Scientifically Confirmed: 3 Bone-Healthy Habits To Enjoy Your Mornings - Save Our Bones

Scientists may have finally dispelled the myth that some people are naturally morning persons.

A study conducted with twins isolated three habits that were more predictive of morning wakefulness and energy levels than genetics.

We'll explore the study's details so you can adopt these healthy habits for better mornings and stronger bones.

Habits Linked To Daily Alertness

A study published in Nature Communications followed 833 participants, including sets of identical and fraternal twins over the course of two weeks.

During the study, participants were given a set range of breakfast meals, rated their morning alertness, wore trackers that measured their sleep quantity, quality, timing, and regularity, and wore accelerometers that tracked physical activity.

Researchers analyzed the resulting data and found that three habits were associated with improved alertness and less grogginess upon waking up in the morning.1

  • Higher physical activity levels the previous day
  • Longer and more sound sleep the previous night
  • A breakfast low in sugar and high in complex carbohydrates

The inclusion of genetically identical twins allowed the researchers to observe that the genetic makeup of participants was not more important than these behaviors in determining morning alertness and energy levels.1


A study with 833 participants, including sets of twins, found that higher physical activity levels, better sleep quality, and a breakfast low in sugar and high in complex carbohydrates all correlated to more alert and energetic mornings. These behaviors were more closely associated with this outcome than genetics.

The Right Breakfast Makes A Difference In Your Day

Researchers found that participants who ate breakfasts high in sugar were less alert and less energetic. The most effective breakfast for starting the day with strong and consistent energy levels was a meal high in carbohydrates, low in sugar, with a moderate amount of protein.1

This finding flies in the face of fad diets that emphasize protein and fats over carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates– like those found in multigrain bread– offer sustaining energy.

Eating a healthy, pH-balanced breakfast provides your bones the nutrients they need and your body the energy it require to stay physically active. While many carbohydrates are acidifying, they still provide important vitamins and minerals, and can be balanced with alkalizing foods.


Researchers found that participants who ate a breakfast high in carbohydrates, low in sugar, with a moderate amount of protein reported the most alertness and energy in the morning.

Active Today, Alert Tomorrow

The study also found that physical activity levels were associated with morning alertness and energy levels.1

Researchers measured participants' activity levels with an accelerometer. When participants had high activity levels the prior day, they were more likely to feel alert and energized in the morning.1

It's easy to see how this can become a positive cycle. When your energy levels are strong, it's easier to dive into physical activity. Exercise stimulates the bone remodeling process, builds bone and muscle strength helping to prevent fractures


Physical activity levels the day prior were associated with higher energy levels and less grogginess in the morning. The same physical activity can stimulate the bone remodeling process.

More And Better Sleep Leads To More Wakeful Mornings

The study found that participants who slept between seven and nine hours a night felt more awake and energized the following morning, compared to those who slept less. 1

In addition to length of sleep, quality of sleep makes a difference in energy levels the following morning.

For older adults, getting quality sleep can be challenging. Aging related obstacles to sound sleep include:

  • A natural shift in circadian rhythms, which govern sleep schedule, resulting in getting tired earlier in the day and waking up earlier in the morning
  • Greater difficulty adjusting to changes in sleep schedule
  • Older people spend more of the sleep hours in the earlier, lighter phases of sleep, making disturbances more likely
  • Extended napping during the day can cause lower quality sleep at night, and surveys have found that about 25% of older adults take daytime naps2

Perhaps because of these common challenges, there is a pervasive myth that older people simply don't need as much sleep as younger people. However, this is false. Sleep remains a critical period of rest and rebuilding for the body– including for building strong bones.


Participants who slept soundly for between seven and nine hours a night felt more awake and energized the following morning. Aging can cause challenges to getting quality sleep, but it isn't true that older people need less sleep.

Tips For Overcoming Age-Related Barriers To Getting A Good Night's Sleep

The quality of your sleep does not solely depend on genetics, age, or chance. You can take proactive steps to protect and improve your sleep. These tips will help you get the amount of sleep your body and bones need.

  • Build a routine that you follow each night before bed. This pattern of behavior will help ready your mind and body for sleep, regardless of the events of the day. Maintaining a set sleep schedule is also important since adjustments to sleep schedule become more difficult with age.
  • Reduce distractions in your bedroom. Don't keep a television in your bedroom, turn phones on “do not disturb” mode, and turn down bright lights. Identify other potential distractions, and remove them from the space.
  • Avoid foods and substances that reduce sleep quality, including caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Pay attention to eating patterns than interrupt your sleep, such as eating large meals, or certain types of food.
  • Move your body every day. Exercise and physical activity during the day set you up for successful sleep at night.


You can sleep more soundly by making choices that support sleep. Use the above tips to improve your sleep quality and quantity.

What This Means To You

If you feel groggy and tired in the mornings, there are steps you can take to change that. Those same behaviors will help you build stronger bones. That sort of double positive is common when you take an holistic approach to preventing and reversing osteoporosis.

The Save Institute provides a variety of resources to support you in developing bone healthy habits. Bone Appétit is a recipe book and meal planner that makes it easy to prepare bone-healthy meals. SaveTrainer is an online workout platform that brings personalized, bone-targeted exercises to you anytime, anywhere. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program ties it all together– filling in the science behind the bone-building strategies, including the importance of getting adequate quality sleep.

Take steps to wake up ready to take on the world. The extra energy will provide a boost to your bone-building goals and all the healthy habits you've been working toward.




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  1. X22Ensus

    Hey people!!!!!
    Good mood and good luck to everyone!!!!!

  2. Mary Lou

    Just want to thank you so very much for all the health helpful info I’ve received from your emails over the years.
    God bless you for all the good you do!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      And I thank you for being a part of the Saver community and for your kind words, Mary Lou!

  3. Dora

    There is a large portion of the population for whom your breakfast recommendations would be inadvisable. We rely on a low carb diet to manage diabetes, or pre-diabetes, without having to resort to drugs. Diabetes is a major epidemic in this country, so there are lots of us for whom a high carb breakfast that spikes glucose levels would be a poor choice.

  4. Ita

    Thank you. Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, Ita!

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