Thursday, September 08, 2005

Getting up Early: A conundrum

The strange thing about planning to get up early, if it is not something you usually do, is that it may throw you off your schedule. Meaning, even if you are productive when you wake up, which is unlikely given that you normally DON't get up that early and are thus in a half-sleeping fog, you will probably need the sleep or rest at another point in the day. So, what EXACTLY are the options for getting this extra rest. It is a nap in the morning, afternoon? Will you go to bed early? There are consequences to each as outlined below.

The morning nap. Most people, when you get up in the morning, are attempting to be more productive in the morning. For some reason, the idea of a morning nap then counters the purposeful waking up early. Just putting it out there. Also, you are more likely to be tired for the rest of the day dropping your overall productivity. Morning naps, for me at least, tend to be longer unless I set an alarm. Then I'm just cranky all day, and who wants a cranky pants around? You other option is to nap in the afternoon.

The afternoon nap, aka siesta. This is probably the best of the solutions. Afternoon naps tend to be shorter, but are habit forming. We actually get less sleep than we should, according to the Art of Napping. "Professor William Anthony, author of The Art of Napping, suggests: "Our culture has developed on the mistaken belief that productivity and napping are two different extremes." In fact, sleep deprivation is as American as apple pie. According to the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) 2000 Omnibus Sleep in America Poll, 67 percent of adults get fewer than the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Says Darrel Drobnich, director of government affairs at NSF: "We get about 20 percent less sleep than our ancestors did 100 years ago. We just don't put a priority on sleep."" In a way, those who do not nap in the afternoon are missing out :) I, personally, like this option, but then again, I'm notorious for taking 1 - 2 hours afternoon naps. I don't think that's what Art of Napping had in mind. And let me tell you, 1 - 2 hours in the afternoon will EAT away a day.

Going to bed early. Hmm, for obvious reasons this is a poor choice for some people. If you are in a biorhythm that gets a second wind in the evening, which is very common, you are likely to miss your window of getting to bed early. Meaning, if you lay down for bed you will have trouble getting to sleep. I usually have to get back up and end up in bed at the normal time and feel like crap the next day. Oh well. Some people can do it though, just go to bed whenever. meh, the siesta's the best I think...

One advantage of getting up early is the opportunity to kick your metabolism. If you eat right when you get up it will scare your body into burning calories. It also allows you to break down your meals and eat several times during the day. This will reduce your overall caloric stores while burning more calories - i.e. you will lose weight.
okay, it's early, I'm ending this randomness.


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