Hypnopomp is the term for the state of consciousness leading out of sleep and into awake. It is that brief period of time where you drift somewhere between a halcyon dream and the burgeoning day. Once you are in the awake stage, hypnopomp has technically ended, but your mind does not forget it existed. The first half hour or so of being awake, your eyes do their best to readjust to the light levels. Certain limbs still wait for their fair share of blood as you saunter around your room. Outside, the sun peeks through your honeycomb shades. You decide to let it inside and, as a result, your pupils dilate into big black gumdrops. This is called the morning and, although it is not a state of consciousness, it definitely plays a big part in our lives each day. We all have our routines. Here are five of them:
Staying informed is not only a healthy way to live your life, it’s super cool and allows you to participate in conversations about current events. Some, a.k.a. my parents, wake up and head right for the day’s events. The outlets are endless and online. Save a tree, go newspaperless. Did something happen between midnight last night when you fell asleep and today at 8am? The verdict’s out on a big court case, a celebrity death, a cruise ship tipped on its side, a wall down, a wall up, another Amber Alert in a town no one has heard of. These are not only all things you should be informed about, but they will also help you to become the most informed person around the watercooler, which is obviously important.
THE RECORD PLAYERS
If you’re lucky enough to have one of these ancient devices, you’re bound to use it in the morning. The soft crackle spilling out of the speakers is the perfect soundtrack to the brain haze that’s totally happening. While some may prefer the soft and tinny folk sound, others dabble in jazz or pop. Right from a dream, the brain can recall song lyrics. Why not sing them in the shower? If you missed the gramophone train, the iPod will do just fine. Any way to get your body to shake off sleep and start grooving to the beat of the day.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA-LITES
This connected clan bee lines for their iPhones or MacBook Airs to see who is playing hooky on their day off and drinking a mimosa. Using the likes of Facebook or Instagram or Vine to wake up your brain works wonders, especially if you can stay in bed to do it. Your friend from elementary school is so happy to have people around who love her without judgment and your coworker just had an “unbelievably prosperous yoga class.” This information may not be crucial to the remainder of the day, but it’s a good gauge on what your next move could be. People are exercising, you should do that. People are not judging, you should try that too. While most of what you find on these social networks sounds more like adults speaking to Charlie Brown, there’s no reason you can’t use the power of sublimation, and take something bad and make it good.
THE COFFEE ROASTERS
What a scene! That sensuous sugar browning smell could wake the REMiest of sleepers. This druggy kind of way to ignite the neurotransmitters in your noggin is both universal and niche-y at the same time. Some could care less: coffee is coffee. Some could not care less: coffee is NOT coffee. You know who you are. The kind who currently only use a percolator and carry beans in their pocket just because. Apparently coffee is more than just brown water with a kick; it brings people together. There’s a scene in Jerry Seinfeld’s web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” where he’s talking with Larry David who has decided to only drink tea — an already great premise for a Seinfeld episode. They discuss how two people drinking coffee is different than one person drinking coffee and one person drinking tea. The mood is different. Coffee is a mood and a great way to jump start your day. Whether you’re by yourself in the AM or with your partner or a friend (whom you may or may not know), this drink is critically acclaimed.
THE MORNING SHOW-ERS
I would consider The Today Show and Good Morning, America more along the lines of TRL than CNN. True, you may be thinking this is just more news. Here’s where you’re wrong. You flick one of these puppies on and you can learn how to create a Plaster of Paris mold of your dog’s head and hold a hit summer picnic in your backyard all within the same hour. They offer tip after gratuitous tip on how to make your things easier and more fun without the hassle of, well, hassle. It may be just background noise as you brush your hair and contemplate your belly button, but who wouldn’t want to improve their life? It’s what’s the morning is meant to be: a dress rehearsal for the day ahead.