Always Feel Groggy In The Mornings? This Expert-Approved Supplement Can Help

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."
Research Reveals What Causes Morning Grogginess & There's A Simple Fix

Think back to how you got out of bed this morning: Did you perk up without an alarm, ready to take on the day? Or did you begrudgingly press snooze only to wake up a few minutes later wishing you were still asleep? It turns out, that groggy morning feeling many of us are all too familiar with has a name: Sleep inertia.

Here's what research has revealed about the cause of sleep inertia and how to keep it at bay.

The story on sleep inertia.

In a 2017 literature review aptly named Waking up is the hardest thing I do all day, "sleep inertia" was defined as "the transitional state between sleep and wake, marked by impaired performance, reduced vigilance, and a desire to return to sleep."

Sleep inertia is a natural response that can last anywhere from minutes or hours, depending on the person. Sleep researchers aren't totally sure what causes or intensifies sleep inertia, but they suspect it has something to do with the body's circadian rhythm, also known as our internal clock.

In one small study on emergency workers who need to be "on" as soon as they wake up, the effect of sleep inertia was tested throughout the night. Twelve workers were woken up at various points of the night and early morning and asked to solve math equations (sounds fun, no?).

Their cognitive performance seemed to be lower when they were woken up during the "biological night," when their bodies' circadian clocks were telling them it was time to sleep, indicating that this clock can contribute to grogginess and increased processing time.

Daylight is one big factor that winds up our internal clocks, and we humans have adapted to being awake during the day and asleep after dark. As a result, our bodies produce different hormones during the day and evening that signal it's time for rest. Two hormones that are integral to the sleep-wake cycle are melatonin and cortisol: When things are running smoothly, melatonin production ramps up at night to make us tired, and cortisol levels are highest in the morning and gradually taper as the day goes on.

This is why people who travel to new time zones or take on a night shift at work find it difficult to get a new sleep schedule going at first. Their internal clocks don't match up to outer ones.


How sleep support+ can help support the circadian clock.*

When the internal clock is off—either because of a change in scenery or a hormonal hiccup—the dreaded sleep inertia might feel worse. That's where magnesium comes in. The essential mineral seems to help regulate cellular timekeeping, keeping our circadian rhythms running smoothly and by extension combating grogginess.*

In one study on 46 elderly subjects with insomnia, those who took magnesium supplements in the evening reported better sleep—seemingly because the magnesium increased their melatonin levels and decreased their cortisol levels.* This suggests that magnesium can be helpful for promoting all-around circadian support, versus a melatonin supplement that solves only part of the sleep equation.*

"Melatonin does one thing very well, which is to provide a specific signal to the brain that it is time to initiate the sleep process. It isn't so great for maintaining sleep," Robert Rountree, M.D., a family medicine physician, previously told mbg. In comparison, he says magnesium can affect the entire sleep cycle and lead to more energy and less grogginess upon waking.

sleep support+

sleep support+

The deep and restorative sleep you've always dreamt about*

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It's why mbg chose magnesium as the star of our first sleep-promoting supplement, sleep support+. If early reviews are any indication, the supplement can definitely help combat morning angst: Those who have tried the product report they are "beginning to feel more rested in the mornings" and waking up with a "more refreshed morning mood [that] sets the tone for a much better day."

Check out the sleep support+ product page for more information about the unique supplement that can lead to more relaxing nights and more energizing mornings.*


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