Want to know how to wake up fresh and ready for the day? Then read on, because we’ve got the solution you’ve been looking for.
The Daily Mail spoke to an Oxford University sleep scholar, Dr. Paul Kelley, who says that late nights might not be the only thing to blame for your dire morning routine.
He’s found that circadian rhythms (which regulate your 24-hour body clock) can change over your lifetime, meaning there are different ‘best’ times for each age group to do everything.
We’ve picked out the ideal daily routine for all of you in your twenties, below.
9.30am – Wake up
‘Your wakefulness is controlled by two processes in the brain – one that alerts you and another that drives you towards sleep,’ explains Dr Kelley. ‘This is balanced by the release of different hormones: melatonin, the sleep hormone, and orexin, the wakefulness hormone. In a 20-year-old, orexin doesn’t override melatonin until mid-morning.’
10am – Drink coffee
There’s a reason lots of young people don’t eat breakfast – they simply aren’t hungry at this time. ‘For around two hours after waking, we’re in a state called sleep inertia,’ says Dr Kelley. ‘There aren’t enough metabolic processes happening in a twentysomething’s body for them to need much energy from food.’
But caffeine will help them shake off this inertia, by binding to nerve cells in the brain.
12 noon – Start work
It won’t please the boss, but at this age, midday is when the brain starts being productive.
3pm – Have sex
3.30pm – Lunch
Having started your day so late, you won’t need food until now. ‘The European custom of eating a big lunch applies best to 20-year-olds,’ says Dr Kelley. ‘This is when they need fuel for concentration.’
5pm – Do some exercise
Physical performance in this age group is highest between 3pm and 6pm, with lung function 18 per cent more efficient than normal after 5pm.
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8pm – Finish work
You reach your mental peak in early evening.
8.30pm – Watch TV/use your iPad
‘It’s a good idea for twentysomethings to slot screen use into the early evening when the brain is still alert from work,’ says Dr Kelley. Time to Netflix and chill.
9.30pm – Have dinner
European-style again, to provide an energy boost for the evening.
10pm – Study
Research has shown young people are better at creative thinking late at night.
11pm – Have a drink
Those in their 20s tend to have a higher alcohol tolerance. ‘The usual advice is to never drink later than four hours before bed, as the chemicals remain active in your bloodstream,’ says Dr Kelley. ‘But young people are an exception.’
12am – Switch off the iPad
‘The blue light the screen emits temporarily alerts you,’ Dr Kelley explains. ‘Switch it off an hour before sleep.’
1am – Sleep
A later bedtime means you’ll need a lie-in the following day.