4 ways to win the morning

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Win every morning

  • A surprising drink for healthier teeth

  • You booze, you snooze?

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Win Every Morning

If you ask Arnold, he’ll tell you focusing on your vision and your why will help you start your day with more energy. The more you know your purpose, the more it will help you take on your day, even when you don’t feel like it.

Arnold's advice covers the mental, but if you need help with the physical, research suggests four decisions you make each day helps determine your morning alertness the next day.

The decisions include how you sleep, exercise, eat breakfast, and how many meals you eat.

Getting a good night of sleep helps you feel more awake, but when you sleep — and when you wake — is the real secret to “hacking sleep.” Even if you don’t get as much rest as you want, you can still feel more alert if you sleep and wake up at a similar time each day. And if that's not working, going to bed at the same time (not earlier) and sleeping later might give you the extra jolt you need.

Sleep efficiency matters a lot too, which is based on how long you lie awake in bed before you sleep. Spending too much time scrolling on your phone or watching TV decreases your efficiency, affects your sleep, and makes you more likely to be groggy in the morning.

Being active the day prior also improves next-day alertness, but when you train appears to matter. If you train in the morning, you’re more likely to wake up charged than if you train at night. But remember, don't let something little like this cause you to overthink things. If you can only train later in the day, that's better than not training at all.

For those who prefer the low-carb approach, be aware that people who eat carbs for breakfast (we’re talking more fiber, not sugar) tend to wake up more alert. (It had a more significant impact than protein, which surprised us). And people who eat five or more times per day tend to have less energy the following day.

Try focusing on one behavior at a time; you’ll give yourself the best chance to wake up and be ready to dominate your day.

Cavity Control

We pay a lot of attention to physical and mental health. But dental health shouldn’t be overlooked because cavities, gum inflammation, and tooth decay are all linked to cardiovascular disease.

Besides daily brushing and flossing, a little afternoon tea time can also help give you healthier teeth.

Studies suggest that black and green tea can help fight against dental decay by offering many benefits. Green tea could help by reducing inflammation, and black tea reduces the likelihood of cavities by killing bacteria and acid produced in your mouth. And both types of tea also contain fluoride, which helps rebuild your enamel and fight against losing important minerals.

Just remember: ideally, you’re drinking tea without added sugar, which is known to increase plaque. (Note from Adam: If you’re new to tea or haven't found one you love, The Crowd Pleaser by Firebelly is the best black tea I’ve ever had. Not an ad or sponsorship; just something I genuinely love.)

You Booze, You Snooze?

The idea of a “nightcap” might be one of the most misleading references ever. The term dates back to the 1800s as an alcoholic drink that helps you ease into sleep.

There’s just one problem: research suggests that as little as one drink can completely disrupt a good night of rest.

A recent study found that alcohol disrupted sleep time, sleep quality, the time spent in REM, and increased resting heart rate by nearly ten beats per minute. And for those thinking it might help you pass out, it also made it harder to fall asleep. Not surprisingly, mood, energy, and cognitive functioning also dropped the morning after.

Does this mean you should never drink? That’s not what we’re saying, and we don’t believe in taking any moral high ground. However, it does show you that — when it comes to alcohol — the health benefits are minimal or non-existent (it certainly won’t help you sleep). If you want to drink, whether because you enjoy a glass of wine, your favorite cocktail or you’re out with friends, do so responsibly and for the right reasons. Research suggests that anywhere from 1 to 2 drinks per week (maybe up to 3 drinks) is unlikely to cause trouble for healthy adults.