How many times did you hit the snooze button this morning before you finally dragged yourself out from under the covers? C’mon, be honest. But let yourself snooze just one time and it quickly becomes a habit. Next thing you know, you’re sleeping so late that you have to skip breakfast. And then, the rest of your day is off track. I know it sounds cliché at this point, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Let’s explore the reasons why.
Having breakfast may lower your risk of developing chronic disease.
Listen up, people! Skipping your morning oatmeal could induce insulin resistance according to a University of Colorado School of Medicine study (presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society). Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. Now, this doesn’t mean that men get a free pass; it just means that the study was only done with women.
This seems to support the findings from an earlier study presented in 2003 at the American Heart Association’s annual conference. According to this study, though, not only did breakfast eaters have good blood sugar levels, but they were also less likely to be obese and less likely to feel hungry later in the day.
Breakfast can energize you and keep you focused throughout the day.
A 1999 study found that a breakfast that is high in fiber and carbohydrates could help you feel less tired throughout the day. Think about that before you hit the snooze. You might think you’re energizing your body with a few minutes of much-needed rest, but snoozing in lieu of breakfast may actually make you feel more tired later in the day.
A 2012 study published in the journal Appetite found that students who ate breakfast showed greater speed and accuracy on cognitive and memory tests than students who skipped breakfast. This study found that a lack of a morning meal affected both genders, but it was more detrimental to girls than boys.
How about a bowl of granola to calm your nerves?
Think that extra five or 10 minutes of sleep will help you cope with stress better throughout the day? According to the results of a 2002 Nutritional Neuroscience study, that’s simply not the case. This study specifically tested the relationship between breakfast cereal consumption and cortisol levels. The body releases cortisol as part of its natural response to stress. So, when we’re stressed out, our cortisol levels are high. But this study found that people who ate breakfast cereal in the morning had lower cortisol levels than those who didn’t. That’s not to say that cereal is the best possible breakfast, but according to this study, it’s better than no breakfast at all.
Stress is a very serious problem in our fast-paced society. One of the biggest problems is that the things that stress us out don’t go away. Your boss is on your case; bills are unpaid; a loved one is ill. These things tend to add up and lead to chronic stress, and chronic stress tends to lead to other health issues. Having a good breakfast is one of the best stress-management tools in your toolkit.
Hitting the snooze button in the morning may be what feels good in the moment, but having breakfast is what is going to keep you feeling good throughout the day, and possibly, for years to come. So next time your body is fighting to stay asleep, give some thought to what you would be giving up for an extra 10 minutes of not-so-restful sleep.