Disclaimer: This post is all about Jesse's personal routine that works well for him. Here at Shift.ms, we in no way want to tell people how to cope with their condition. What works for Jesse may help you, but it also may not be up your street. Please follow the advice of healthcare professionals.
This is the first part of a 2 part series that details potential energy efficient ways to improve our daily routine and hence life styles.
By no means do the birds chirp everyday with this magical morning routine I am going to describe below but implementing these things back into my daily routine do help me get back on the horse after hitting a rough patch. I thought I would share it as some of these are not readily available in MS literature. I have also included things that I have tried but did not work out.
Keeping it short to make it accessible to more people with MS and the links to videos where possible. I am not a medical professional, so please take the below as a reference of things to try out and my personal experience with them.
My morning routine
For the large part I follow my daily routine according to the bear chronotype.
- I use a sunrise alarm clock then immediately look out of a crack in the window directly at the sky for a minute (even on a cloudy day). Then I hold my breath (nothing extreme- holding an exhale for 15-30 seconds before inhaling makes me feel more alert.) We will always experience sleep inertia no matter how good a sleep we have, but the sunrise alarm clock, holding breath looking directly at the sky after I wake up definitely allows an easier ride over the sleep inertia hump.
- Breakfast - I have tried Intermittent fasting (IF) for about 2 years and skipping breakfast was a part of the 16/8 attempts - but the tiredness I felt after breaking the fast seemed counter intuitive. I believe this is due to a larger surge in insulin being released than if I ate breakfast. So now I have cereal for breakfast and do not eat snacks between breakfast and lunch. But I am sure I will give IF another go in the future.
- A quick 10 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercise (also read section on interval training to boost dopamine levels here) on a static bike, cross trainer or hand wheel. Then I usually finish with a few minutes of foam rolling to loosen muscles, but I'm currently experimenting skipping foam rolling.
- Cold shower after breakfast and exercise. Breakfast and exercise can tire me out so it feels good to get a boost of alertness after a cold shower.
- Vitamin D after shower - I've experimented with Vitamin D doses 1000 IU to 4000 IU. Currently, I take 4000 IU. I have tried implementing an Omega 3 supplement - our friends over in Overcoming MS would approve - at various points in the day, however, it made me tired. Perhaps I meet Omega 3 requirements through food…
I used to have a carrier bag full of supplements, all I take now is Vitamin D. All the supplements I tried ultimately increased acetylcholine too much and caused a low mood.
Stay tuned for the second part of this series where we look at lunch, dinner and general energy efficient ways to improve lifestyle!
Hi I'm Jesse. Great to be a part of this community. Engineer by day then moonlight as a shift.MS Buddy- feel free to message!