Saturday, September 7, 2013

Breaking the Morning Blues

Ever woke up feeling like you just got beat up in a boxing match last night? We’ve all been there, complaining or agitated to be awake so early, and looking at the early birds around us in awe, as if they’re the 8th wonder of the world. 

kitten sleep lazy furry curled up cute fuzzy ball 5 minutes minutzReality is that nature runs its course during the day, when the sun comes out. Majority of work places operate in the daytime, animals wake up at the dawn and sleep at night; even our body clock (the Circadian Rhythm) follows this trend, which is part of the reason one might lack energy or get sick from pulling off an all-nighter.Why don’t we reverse the system by sleeping during the day and staying up all night? Well, history has contributed to some extent from the times when there was no electricity or sufficient light, like in the Stone Age, where the primary source of light to do any work was the sun.

Proper diet and sleep (yep, you’ve heard those before!) are some of the major factors to consider if you want to wake up fresh.

Drinking, Sun, Water, Woman, Young, Health, PeopleDrink plenty of water; 8 glasses a day is the recommended amount but target for about 10-12 a day. When you have a target higher than your goal, you’re more likely to achieve it. Avoid junk foods as much as possible, and make it a point to skip eating late at night. Often times, when you eat sodium rich food and drink water right before bed, the salt attracts water and together they cause the body to swell up or make your face puffy. I have found these practices to be very useful. Also, the more vegetables and fruits you consume daily, the more impurities will be eliminated, leaving you rejuvenated.

Make sure to get 6-8 hours of sleep. Oversleeping tends to add a lethargic effect so watch out for that! You want to aim for sufficient sleep, but not overdosing it. In some cases, trial and error helps to figure out how many hours of sleep you require. 7 hours of sleep is perfect for me to be functional and active throughout the day. I have always been a night owl until I started working with most shifts beginning at 9am. I have to be on my feet all day, chatting with customers and making sure the merchandise looks appealing. After first week of working I realized that I can’t survive without at least 6 hours of shut eye (8 hours is always the preference ofcourse). I found myself less talkative with customers, inactive during the shifts, ready to drop near the end, and crashing in bed as soon as I reached home. Getting 5 hours of sleep and dragging myself to work was not an option, as I normally managed to do for my early morning classes. The alertness I need at work is twice as much as in school. Therefore, I made it a point to be in bed by midnight, pushing it to 1 am only in case of special events.

I also ended up downloading and experimenting with a few sleep apps, and found SleepyTime to be very helpful. Whenever you want to wake up, it’ll list a few times when you can sleep in order to wake up at the desired time. This app lists the times based on the average person’s body clock, so that even if you had 5 hours of sleep, you’ll wake up fresh. I found it for my Android phone, I'm sure there must be a similar one for iOS too.

Set goals for the day. You can do this right before bedtime, or earlier during the day. When you're ambitious, you're bound to wake up because you subconsciously become more determined. I had one of my finals at 8am, which is a strong goal and mandatory to achieve, and pulling off an all-nighter till this time would be a disaster. By then I knew my limits from previous experiences; if I slept at 3am or later, I would wake up at noon. Therefore, I slept by 10 pm and voila! I was up when my alarm went off at 6 in the morning. I love the feeling of running important errands of the day and finding that it's still 12pm    

The beautiful morning sight. And let's not forget that early morning has its own charm, a unique beauty that can only be captured at sunrise. The night sky displaced by a glorious molten strip of sun across the horizon as it rises. You can't beat the freshness in the morning air that comes from the silent night, when all activity has been dismissed and everything is still. My blog name is also inspired by early morning. Once I was out in the garden at dawn and came across a delicate vine embellished with numerous dew drops like jewels. It was one of the most memorable moments for me.
sunrise palm tree ocean rocks beautiful nature beauty clouds wikipedia

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