7 Fascinating Things Your Body Does Each Morning Without You Realizing
Many of us have a morning routine that we follow each day. Before you even get to brushing your teeth, showering, and going about your business, your body is already in the middle of its own routine. According to experts, your body does some interesting things each morning that you may be unaware of.
"What many people don't realize is that your body goes through lots of cycles throughout the day, and the morning one is fascinating," Natalie Zises, functional nutrition and eating psychology coach, tells Bustle. Your body follows a 24-hour pattern called the circadian rhythm. "Throughout the day, many hormones and proteins are involved in circadian rhythm maintenance," she says.
But melatonin and cortisol are the big ones that help to start and end your day. For instance, cortisol is the stress hormone. If you don't get enough sleep or pull an all-nighter, your body will go into a "cortisol over-production," which Zises says can make it difficult for you to wind down and sleep at night.
It's important to realize that your body operates on a natural on-going cycle. "It's like a goods supply chain," Zises says. "Imagine throwing a wrench or drastically changing one part of the chain — it has rippling effects in a closed system like the body where everything affects everything else."
If you don't start or end your day off right, it will affect you throughout the day. If everything's functioning as it should, you may not even realize anything's happen. Here are some things your body does each morning with you realizing, according to experts.
1. Your Body Temperature Slowly Increases
"One interesting thing that happens without you realizing is the slow increase of your core body temperature," Dr. Don Grant, clinical lead at The Independent Pharmacy, tells Bustle. It reaches its lowest point between 4 and 5 a.m. and then slowly increases throughout the morning to its highest point in the early afternoon. Normally, your body temperature changes by about 0.9 degrees F between its highest and lowest point. So taking your temperature early in the morning and then again in the early afternoon may lead to different results.
2. Your Body Stresses Out
Melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep, functions as a counter-hormone for cortisol, the stress hormone. If everything's functioning as they it, your cortisol levels should decrease as melatonin increases at night. Because of that, Samantha Morrison, health and wellness expert for Glacier Wellness, tells Bustle, "Your body wakes up along with its stress response system."
3. Your Cortisol Levels Slowly Decline
Early in the morning, your levels of cortisol are at its highest. According to Dr. Grant, the stress hormone is important because it helps to control many processes within your body from your blood pressure, to your metabolism, your balance of salt and water, as well as helping to fight inflammation. "Throughout the morning, without you noticing, your cortisol levels slowly decline in line with your circadian rhythm — as long as you avoid too much stress," he says.
4. Your Body Gets Dehydrated So You Wake Up With Bad Breath
Morning breath is something many of us have to deal with. According to Wayne Anthony, water specialist at WaterFilterData.Org, this happens because you lose water through breathing and sweating at night so you are mildly dehydrated when you wake up. "Not only that, but saliva production decreases at night," Anthony says. "As a result, your body produces terrible breath and a dry mouth in the morning." Although he says there's not a lot you can do to combat this, it's not a bad idea to keep a glass of water near your bed to sip before bed, anytime you wake up at night, and first thing in the morning. "Also, skip the mouthwashes with alcohol, as they serve to dry you out more," he says.
5. Your Colon Contracts
It's pretty common to wake up needing to go straight to the bathroom. According to Dr. Grant, there's a good reason for it. "Your colon contracts around three times harder in the first hour after you wake up compared to when you're asleep," he says. "Your bowels have been digesting food all night, so in the morning they're ready to be emptied."
6. Your Body Starts Producing Digestive Enzymes To Get You Ready For Breakfast
If you're a breakfast person, Zises says, your body will start producing and releasing digestive enzymes and juices around the time you usually eat in anticipation for food. "This can lead to a grumbling tummy if you suddenly skip your morning meal," she says.
7. Your Body Starts Producing Melatonin Again
Your melatonin levels should reach its peak at night and slowly decrease as the sun starts to come up. But once morning hits, the cycle starts all over again and the presence of sunlight starts the production of melatonin, Zises says. According to her, getting direct sunlight first thing in the morning can really help with natural melatonin production and an easier bedtime, if you struggle to get to bed on time.
Just like you have your set routine in the morning, your body has one as well. This just goes to show you that the human body is pretty fascinating.