Unlock the Secrets to Morning Alertness: Study Finds Key Factors for Wakefulness


Are you struggling to stay refreshed and alert in the morning? A recent study unearthed some helpful answers. Over two weeks, researchers explored what predicts wakefulness during the early hours of the day. To gain insights into this question, they surveyed individuals with both British and American backgrounds multiple times throughout their mornings – asking them to rate their level of alertness on a scale from 0-100.

Unlock the Secrets to Morning Alertness: Study Finds Key Factors for Wakefulness - Photo by Maxim Medvedev on Unsplash
Photo by Maxim Medvedev on Unsplash

Critical factors for morning alertness

The study(1) explored the correlation between morning alertness and some key identifying factors, revealing that these can be used to successfully gauge cognitive readiness for the day ahead:

  • Happiness: Despite the common notion that happiness can only be achieved with a cheery morning disposition, research has revealed evidence to suggest that it runs far more profound than this. Findings indicate those who felt happier had higher levels of alertness in the mornings; however, individuals diagnosed with either depression or anxiety showed lower alertness upon waking.
  • Age: Analysis revealed that a participant’s age influenced their morning alertness, with older individuals demonstrating higher levels.
  • Sleep: Those who report better-quality sleep tend to be more attentive and energized the next day. Meanwhile, shifting one’s sleeping pattern later than usual (sleep offset) positively impacted subsequent levels of alertness. However, going to bed earlier than expected (sleep onset) didn’t have such an effect.
  • Meal frequency: Those who eat one to two or three to four meals daily seem more alert in the morning than those who eat five or more daily meals.
  • Physical activity: Physical activity is vital to generating alertness the following morning. In particular, evidence suggests that increased daytime and nighttime physical activity contribute significantly towards greater wakefulness when it matters most.

The high-carbohydrate breakfast

Research has revealed that beginning one’s day with a high-carbohydrate breakfast can help to increase alertness in the morning, though this effect is usually short-term. To study its efficacy, researchers tested several meals – including standard fare and higher carbohydrate and fat options – among participants. Ultimately, it was determined that the highest levels of increased alertness were observed when consuming carbs for breakfast.

Despite its intriguing findings, the study should be taken with a grain of salt due to its limited sample size. These results may only hold true for some and could vary based on long-term exposure levels. Thus, further studies are needed to properly assess any lasting effects that these factors may have on morning wakefulness.

“How can I increase my morning alertness?”

Several techniques should be incorporated into your lifestyle to achieve heightened alertness in the morning. Getting adequate restful sleep, practicing healthy habits like exercise and positivity, and maintaining an age-appropriate diet that includes a higher carbohydrate breakfast may all play vital roles in achieving optimal wakefulness each day.

A good night’s sleep is the foundation of a productive morning. Making minor improvements to your daily habits can help ensure you are well-rested and ready for anything that comes up throughout the day. Aiming for 7-9 hours each night, avoiding screens before bedtime, and ensuring your bedroom environment is comfortable will make all the difference in attaining optimal alertness when you wake up!

To keep your energy levels in check and ensure a good mood throughout the day, why not add some physical activity to your daily routine? From taking a leisurely walk around the block to testing out new activities like yoga or gym sessions – no matter what you choose, any exercise can bring tremendous benefits.

Additionally, be sure that breakfast includes all of the essential nutrition; opting for carbohydrates in addition to proteins and good fats will help ensure morning alertness while still providing balance within each meal’s content.

Find out what works best for you.

You can be energized and ready for the day with a few strategic steps. Experiment with different techniques to see which ones most effectively set your morning routine in motion.


Vallat, R., Berry, S.E., Tsereteli, N. et al. How people wake up is associated with previous night’s sleep together with physical activity and food intake. Nat Commun 13, 7116 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-34503-2

Bruno Tavares
Bruno Tavareshttps://lastguyonearth.blog
My goal is to provide my readers with valuable information and insights that they can use to make the most of their lives.