Research from the worlds of neuroscience and behavioural psychology has uncovered the amazing extent to which we’re affected by arbitrary factors in our environment. Like the fact that coffee tastes sweeter if you drink it from a red mug. Or that we perceive time to pass more quickly if we’re in a blue room with slow music playing. These kinds of neuroscientific insights into how our senses and emotions interact can allow you to enhance your mornings – and improve how you feel at the start of every day – in a scientifically proven way.
See the light
It is evolutionarily ingrained in us to be awake, cognitive and energetic in daylight and to rest and recuperate at night. If it were possible to wake up under a beautiful blue sky every morning, we’d be better off. A study at a sleep laboratory in Colorado took a group camping in the Rockies and measured their circadian rhythms and levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Back in their electric-light-filled homes, their morning burst of the hormone melatonin was kicking in about two hours after they got up, causing them to be groggy for the first few hours of the day; a condition called ‘sleep inertia’.
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