September 19, 2011 07:29
Your body and brain are usually in peak condition in the morning, as long as you have enjoyed a restful sleep the night before. The levels of dopamine, the hormone secreted by the brain after it receives compliments and other positive feelings, are also at their highest.
Dopamine is responsible for invigorating you with energy and strengthening your immune system, but its presence and effects are not to be taken for granted. They can only be fully enjoyed by those who have slept well and awoken properly, which is not as easy as it may sound.
As such, it is important to develop a healthy and consistent morning ritual to keep you in tip-top shape and primed to deal with everything the day has to throw at you. Here is a quick list of healthy habits to get into each day.
◆ Wake up at the same time every day. Whether you went to bed at 10 p.m. or 3 a.m. the night before, you must wake up at the same time. Repeating the same pattern each day enables your biological clock to move according to the same schedule and you to start the day with a clear mind.
◆ Get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. Even if your alarm clock is set to repeat, try to get up on the first buzz. Your brain knows the alarm will ring again in a few minutes and this prevents it from falling back into a deep sleep. This makes you feel more tired, even though you may have grabbed a few extra winks.
◆ Turn the lights on immediately after you wake up. Bright light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which makes your body sleepy, therefore making it easier to wake up.
◆ Ventilate your bedroom. Open the windows and get rid of the dust that has accumulated over night to start your day with some fresh air, which clears the mind.
◆ Stretch and do some light exercise. Children stretch their arms unconsciously when they awake from a deep sleep. This enables your body to shift from sleep mode to active mode.
◆ Drink some water. A glass of refreshing water not only replenishes those crucial fluids that your body needs, but also stimulates your stomach and invigorates your digestive system. This stimulation sends a signal to your stomach and intestines that it is time to wake up. Having breakfast in this condition allows your stomach to secrete ample digestive fluids, which enables your body to completely digest breakfast and stimulates your bowel movements.
◆ Don't skip breakfast. Chewing on something stimulates your brain and clears your mind, making it easier for your body to function. A healthy breakfast should include the five major food groups and consist mainly of bread, rice, oatmeal or other carbohydrates.
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