a "night mode" or blue light filter).
- Short breathing, stretching or meditation techniques help to relax and slow down the nervous system before we go to bed.
But now back to the actual topic: the morning.
So we're going to assume that you've found a routine that works for you in the evenings, one that will help you relax, slow down, and then ease off into dreamland.
Here are a few things you can do in the morning to help make the rest of your morning and day go well.
Start the day with a glass of water - lukewarm. If you have the opportunity, I also recommend adding a dash of lime or lemon juice and a pinch of rock salt.
Why? We lose a lot of fluids during sleep - even if you are not aware that you are sweating. In doing so, we not only lose water, but also electrolytes (magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, etc.). When you wake up in the morning and replenish your fluid and electrolyte stores, you ensure that your nervous system and the entire body are supplied with basic nutrients again at the cellular level and that the transmission of stimuli - and thus your thinking, focus, responsiveness, etc. - function optimally can.
Try to get sunlight within the first hour after waking up. And yes, - logical... the sun doesn't always shine. However, it is not necessarily about direct sunlight. Even when the sky is cloudy, the light or photon intensity outdoors is much higher than an indoor lamp or light coming through a window can ever be.
Why is this important? Our entire body runs according to an internal clock. This clock - also called the circadian rhythm - is controlled almost exclusively by sunlight or photons hitting our retinas in the eyes. Our eyes then transmit the information “light” to our brain.There the information is further translated into signals that tell the whole body: "Hey - it's day! Time to start this and that process to get going!”
The brain even notices what time of day it is. This happens via the blue light and red light component of the sun. There is more blue light in the morning - this means that the watch hormone cortisol is produced and we get going. In the evening the light spectrum of the sun shifts towards red; As a result, less cortisol is produced and the sleep hormone melatonin slowly gets going.
So this is where the evening screen time comes into play again: Blue light on the screen in the evening causes our brain to think it's morning. Goodbye tiredness.
- Start your day without a cell phone but with a few minutes of exercise. This can also be just a short walk around the block. (Spoiler: kill 2 birds with 1 stone, because you'll be getting light here too!). This gets the circulation going and activates the body that has been stiff from the night. It has also been scientifically proven that exercise leads to better thinking, better concentration and focus, and therefore better mental performance. In addition - and this has also been scientifically proven - exercise leads to a better mood.
- 1-3 hours after getting up you can have a balanced breakfast. This means: make sure you have enough protein and fiber to stay full longer, not to have an energy slump and not to get in the mood for snacks again before noon. Healthy fats also help your brain think. Of course, you're also welcome to have a cup of coffee here.
- Before you start work, it might be worth thinking your day roughly - setting priorities clearly, or even writing them down to keep track of things and get more structure into the day.
Of course, things don't always go perfectly in life, and of course it's not a must to do the above things ALL and EVERY day. However, after a certain time you will find that these little things - once they are implemented as routines and thus run without any effort - lead to increased well-being and thus more productivity throughout the day.
Of course, food also has a further influence on our health, well-being, fitness and ability to think – more precisely: the macro and micronutrients.it contains
Macronutrients - these are proteins, carbohydrates and fats - are the primary energy suppliers for our body and thus also for our brain. A sufficient basic supply of these should form the basis of every diet. What is sufficient is beyond the scope here, but one thing should be said here: the amount of macronutrients required is quite individual and depends on your age, gender, height, weight, muscle mass and activity level. In addition, of course, there is also the factor of sport and exercise.
But micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients. They are not used by the body as a source of energy, but are, so to speak, the catalyst or the "engine oil" which ensures that the body machinery runs smoothly and like clockwork.
We take in micronutrients through a balanced diet - they are mainly found in vegetables and fruit, but also in foods from high-quality animal sources. But we don't always manage to eat super fresh, home-cooked or balanced food in our (often stressful) everyday life.And even if we succeed - many agriculturally produced foodstuffs are no longer as rich in micronutrients as they were a few decades ago due to overfertilization and excessive use of arable land. Livestock farming has also changed significantly - away from species-appropriate free-range husbandry to factory farming, in which feed (and sometimes additives) are used to increase the “yield” (i.e. the amount of animal to be used) as quickly as possible. This also leads to lower quality of meat, fish and animal-based foods than in the past, when the consumption of animal-based foods was much less pronounced.
This means: if you want to optimally support your own body and provide it with the necessary micronutrients in order to have the ideal starting point ready for the challenges of everyday life, dietary supplements can definitely be a helpful support.
Which micronutrients help you to start the day focused and full of long-lasting energy?
- B vitamins: A group of vitamins that all have different tasks but have in common that they support the energy metabolism at different points. They thus contribute to the generation of energy from macronutrients (mainly carbohydrates and fats). In addition, B vitamins are important for a well-functioning nervous system.
- Magnesium as an electrolyte also contributes to the smooth functioning of the nervous system. Like other electrolytes, it plays a key role in transmitting signals from one nerve cell to the next. And that happens at an enormous speed. Incidentally, the same thing happens when we want to use/move muscles. This is why magnesium is so important for optimal physical and athletic performance.
- Vitamin D not only works in combination with vitamin K for an ideal distribution of calcium in our body, but is also active as a hormone. It supports a wide range of bodily functions – above all the immune system. Adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood have been shown to be associated with a more active and alert immune system and with reduced risk and progression of disease in various contexts. In our latitudes, our body can usually only produce insufficient vitamin D itself. Vitamin D in the morning ideally supports your immune system and thus helps you to face everyday life in a healthy and vital way.
In addition to these micronutrients, other substances can also help you to improve your focus and concentration. Caffeine is probably known to everyone in one form or another. The problem with this, however, is that some people tend to be shaky and slightly jittery/oversensitive to caffeine. This then does not lead to the desired effect of finding a steady, long-lasting focus. In addition, the effect also flattens out relatively quickly.
Therefore, is often supplemented in combination with caffeine L-theanine. This is obtained from tea and has a calming effect on its own. Combined with caffeine, it leads to a calmer focus and also reduces the jittery/jittery aspect of caffeine that may occur.
Another factor that makes caffeine's effects last longer is fat. The caffeine is absorbed more slowly and steadily in the body than pure and the effect of caffeine (which incidentally occurs because caffeine blocks the body's own binding sites for tiring signals in the brain - the so-called adenosine receptors) lasts longer.
If you're a bit overwhelmed with all the information, we have good news for you:
We have combined all of the micronutrients mentioned above and little helpers such as caffeine and L-theanine in a perfect symbiosis in our product "Good Morning Sunshine" 2 capsules in the morning and you are well with B vitamins, vitamin D and magnesium supplied. In addition, the caffeine it contains with L-theanine and the added medium-chain triglycerides (MCT; from coconuts) ensures long-lasting focus without over-exciting your nervous system. MCT also improves the absorption of vitamins D and K, ensuring that more of this essential vitamin can actually be utilized by your body.
For more info on which foods you can find which micronutrients in, just browse through our other blogs. In the future we are also planning a virtual guide on this – so stay tuned!.