General Question

jlm11f's avatar

How do you make your body adapt to eating earlier in the morning?

Asked by jlm11f (12378points) August 26th, 2008

As some of you might know, I recently went from sleeping @ 5–6 am and waking up at 1 pm to sleeping @ ~11 pm and waking at 6:20 am (college starting up again does that to you). I have never had to wake up that as early as 6:20 though. And I am unable to eat my breakfast (oatmeal) before leaving for classes. I feel nauseous if I try to eat anything that early, and I just can’t stomach it. Since my classes are pretty hardcore and back to back (with only 5 min breaks in btw), eating something before leaving is important so as to stay awake and have the wheels in brain turning in said classes. Is giving it time to adjust the only solution to this problem? Or is there something else I can do so as to eat early and not feel sick?

Bonus – anyone know the scientific explanation for why this happens?

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23 Answers

eambos's avatar

Stop whining. 6:20 is nothing. Try 5:15 =P

jlm11f's avatar

pffffffft! way to be helpful. kick! and i am not whining, i am just not used to it, i am sure 2 months from now, i will absolutely coughenjoycough it.

robmandu's avatar

Back in school, early morning milk would make me nauseous… especially with something syrupy like pancakes. Other food was fine.

Perhaps try an alternate food?

jlm11f's avatar

@rob – i thought about the milk thing too. But fruit doesn’t work either. And the feeling i had was like my stomach was telling me “no you better not send anything down here.” I ate a granola bar….3 hours later (after the first class) and that was the first time i was able to chew anything in the day.

Les's avatar

This past year I was waking up at 4:45 am every day so I could get in to work early, and I know what you mean about the eating thing. What I found was the first week or so of that schedule was really tough when it came to eating; my body just wasn’t ready to be moving around and functioning at that time. But as I stuck to the schedule, eventually my body got used to it. If you stick to the schedule you have set for yourself, you will see that you will be able to eat in a few days. But for the first few days force yourself to drink a glass of orange juice (or something) and have some dry cereal, that may be good. You probably won’t get sick if you eat (even though that’s what it feels like), your body just isn’t thinking it is time for food. Hope you feel better soon!

trumi's avatar

I know this one!

Eat whatever you crave. Wake up, give it an hour, and then decide what sounds good. Leftovers, chocolate, turkey sandwich. Whatever sounds good. If you do this for a week or two, you’ll start to be hungry in the morning, and then you can switch to actual breakfast food.

Because nothing is worse than eating a dry, boring granola bar when you haven’t eaten breakfast in a while. It goes down like cement.

jlm11f's avatar

Les – thank you! i was hoping someone would share a similar experience in their answer :) Guess time is the only cure huh?

trumi…hmm, i like that idea! but what if i don’t crave anything since i just don’t want to eat?

trumi's avatar

I know the feeling. I really don’t like breakfast, especially that early. But breakfast gets the metabolism going…

It really does help me to just forget “breakfast” and just eat something. Anything in your stomach starts the process.

Mashed potatoes, leftover pie, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly. In a few days, I’m ready for a nice toasted bagel, a cheesy scrambled egg, some chocolate chip pancakes… And then, finally, I will actually wake up and have oatmeal, toast, or some orange juice.

It’s a process. A delicious, wonderful process…

Okay, I have to go to lunch now. I’m suddenly starving.

bodyhead's avatar

It’s hard to eat anything when you’re hungover. Just try to drink more water in the evenings and the hunger thing will work itself out.

I know what back to college means

Les's avatar

@body: Some of us actually studied in college.

Keep your asinine comments to yourself.

shilolo's avatar

@PnL. The physiology of hunger is rather complex. There are a number of hormones produced by the body, including leptin, insulin, cholecystokinin, and ghrelin. All act on the brain, primarily in the hypothalamus. Leptin and cholecystokinin inhibit the hunger response while insulin and ghrelin promote hunger. Some of these hormones display diurnal variation (or are affected by variation in circulating glucose levels), and thus stimulate morning hunger.

I imagine, that according to your current schedule, you are hungry when you wake up at 1 PM. Thus, by eating late into the night and early morning, and sleeping until 1 PM, you have shifted the entire physiology of your body to a later schedule. Eventually, your body will adjust to your new schedule. Another thing to do is to avoid late night snacks, such as ice cream and chocolate (just guessing…).

jlm11f's avatar

@bodyhead – Sorry to disappoint, but I have not yet been motivated enough to drink or do drugs so far anyway

@shi – thanks for the science behind it! it helps better understand my problem (and perhaps be more accepting of it). And I will resist commenting on the “ice cream and chocolates” part. :(

Thank you to everyone who answered so far!

marinelife's avatar

When I was in college I did what Les suggested. One of my favorites was cold pizza for breakfast.

Do you have a coffee or tea habit? If you drink either one of those, they usually have an appetite stimulating effect.

Good luck with the change. I am still switching from West Coast back to East Coast and find myself up and around at 3 A.M.

jlm11f's avatar

@Marina – no coffee or tea habit (i had a coffee habit a year ago..but it got bad so i eventually weaned myself off of it). Thanks for the luck! I think it should be a lot better after this week.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

Eat dinner a little earlier than usual and see if that will make you feel like your starving in the morning.

I always bring a granola bar with me or a banana going out the door so when I do start to feel hungry I snack.

gailcalled's avatar

@ninja has the right idea. Bring unmessy portable foods for later in the day. I sometimes put a PB and J on whole wheat in a little bag in purse for emergencies. GORP, tangerines, grapes, cherries, yogurt and plastic spoon.

bodyhead's avatar

@Les, It was just a joke but I am sorry I offended you. I was just joking with PnL. I felt it was poignant only because I was reading the other day about how binge drinking is on the rise and many Ivy League professors are signing petitions to try and lower the drinking age to 18 nationally.

I was kidding but it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that a college student drinks. I’m sorry my input was so asinine.

Les's avatar

@body: Apparently, sarcasm is hard to detect via writing. It’s cool, no hard feelings. Sorry I jumped to conclusions.

bodyhead's avatar

To bring things back on topic, you might try a light run in the morning before class. You would have to get up earlier but it would get your metabolism going and you would have to eat in the mornings (eventually). Your body is a car that needs fuel to go.

Bananas would be great for a light run snack. The potassium and other all around goodness in bananas can help ease pain in joints and prevent cramping.

jlm11f's avatar

bodyhead – wake up even EARLIER? just shoot me already :P. in all seriousness, i will keep that method in mind too, and see if my body will agree to wake up earlier :)

marinelife's avatar

@PnL Could you try tea (or coffee) as a temporary appetite stimulant was my (perhaps porrly expressed) point.

Kay's avatar

I’m the same way, even after having the same schedule for a while, so I feel your pain. I try to drink something in the morning, or sometimes I can have some fruit juice or a smoothie even. Then I get hungry for actual food a couple hours later and eat a snack I’ve brought with me. Just try to pack something to take with you (even if it’s just a protein bar or some nuts and fruit) that you can eat during class when hunger does strike. But I wouldn’t worry too much and just try to plan around it by bringing snacks with you.

charliecompany34's avatar

once your body adapts to the new sleep schedule, so will your stomach. of course it will take about a week, but eventually you’ll eat whatever your diet needs once you get used to the change.

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