Waking up to prickly realities

Waking up to prickly realities


We are transitioning…from urban to rural living. In leaving behind the grind, hustle & bustle of city life, there are a lot of new things to learn: wells, septic systems, wood stoves, etc. One thing we found out about our new area is that skunks are not very Waking up to prickly realitiesprevalent – but porcupines are! The first night in our new home was marked by Jill and Samson denying my husband his new large screen tv – they both had a run in with a porcupine! The dogs must have done more than sniff it, because they had quills around and in their mouths. We (dogs and humans) met the good doctors at the Princess Animal Hospital. Because Jill is so dark and this dark extends into her mouth in ways of dark pigment the vet was able to take this picture (with our permission) to illustrate the results of congress between dogs and porcupine. For those of you in an area like ours, that has a prevalence of these rodents, this article written by a vet in New England is highly entertaining and informative.

The Best Part of Waking Up — Science in your Cup
If you’re like me, you’re a fairly indiscriminate coffee drinker — If it’s good and hot, then who cares what time it is? Cheers!

But if you’re not like me, and you utilize coffee’s invigorating effects in a systematic way, ASAP Science may have some game-changing news for you. It turns out there are a few best times of the day for you to indulge in a cup of joe, when you can maximize your body’s natural wake-up chemistry — but none of them are immediately after you get out of bed.

Their charming video (found here) lays out the argument. Basically, your circadian rhythm (the body’s sleep/wake cycle which is affected by exposure to light) controls your production of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone that also determines your alertness level. On it’s own, your cortisol level peaks between 8 and 9am, giving your body a natural impulse to wake up. But consuming coffee during this time doesn’t amplify the cortisol’s effect like you’d think it would. The caffeine’s effect is dulled, which means you need more of it to get an immediate boost — and it also increases your brain’s dependency on larger amounts of caffeine in the long term.

If you can, ASAP Science recommends having your cuppa during cortisol non-peak times. Also, your cortisol levels increase by about 50% after waking generally, regardless of the time of day — so the next morning Jill and Samson get me up at 5am, I’ll try hacking my morning routine and waiting an hour before indulging. We’ll see what happens!