Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I think the hardest thing I do every day is
getting out of bed
I don't know about you, but I must be a night owl. I never want to go to bed. Once I'm actually in bed, I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep*. By the time I finally get into a deep sleep, it's morning and I'm supposed to wake up even though all I want is to drift back off into slumber. It's especially hard when winter comes around. There I am, snuggled in my warm cocoon of blankets. Why on earth would I want to leave that to undress in the cold air of the morning?
I don't think I'm alone in this morning difficulty, and I don't understand why humans evolved to have BOTH a hard time falling asleep and a hard time waking up. Searching the meaning for common trait within the principles of evolutionary psychology has eluded me. I can posture that being a light sleeper would have been beneficial for our ancestors who needed to be constantly alert to danger. But can you see any way in which being a heavy morning sleeper is adaptive, when our ancestors had a full day of food-finding work ahead of them?
Because when you think about it, how did humans EVER will themselves to get up in the morning before central heat (ie. most of human history)? I still remember clearly from my childhood Laura Ingalls Wilder's tales of waking up on the most frigid howling winter mornings to light fires, break ice in water, and feed the animals at dawnbreak. Not something I could do easily.
Oh yeah, and what about the days where all I want to do all day is go back to bed? Because this has been happening a lot lately. Does all this just mean that my sleep cycles are out of whack? I know exercising is supposed to help boost energy, but it is a bit of a catch 22 when I don't have the energy to go to the gym or do anything after work but drag myself back home and into pjs.
What gets you up in the morning? I know it's probably coffee for a lot of you, which strangely has no stimulant effect on me as far as I can tell. For me, it might be bagels. I eat them way too often, but a bowl of oatmeal just isn't enticing enough to make getting out of the house and into work mode seem worth it.