For the People Who Hate Waking Up

I'm envious of morning people, too. But here's my new secret to getting out of bed.

Photo Credit: tarasov/Shutterstock.som

I can't stand early morning people...

No, that’s not exactly true.

I can’t stand people who jump out of bed and can’t wait to start the day…

No, that’s not exactly true either.

I’m envious of morning people…

That’s closer to being true.

I can’t stand how every day when my eyes open, instead of greeting the day by shouting, “Hooray!” I think to myself, “Oh, sh-t another day”…

Now THAT is true.

Even on a day that I am looking forward to, “sh-t” or “Oh sh-t” happens.

But here’s the real crazy thing. If I say to myself and then push myself with, “Just get vertical and get into the shower” literally within seconds to at most five minutes, I am up, clear headed, thinking of all sorts of possibilities and have trouble believing that just seconds to minutes before I was a “negativistic beached whale” laying horizontal and wanting to shut my eyes for just ten minutes more.

What the heck is going on?

Anyone who has read my writings knows that I am fascinated by neuroscience and how it explains so much of what we think and don’t think and do and don’t do.

Here’s my latest whimsical, non-evidence based neuropsychological musing and explanation.

One of the aspects of neuroscience that most fascinates me is Paul MacLean’s model of the Triune Brain, where our brain is subdivided into our 250,000 year old human, thinking upper brain; 65 million year old mammalian, emotional middle brain and 245-million-year-old, reptilian, lower fight-or-flight brain.

Here is what I picture happens to my three brains. By the time I actually fall asleep my three brains have been aligned all day and pumping along, at pedal to the metal speeds and then they’re exhausted.

After I fall asleep and morning comes, all three of my brains have become disconnected from each other and are each on their own recognizance. That might explain why when I wake up in the morning I am feeling “out of sorts.” That is because my thinking, emotional and “fight of flight” brains are not wired together and are not pulling in the same direction.

But then, when I “just get vertical” it’s as if my three brains click in together and feel like it used to feel when I would downshift on my Honda racing motorcycle on a curve, which would drive up the RPM’s, give me more torque and more traction as I was taking a curve (and kept me from driving off the road – aah… I miss that mid-life crisis).

Another way to think about it for you non-motorcyclists would be to imagine a Rubic’s cube spinning in utter confusion and then “click-twist-click-click-click” it is solved.

So if you’re having trouble jumping out of bed in the morning, especially if it’s every morning, maybe you too can imagine that your three brains have come undone and haven’t yet clicked together to face the day.

If so, then “just get vertical” and picture your three brains locking into each other, then your mind downshifting and ready to grab onto the day.

Let us know if that makes sense to any of you fellow early morning haters or if I’m pushing my own mind with “an ideation too far.”

Or do you think it’s simply that I am hungover from taking Benadryl to sleep?

Mark Goulston is a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist and the author of "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone." He is the co-founder of Heartfelt Leadership. Contact: [email protected]

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018