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Monday, January 21, 2013

Pavlov's Response

I have found that I am proof-positive of the validity of Pavlov's response. Not in relation to a salivating when I hear a dinner bell, but something much more sinister.

I'm not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. When my kids were little I was forced to get up early. While my body complied, it complained. I remember before I had kids. Andy Griffith used to come on at 8:30 on Sunday mornings. I would never wake up in time to watch. I used to wish I could wake up early enough to watch Andy. After I had kids, I would dream of getting to sleep until Andy came on!

I was elated when the kids were finally all old enough to get up on the weekends without constant adult supervision. I was back to my old sleeping habits overnight. There was no sleeping later gradually — it was instantaneous.

I've always wished I were a morning person — for a couple of reasons. The first is that it would be so nice to wake up and not feel like crying because I had to get out of bed. How nice would it be to wake up and want to get up? I've come to the conclusion that particular scenario is never going to happen. I figure when I'm an old lady, the nurses will keep coming in to check on me, thinking I must be dead. Once they know I'm a late sleeper, I'll be dead for a day before they realize I'm not just sleeping later than usual!

The second reason is that morning people always make you feel lazy if you sleep in, which irks me to no end ... so the next sentence will draw ire from every morning person within a one hundred cyber-mile radius of this article. Ready?

Personally, I think morning people are lazy! There ... I said it!

They like to brag about how they got up at 4:30 and how much they're able to get done "while you were just laying in bed". Okay, let's just set the record straight right here — I wasn't "just laying" in bed — I was sleeping in bed, which is what you're supposed to do in bed. For crying out loud, it's the very reason beds were invented!

So, for that hour or so they were up before me, they were able to get and hour or so worth of work done — while I was "just laying around in bed". 

Big. Hairy. Deal.

They go to bed at 8:00. I go to bed at midnight — on an early night. And, while they are "just laying in bed", I'm reading, writing, cleaning, painting, and doing all sorts of productive things (sometimes). That means I get several more hours of productivity than they do! Until those morning people get up when I'm turning in for the night (i.e., sometime in the wee hours of the morning), they're accomplishing a whole lot less in their waking hours than I do in mine.

They say they get up and do their laundry early. So what? I get mine done after work. But, they say, they come home and cook dinner — "and I don't have to do laundry after work — it's already done". 

Well La-Te-Da!!

I come home and cook dinner while I'm doing the laundry — and then my laundry is done — and I didn't have to get up early to do it!! Doing laundry while cooking dinner really isn't a burden — it's called multi-tasking. And let's face it — laundry may not be fun, but it's pretty easy to do!

Morning people don't do more work than I do, they just do it at a different time. And, since they're tired so much earlier, they fall asleep while I still have plenty of energy — which gives me many more hours in my day — and I don't have to get up early! That's a win-win combination, is it not?!

That said — you're probably wondering how Pavlov plays into this, right?! Okay. here goes:

It doesn't matter how many times I wake up through the night or how much trouble I have falling asleep, there is one sure-fire thing that will knock me out faster than an anesthesiologist can send a sedative through an IV — the sound of my alarm clock. When I hear that annoying (insert expletive) ring, I am immediately so tired I can barely lift my arm to silence it. I can be lying there, contemplating getting up, but when I hear that sound, my first instinct is to fall back to sleep — instantly.

I've often thought that I should set the alarm to go off periodically throughout the night. Hearing that sound would ensure I would never be awake more than a few seconds, and on the rare occasion that I was, the sound of my alarm would send me right back into my coma. The sound of my alarm clock is the equivalent of getting knocked in the head with a hammer — I'm momentarily stunned, then I'm immediately rendered unconscious. 

Pavlov undoubtedly spent a lot of money and put a lot of effort into his scientific research. Too bad I wasn't around back then — he could have just sat in a chair in my bedroom to prove his theory. Of course, he would have had to invent the alarm clock first, but I'm guessing Pavlov was a morning person — so he could work on that alarm clock thing while I'm "just laying in bed"!


  1. I am a morning person... but I am also presently an afternoon, evening, and all night person, according to my childrens' never ending needs. I think my Pavolov trigger is the sound of Jake waking up... even if I were already awake, laying bed, the thought of dragging my weary self out of bed to go to him makes me exhausted!

  2. Tara was my Jake ... but keep your chin up ... she turned out to be an amazing teenager and adult!