Winter hibernation is still in full swing – but not for long…
It’s winter – cold and bitter – and it seems the only safe place to hide is in our beds. Do you anticipate long, comfy nights snuggled under quilts but equally dread peeling back the covers, putting your feet on the cold floor in the morning? While we experience this tragic emersion from the comfy cocoon of our beds on a daily basis, there’s a little guy named Phil who’s forced to face this terrible shock on one special winter morning each year.
Welcome to Groundhog Day – Phil’s big day. Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary is the most widely known groundhog who gets yanked from his hibernation every February 2nd to predict how much longer we’ll have to brave winter. Groundhog Day began in Europe as Candlemas Day and was brought to America by the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s.
When Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2nd, if he sees his shadow, we’ll be forced to suffer the elements of winter for 6 more weeks – burr! If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the glory of spring will be blessed upon us early. We’re secretly hoping Phil never sees his shadow again.
But how well do we really know Phil? We pull him from his sound slumber and ask for his wise weather prediction yearly, it’s only right we take the time to know a little more about the guy.
Get to know Punxsutawney Phil
While Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil is the most widely known groundhog, Phil has family around the country who celebrate with him every February 2nd. General Beauregard Lee predicts how long Georgia will experience winter and over in Ohio Buckeye Chuck holds the position of predictor.
Phil also has friends in high places. In 1986 Phil met up with President Ronald Regan and in 1995 he was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show. Good ol’ Phil is also an inspiration to Hollywood. Who can forget the 1993 classic movie Groundhog Day starring the legendary Bill Murray? And if you haven’t seen this movie, then your homework is to go watch it today. You can thank us tomorrow.
The animal rights group PETA calls for Phil’s retirement and, if they get their way, perhaps Phil will relocate to a warm sunny climate where he isn’t forced to predict the weather, and maybe even take up golf. PETA suggests using a robotic groundhog to replace Phil.
What do you have in store for us this year Phil? Will we all be wearing our winter coats longer than we hope?
How to sleep better through the winter – and the spring too…
If Phil predicts a longer winter, we need to prepare ourselves for sleep during the extended chill.
- Set the mood for slumber. Make your room dark before you head to bed. Turn off lights and electronics.
- Sleep in a clean and pleasant environment. Keep your room tidy before bed to help you focus on slumber.
- Get the room temperature right. Set your bedroom temperature before you climb into bed. Best sleep temperature is between 65-72 F (18-21C).
- Avoid interruptions. Put your phone on silent, use ear plugs if you sleep with a noisy partner and invest in an eye mask to help eliminate light and movement distractions.
- Choose the right bed and bedding. Having a supportive mattress is essential to a good night’s sleep.
- Wind down and relax before bed. Build in buffer time before bedtime where you stop using your electronics, begin your night time routine and get your mind and body prepped for dreaming.
- Spend enough time in bed. Most adults need an average of 8 hours sleep every night. Limit your time in bed to no more than 8 ½ hours. If you take longer to fall asleep, factor that into your sleep time.
- Know what to avoid. Alcohol can disrupt your sleep during the night. Not to be obvious but you probably know caffeine is a stimulant and that can keep you awake.
Check out this funny clip of the movie Groundhog Day, as Bill Murray’s character is stuck living the same day, February 2nd over and over again. Phil even makes an appearance in this hilarious scene!
And if you’re as big of a fan of the Groundhog Day movie as I am, you may find these 7 facts you probably didn’t know quite interesting.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- 17 super-useful sleep hacks
- Is your fitness tracker wrecking your sleep?
- What the experts say about sleeping naked