The #1 reason to not sit down on public transit in the morning

When you’re tired, groggy, and unhappily riding a bus, streetcar, or subway train early in the morning, standing up might, understandably, be the last thing you want to do. Sitting can make your morning commute more bearable and allow you to catch a few more minutes of shuteye before the day begins.

The problem is that those few extra minutes of sitting and sleeping can actually make things worse.

The Science Behind Sitting and Sleeping on Your Morning Commute

You see, we’ve come to assume sitting helps us rest because we frequently sit down when we’re tired. We sit on the couch when we get home from work. After a long day of walking around, we sit down to grab a drink or eat a meal.

The feeling of relief is awesome. When our legs need rest, sitting is great.

But in the morning, after a good night’s sleep, no part of your body needs more rest. And the science isn’t on your side.

After sitting for a half hour on public transit, you’re going to stand up feeling more tired, not less. Simply put, this happens because sitting limits the blood flow to your body’s cells, depriving them of the oxygen and nutrients they need to make energy.

What’s worse, even if you do manage to catch a few minutes of sleep, they likely won’t be deep and restful, but rather shallow and meaningless. Those few extra minutes are more likely to leave you feeling groggy because they prolong something called sleep inertia. Basically, it’s the state of grogginess and disorientationyou feel when waking up, which results in decreased alertness, reaction time, and memory.

Standing on public transit in the morning is the way to go because it helps you start your day on an energetic note, inevitably leading to happier, more productive days. 

It may sound counterintuitive, but you’ll arrive to work far more alert if you stand the whole way.