When Is the Best Time to Poop?

iStock
iStock

When it comes to taking a dump, it’s hard to know what’s normal. Rarely do our friends and coworkers announce when they’re headed off to do their business, nor do they report the results upon their return. So it’s nearly impossible to tell what the rest of the population is doing behind bathroom doors. For instance, when is the best time to go? 

According to a gastroenterologist who spoke to Women’s Health, a morning dump is healthiest. While you sleep, your body is hard at work digesting your food, so it makes sense that you’d need to go not long after climbing out of bed. To help your body run like the beautiful well-oiled machine it is, make sure to eat a fibrous breakfast, drink a little coffee, have a big glass of water, and head to the john at a consistent, regular time. As Women’s Health reminds us, as important as eating right is, “your bowels also love habits.”

Of course, everyone’s body is different, and what’s normal for you may not be normal for another person. You may poop three times a day, while someone else poops every other day. If you go like clockwork every day at noon or 8 p.m., just roll with it (as long as you’re going at least three times a week [PDF]). As long as you’re sticking to your personal intestinal schedule, you’re golden.

Just remember: As much as you love a good bathroom read, sitting around on the toilet can lead to hemorrhoids. If it’s not going to happen, don’t waste your time sitting around waiting for that perfect morning magic. Abandon ship. And perhaps consider getting a squatty potty

[h/t Women’s Health]

This story was originally published in 2016.

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Centre of Excellence
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Why Did Noon Used to Mean 3 p.m.?

3 p.m. is basically noon for people who wake up at 12 p.m.
3 p.m. is basically noon for people who wake up at 12 p.m.
Mckyartstudio/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re a late sleeper, you might find yourself thinking 12 p.m. seems way too early to be considered midday, and the word noon would much better describe, say, 3 p.m. It turns out that ancient Romans would have agreed with you, if only for etymological reasons.

As Reader’s Digest explains, the days in ancient Rome were split into four periods of three hours each. The first hour was at sunrise around 6 a.m.—called prime, for first—followed by 9 a.m. (terce, denoting the third hour), 12 p.m. (sext, for sixth), and 3 p.m. (none, for ninth).

According to Merriam-Webster, Middle and Old English borrowed the time-keeping tradition, along with the Latin word for ninth, which was changed to nōn and eventually noon. Though we’re not sure exactly when or why noon started referring to 12 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., it could have something to do with Christian prayer traditions. In the Bible, Jesus’s crucifixion is said to have taken place at the ninth hour, and that’s when worshippers partook in their second of three daily prayers; the others were in the morning and evening. It’s possible that hungry monks were behind noon’s gradual shift from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m.—since their daily fast didn’t end until after the midday prayer, they had a built-in motive for moving it earlier.

While we didn’t exactly stay true to the original Latin meaning of noon, there’s another important remnant of ancient Rome hiding in the way we tell time today. Romans referred to 12 p.m. as meridiem, for midday, and so do we. A.M. is an abbreviation for ante meridiem, or before midday, and P.M. means post meridiem, or after midday.

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