Waking up on a winter morning, when it is still pitch dark and when the rain is rolling down your window, is one of the toughest things to do. Considering that most of us don't have a choice, here are a few tips to make waking up in winter easier. A good breakfast, a cold shower and some exercise would get your blood pumping.
Thomas Kantermann, chronobiologist at the University of Munich says that, "We need sunlight to allow our inner clock to keep time". Our body clock seems to run slow in the absence of sunlight that acts as a stimulus. This stimulus is related to the hormone, melatonin which is a sleep promoting hormone. According to Ruediger Schmitt-Homm, a physiologist at the German Green Cross, "When it is too dark in the morning, the release of melatonin is not stopped". Therefore the first thing to do in the morning would be to switch on a very bright light.
Cold shower is one of the other things that help us wake up. This is because a cold shower contracts the blood vessels that allow faster flow of blood. But image standing under a cold shower on a chilly morning!! The thought is freezing! Schmitt- Homm has a solution. He says that running a cold wash cloth over the face is enough. What a relief!!
Breakfast plays a key role in starting an ideal day. Urte Brink of a German association of dietitians and nutritionists in Cologne says that muesli, whole wheat bread, milk, yoghurt or cheese makes a perfect menu for breakfast. According to him Vitamin C is important in winter and adding a fruit rich in Vitamin C would be good.
According to Schmidt-Homm, eggs, low-fat curd cheese or low- fat turkey instead of bread with marmalade, is the way to go for breakfast. He feels that proteins for breakfast last better than carbohydrates and sugar and even Muesli should be enriched by protein-rich nuts, sunflower seeds and flax seed. But keep in mind not to over eat, for breakfast should be hearty not heavy.
For many of us coffee is an essential and an important part of our breakfast. But experts say that too much caffeine gives the drinker a low, three to four hours after consumption.
Just a good breakfast is not enough. The most dreaded, physical exercise should follow.
Jogging or cycling or swimming is an ideal workout. Time seems to be the problem. An answer for this time crisis is, getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way to work or taking the dog for a walk, according to Kantermann. Physical activities not only supply the body with fresh air but also help in get the necessary sunlight.
Using these tips, waking up in the morning could become a little easier but of course it involves a lot of will power.