Feeling a little grumpy this morning as you head back to work after the Christmas break? You're not alone, with recent research revealing almost a third of us "wake up on the wrong side of the bed".
Thankfully scientists have come up with a formula for the perfect morning routine and it could well help banish a festive hangover and chase away the January blues.
If you start the day with a shower, a quick scroll of social media or leisurely cuppa in bed, 2023 might want to be the year you switch up your schedule as experts have uncovered the perfect timetable for kick-starting your day.
A team, led by mathematician Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, looked at the morning habits of 2,000 people in the UK and invented a formula for the perfect start to the day.
Turns out Victoria Beckham has the right idea as it involves waking up early, 6.44am to be precise, getting out of bed at 7.12am, before exercising for precisely 21 minutes.
Those wanting to get their day off to the right start should then head into the shower for 10 minutes before spending 18 minutes eating breakfast.
The formula was devised after research found that 29% of us regularly "wake up on the wrong side of bed" and stay grumpy until 11am, while 39% don’t know how to turn their day around if it starts badly.
So to ensure your day gets off on the right path, it’s all about the timings of each aspect of your morning routine.
Here's where the maths bit comes in. Calculators at the ready...
To see if your routine fits the criteria, experts suggest the following calculations:
1. Double the number of minutes you spend on breakfast, so for example if you spend 10 minutes on breakfast this will be doubled to 20 minutes.
2. Then add the minutes you spend exercising and showering, for example if you spend 20 minutes exercising and 5 minutes showering this would add up to 25 minutes.
3. Next, work out the difference, in hours, between how long you slept and the recommended eight hours – so, for example, the difference is 1.5 if you slept for six and a half hours.
4. Then calculate the difference, in hours, between when you got up and the optimum 7.12am get-up time. So the answer would be one hour (if you got up at 8.12am) and two hours if it was 9.12am.
5. The figure you got when you added your total minutes for breakfast (doubled), plus exercise and showering is then divided by the sleeping calculation in step 3 and multiplied by the getting up time calculation in step 4.
6. You’ll then need to add the minutes spent doing things such as scrolling social media or doing a crossword, for example 15 minutes.
7. If the number you get to is LESS than 37 you will get out the "wrong side" of bed, and if it’s MORE than 37 you will get out the "right side" of bed.
Still with us?
Watch: Five ways to beat the January blues
If applying the formula as prescribed above results in a value greater than 37, your morning routine is optimised for happiness.
If not, you’re more likely to end up “on the wrong side of the bed”.
The research, commissioned by Special K Crunchy Oat Granola, found that the average UK adult admits to waking up in a bad mood twice a week, equal to a total of 8,881 moody mornings over a lifetime.
Half of the 2,000 British adults studied blamed broken sleep (49%) and not having a good enough breakfast (28%) as the main culprits for a bad start, whilst over a third said they are simply just stuck in a rut (36%) when it comes to their morning routine.
Commenting on the findings arithmetician Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, who has featured on TV show Countdown, said: “It’s interesting to see how different factors in our morning routine can set us up for the rest of the day.
"Having this formula is a great tool to help start the day right. Not everyone has the same routine but a combination of the different elements should be key to ‘getting out of bed on the right side’ - especially after so many of us admit to regularly getting up in a bad mood!”
The research follows a further scientific revelation that there is in fact a wrong side of the bed to sleep on.
It seems having a preferred side of the bed comes down to our personality type and how our brain is wired.
"There is research to suggest that it is more than just a habit and people who sleep on the left side wake up in a more positive mood, calmer and feel more confident in general than people who choose to sleep on the right side," explains psychologist Aaron Surtees from subconsciously.com.
"People who sleep on the right, on the other hand, are believed to be grumpier and have a less positive outlook on the world."