The Hibernation Effect

Having spent my entire life in the southern hemisphere, I’ve never experienced living through a northern hemisphere winter.  Sure I’ve visited for a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t compare to actually living through one.  We are only in the early days, but already I feel the hibernation effect at work.  I struggle to get up in the mornings, like really struggle, no matter how many hours I’ve slept for.  I tried my hardest to get up at 6am to go for a run this morning, but my body said no in a way I’ve never experienced before and could barely be forced to get up at 7am.  All I want to do in curl up under my federbett and wake up in spring.  It’s ridiculous.

My body honestly has no idea what has hit it.  It is used to the sun rising at 7am at the very latest, not 7:45am like it does now.  Also, sunset is at the very earliest at 5:30pm, definitely not 4:20pm as it is now.  How do you northern hemispherians handle it?  Is there a special trick?  Most importantly how do you get up early in the morning to exercise? There has to be some secret passed down through the generations that no one has told me about.  I refuse to spend the next 4 months in a semi-comatosed state.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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8 Responses to The Hibernation Effect

  1. scottsabode says:

    Beats me – I just had a two hour nap!

  2. weez says:

    Oh, poor you! I know the hibernation effect you describe- but only vaguely, since I’ve been in Straya now for so very long. When I was a kid in North America, it would take two men, a boy and a bulldozer to get me out of bed in November or December. I don’t want to be a doomsayer, but if Germany and you ever part company, it’ll be due to the winter day lengths at 53 degrees latitude.

    • Riayn says:

      I fear you may be correct, but there seems to be things I can do to combat it and I’m sure there are some indoor activities I could do to pass the long winter nights. ;)

  3. Mandi says:

    My first winter here was pretty tough, and I even hail from Seattle, where the skies are gray and the sun sets pretty early in the winter months. Last year though, we bought ourselves a Philips EnergyLight so that we could at least get the amount of light that our bodies needed to get us through the season without feeling like we wanted to hibernate. We really felt the difference, and I highly recommend it if it feels like other methods aren’t working: http://www.philips.de/c/light-therapy/hf3319_01/prd/

  4. Fiona says:

    watch out for SAD!

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