Foggy Mind in the Morning

Does your mind have that feeling of mush in the morning? It’s due to a phenomenon called “sleep inertia.” When you first wake up, the parts of your brain that deal with consciousness kickstart with you. But the part of your brain that deals with problem solving still needs time to warm up. Studies have shown that this impairment is much like being intoxicated. Lauren Russell at Men’s Health gives this advice to deal with “sleep inertia.”


“Your brain needs a continuous supply of glucose to function optimally,” says Caroline Mahoney, Ph.D., a research psychologist at the U.S. Army Soldier Center.

Fill it up. Make your morning meal a bowl of instant oatmeal prepared with skim milk. Tufts University researchers recently found that people who ate one packet of instant oatmeal spiked with 1/2 cup of skim milk received a steady glucose infusion, which increased their alertness all morning and improved their ability to process information. And if you aren’t already jolting yourself with java, start; a University of Pennsylvania study shows that a dose of caffeine can combat sleep inertia.

Just don’t let a latte replace a real meal. “It will mask your low blood sugar by temporarily stimulating your brain,” says Dan Benardot, Ph.D., R.D., an associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University. “But you won’t have done anything to satisfy the need for energy.”

Read more on how to have energy throughout the day here.

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If you’re consistently not getting a good night’s sleep, we can perform a sleep study with you to diagnose your bad sleep pattern.

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