Living Wright: Some ideas on becoming an early riser
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
9/11/12 at 5:04 AM
"Morning people are happier," the email said. Well, no duh.
I've never been one of those bounce-out-of-bed, wake-up-singing people, on whose fingers cartoon birds land and chirp happily, ala "Snow White." Before 10 a.m., I have more in common with Queen Grimhilde, minus Mr. Mirror, Mirror on the wall - unless I'm sleep-walking, in which case it's Miss Medicine Cabinet, Medicine Cabinet in the bathroom.
Anyway, I just received an email about a new study from the University of Toronto heralding the obvious: "Morning risers are happier than their late-night counterparts and have a more positive and upbeat look."
Bully for them, I thought. But I paused upon reading the email's accompanying tips from Cathy Beggan, creator of the all-natural Wake Up On Time delayed-release "rooster pill," which helps you wake up alert and less likely to plot the demise of pale-skinned virgins via poisoned apple. So let's take a break from reflective surfaces and discuss Cathy's tips.
Setting you internal alarm clock
First, a little disclaimer: I am not on nor do I plan to take Wake Up On Time. I've heard it's a fabulous drug, but roosters scare me.
The first tip Cathy suggested was avoiding chocolate, red wine and coffee - no, no and OK. However, docs say that these may upset your innards and screw up sleep patterns, so I need to take a better inventory of my late-night snacking.
Speaking of which, I'm fairly certain that being as heavy as I am is affecting my sleep - a solid snooze usually eludes me Monday through Thursday nights. I can lie down at 11 p.m., and I'm up at 2 a.m. - for good. Surely, eschewing snacks other than simple fruit and veggies, and nothing but water to drink after 8 p.m. would do my body good.
Cathy suggests eating dinner at least three or four hours before bedtime so you'll have time to digest it. Perhaps, if I ate at 7 or 8 p.m. vs. 10 or 11 p.m., I could start sawing metaphorical logs by midnight.
Other tips include:
"Get enough sleep, and try to be consistent." My consistency is being in bed by 2 or 3 a.m. and up at 8:30 or 9 a.m. As I'm going to finish this column and join a gym during lunch, that will have to change. Ugh.
"Prepare yourself the night before," which gets some innocuous tasks out of the way, like making my lunch or setting out my clothes. If I didn't take 30 seconds to set my shoes out before bed, I'd spend several minutes the next morning cursing them for hiding from me, as they're often wont to do.
Swill water, as you become more dehydrated during sleep. That lack of water leads to fatigue symptoms in the a.m. Added bonus: It helps kick-start your metabolism. That's why I keep a liter of water by my bed every night, and it's usually empty by the time I rise. Usually, it's because I've drunk it, not spilled it.
Beyond that, think positive thoughts, Cathy said, as well as breathe deeply and stretch. That's why I miss yoga - it reminded me, as stupid as this sounds, to breathe. Apparently, I forget sometimes - like when I'm grinding my teeth or sleep-walking to badger Miss Medicine Cabinet about who's the fairest of them all. Until I get more sleep, she should say, that definitely isn't me.
Original Print Headline: Some ideas on getting an early start