How many of us have real problems with waking up early in the morning? How hard it is sometimes to get out of bed and make yourself start your day? This problem should be pretty well familiar to millions of people. Scientists at the Northwestern University have found a new theory about those who like staying in bed till the noon time. They explain this tendency with a certain gene loss. This gene received a name “twenty four” and is reported to be able to mess up our sleep-awake cycle, this way making much harder for many of us to awaken. The findings of this study were recently published in one of the issues of Nature magazine.
The circadian clock is something that drives our organism, along with other natural things and mechanisms, in sleeping and awake mode. Our circadian rhythm is regulated by special protein called PER, and the 24 gene turned out to be a key component for producing PER protein. In other words, when 24 gene is absent, too little protein PER is produced and found in brain neurons, therefore, the sleep-awake cycle is disturbed.
During the Northwestern study, the scientists used for experiments the species of the flies, Drosophila melanogaster. However, the findings are completely applicable to human beings as well. Dr Ravi Allada, on of the leaders of the Northwestern study, comments on the experiments during the study as the following: “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. 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.”
It is a known fact that some people feel better when they wake up early and come to work as the sun rises. Other people love sleeping till afternoon and can come to the peak of their activity closer to the evening. The first are called “larks”, and the latter are called “owls”. It is also a known fact that the most of “owls” have really big problems with waking up early in the morning to start their working day. Those “owls”, who need to be at their working place in the office or in the shop by 8 a.m. have to wake up not later than at 7 a.m. How to change own biological rhythm and turn from an “owl” to a “lark”? Below, you can find some recommendations for such situations.
- If you can not spend a day without a cup of refreshing coffee, be sure that you drink it before 3 p.m. After 3 p.m. you can drink only a mint or Melissa tea, which can help you relax and calm down, as well as not to get concentrated on the everyday problems and worries.
- When you are back home from the work, change your clothes immediately. This will help you to feel free from all the stresses and troubles you have to fight against every day. Also, when you are back home, take 3-5 minutes to lay down in your bedroom, relax and concentrate on something pleasant and calming.
- Eat a light, healthy, but warm dinner. Warm meal in the evening will help you to warm up your soul and make you feel calmer. Also, never go to bed when you feel hungry. Drinking a glass of warm milk or a herbal tea with honey will help your stomach to get busy for some time and not to bother your efforts on falling asleep.
- At 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. close your TV and cell phone, take a shower or have a 20-minute bath with your favorite relaxing aroma. Then, go to bed and take a magazine or your favorite book. You can turn on you favorite slow and relaxing music.
- Do not plan anything. Do not say to yourself: “I’ll fall asleep at 10:30 and wake up at 6:30, making it 8 hours of sleep”.
- If it is already late and you still can not fall asleep, think about how great it is staying in bed in total silence and calmness.
- Even if you can’t fall asleep at the same time for 3-4 days, do not give up and go to bed at the same time every night. Usually, it takes from 7 to 12 days for your body to change its natural rhythm and start getting used to waking up early in the morning.
- Thus, be aware that within the first 7-10 days your mornings will be really terrible. For many of us this can be very hard and unbearable, waking up early in the morning. However, very soon your body will understand and accept the changes, and you will experience again, what a great thing is to have a “good morning”!