17 July 2013

the only trick you'll ever need to get up early

I have discovered the secret to getting up early.

It is not to be a morning person, although that certainly helps.

I sometimes feel bad for those night owls who have t force themselves to crawl into bed at a reasonable hour because they know that they have to get up early for work.

If I were one of them, as I laid there trying to calm my breathing and convince my brain that it was sleepy time, I would be fuming at the general set-up of the world:
Why are morning people seen as the more productive go-getters, just because they rise with the sun? {Or before, depending on the time of the year.}

Why does work have to start so early? The majority of us are no longer farmers, so why do we insist on getting so much done in the morning? I don't care if I have to work in the heat of the day because I work in air conditioning.

Only children should go to bed so early.
But I am not a night owl, and I've never spent much time considering how unfair the world must seem to someone who hits their stride at oh, say, 1am. Perhaps this is an opportunity to work on my walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes skills.

There for real is a hormone that plays a role in determining if you like to get up early or stay up late. {I used to be a medical writer, so I'm like a former fake doctor; you can trust me on medical stuff.} Those poor night owls whose bodies are conspiring against them. As with many things in life {acne, mood swings, fat that won't go away}, they should just blame their hormones.

The world is indeed biased toward people like me, but I will admit: even for a person like me, my new wake-up time of 4:30 can seem awfully close to the middle of the night.

So here is my secret—the trick that makes 4:30 into a normal, why-not-get-up-now time:
Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up.

I read this somewhere years ago {so long ago, in fact, that I can't remember where, although it sounds like something that would be in Real Simple}, and it really works.

More than putting your alarm clock across the room or setting multiple alarms, this glass of water thing works.

At first, it works because who can imagine going back to bed after standing up long enough to drink a whole glass?

You can successfully trick your body into waking up; you can start drinking that water half-asleep and by the time you get to the end of that glass, you're thinking, “Good morning, world! I love you! What do you have for me today?”

After a week or so of tricking your body, you'll find that you're 1) waking up craving water, and 2) already awake when you start drinking. You will have become someone who can get up at 4:30, ready for the day.

I don't really know why or how this works, this trick that gives you the strength to overpower a very strong desire to hit snooze.

Does it re-program your hormones? Is it all psychological? Does the fact that you wake up thirsty simply mean you should be drinking more water the day before {even if you're sure you're drinking enough}? Will the glass of water effect eventually wear off, leading you to drink a gallon?

I don't know, and at 4:30 when I bounce from bed, thirsty for the day, I don't care. A glass of water, it works, reminding me that sometimes, it's the simplest things that make life easier.

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