Waking up is hard to do. There is, of course, a scientific explanation. Something about testing fruit flies and the “twenty-four” gene—one of the core genes of the circadian clock. It's all so... academic.
“The function of a clock is to tell your system to be prepared, that the sun is rising, and it’s time to get up,” says Ravi Allada, professor of neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern University.
“The flies without the twenty-four gene did not become much more active before dawn. The equivalent in humans would be someone who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.”But regardless of how difficult or easy it is for you to wake up, getting up is another matter and one full of personal perils. Fear not. You've got this old fart with decades of experience on your side. Try these handy steps:
1) Do not open eyes. No sudden moves. Put one foot on the floor. This tricks your mind into believing your body is halfway up. Never hop out with both feet at once as this will make all your blood rush to your feet, causing a massive shock to your brain and can lead to discordant maladies later in life.
2) Sit up slowly. Put other foot on the floor. Place elbows on knees and rest face in hands. This allows your equilibrium to gently orientate itself to the upright position. Rubbing eyes while still closed is optional.
3) Groan loudly, even when alone. This warms the vocal chords and aligns the molecules in the air around you. People entering your molecule field for the remainder of the day will be less inclined to give you grief.
4) Open eyes. Do not stretch. When opening eyes do not focus immediately. Focusing the eyes too soon may cause eye fatigue later in the day and stretching muscles that have been dormant for six to eight hours can cause over stimulation and may lead to unorthodox activities such as jogging and yoga. You have the rest of the day to focus and stretch out gradually.
5) Scratch something. This is important and is linked back to the beginning of civilization when we had fewer skin moisturizers and more personal itches. The act sends a message to your nerve center that it is about to be subjected to its daily job of letting you know when you hurt. Not doing so and waiting until you actually hurt to ignite your nerve center can cause a delayed reaction. And finally,
6) Transfer weight to your feet by leaning forward carefully. Use your arms to push, and shout something uplifting as you do so. Incomprehensible yelp-growls are an art form here. A Tarzan yell is good. Or something like, "Oh gawd, not another one" is effective as well. Be careful not to lean forward too much. That's how heads put holes into walls. Raise your head slowly. This will cause your back to follow and you should find yourself standing up straight. You have now successfully "gotten up". If you feel dizzy, lie back down and repeat from step number one.
By following these simple steps, staying away from cold showers and early morning exercising, you will be adding seconds, possibly minutes to your life and will ease your way into your day with grace and harmony.
Next week: How to brush your teeth and not look like you have rabies.