Four ways to combat Early Morning Syndrome

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Before you read any further (and I do realize you’ve just started) I must include a disclaimer. If you are an early riser who wakes up with the sun, you will probably not be able to relate to my struggle. If, in addition to being an early riser, you are also completely devoid of any finer human emotions like pity and empathy, stop reading immediately. For this article is meant only for sympathetic ears, and what I am about to share is a deeply personal tale. But it has to be told. I am sure I am not the only one battling this problem, and others who are will draw support from this post and realize they’re not alone.

And now on to the Early Morning Syndrome.

The initial symptoms are subtle, almost imperceptible. A nagging feeling of irritation and animosity when the alarm rings, a growing fondness of the snooze button, and burrowing deeper into bed with each vibrant ring instead of reluctantly crawling out.

The problem only gets worse from there. Your alarm becomes your arch-nemesis, and you sometimes forget that it doubles as your beloved phone during the day just as you begin to contemplate throwing it out the window. The snooze button becomes your lifeline and your rationalization of “just one more time” is eerily similar to other addictions. And ignoring the alarm’s strident morning calls becomes as natural as turning a deaf ear to the professor’s warnings of “no late hand-ins.”

And that’s when you know that you’re infected with the Early Morning Syndrome. This disease might sound innocuous, but it’s unfortunate acronym — EMS hints at its true nature. EMS kills your motivation, deflates your academic ambition, makes you miss your breakfast (farewell chocolate chip pancakes!), forces you to skip class regularly and even consigns you to interminable waiting when your roommate gets in the shower before you.

Yes, EMS is truly terrible. But I’m a survivor. And I feel obliged to share my path to recovery. For the greater good of course. So that others can learn and benefit from my experience. Boasting, of course, does not even come into the picture. I am extremely modest. In fact I’m positively renowned for my modesty. Despite topping all my classes, making awe-inspiring apps, writing witty prose and being ruggedly handsome, I absolutely never, ever, show off.

But I digress.

Coming back to my path of recovery. I can only say what worked for me, might not work for you (ha!), but it’s still worth a try.

1. You must enlist the help of your roommate or friends (they aren’t mutually exclusive always of course). You absolutely can not do this alone. It helps if your roommate has a class before you do. Hearing him/her wake up is a great reminder of your inner strength to break free from the shackles of sleep and out of the grasp of dreams. Since you know you are superior as good as your roommate, if he can do it, then so can you.

2. Make your alarm ringtone your favorite dance track. This is purely psychological, but extremely effective. So instead of a jarring “Tring Tring,” you hear the lyrics of a beloved melody. Of course on hearing the music you will have no choice but to get up and start showing off those moves like Jagger. And in the rare case that you don’t manage to get up, you will be instead uh… convulsing and contorting in bed. This, of course, will ruin you forever (at least in your roommate’s eyes)… but then again all medicines have side-effects so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3. Tempt yourself by imagining the aroma of the breakfast that awaits the early bird (no, not worms). This is another technique that works well, especially if you like gastronomic delights. The ambrosial smell of the hot maple syrup, the crisp sizzling sound of bacon, the sun-like yellow scrambled eggs, the satisfying clink of the cutlery, the refreshing first gulp of fresh orange juice. Sigh. I’m hungry for breakfast now. And I’m writing this post just around midnight. This method is effective, seriously.

4. Have an early morning ritual. Something to look forward to when you wake up: for instance, reading BlogDH (hint, hint). And if you do, I recommend reading my articles first. Of course I’m not implying that all the writers at BlogDH aren’t equally good, oh no. But you know there are first among equals, primus inter pares and all that jazz (and my fellow bloggers are probably going to kill me now).

So there you have it — my secrets for battling EMS. And even if you think you don’t have this malady, it would be prudent to inoculate yourself against it by following in my footsteps. Together we can fight this horrible disease and maybe some day, Brunonians will no longer have to fear the dreaded, paralyzing, insidious Early Morning Syndrome.


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