Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rationalizing My Sleep Problem

I have to get better about waking up on the morning. I just have to. It really sucks, but it's one of those things that until I've got it down, I'm only half a grown up.

Society has structured itself, somewhat unfairly, on this schedule where the work day starts at 9 am and ends, for me anyway, at roughly 5 (and for those of you unlucky to be tethered to work at all hours by your smartphone/laptop, I feel for you so deeply). I don't actually know anyone who likes 9 am, by the way—I think morning people must be an urban legend, or at the very least, a very solid minority, which is makes having to roll into the office at 9 really cruel. #occupyAM

via Miss Moss

So I need a better system, because my system of setting my iPhone for an appropriate snoozable time, then turning off the alarm and going back to sleep isn't an actual system that works.

What can I do?

Go to bed earlier. I go to bed around midnight, which should be enough time for an appropriate sleep (I only have to get up at 8), except I'm convinced my body needs like 9–10 hours of sleep to feel well rested. I'm just addicted to sawing logs y'all. So maybe I need to start acting like the old I truly am and head to bed earlier.

Stop sharing a bedroom with my boyfriend and my dog. Those two are also addicted to sawing logs, and because D works from home, most days they get to sleep in together. Do you know how much it kills me to get ready while D dozes, take Charlie out to do his business, feed him breakfast and then he just crawls back into bed? SERIOUSLY? Every morning I feel like my household is invited to a way cool party and I'm Cinderella. (ZZZinderella?)

Set my alarm farther away. I could do this, and D would probably be less annoyed by one loud buzz than by the 20 smaller buzzes that happen with the current, non system. But morning air is so cold, guys, and it's just getting colder. Shock therapy is my least favourite way to start my day, you know?

Get a programmable coffee maker. I have often thought about this, how nice it would be to wake up smelling fresh brewed coffee. What's holding me back is the price of the programable brewers (in the $60–70 range) and adding the routine to set the brewer the night before (routines are not my strong suit). Yes, I could just press coffee in the morning, but let's be real—my problem is getting out of bed. Giving me more AM tasks is probably not the way to make that easier.

Practice, practice, practice. This is actually a neat idea to essentially trick your body into autopiloting when you wake up. Essentially, at another time of the day, you set up your bedroom to your sleeping conditions and set your alarm for a few minutes into the future. Wear pyjamas, brush your teeth, turn off all lights. Get yourself into the mindset of the morning, and imagine you've just had a restful night's sleep. When the alarm goes off, immediately get up and start your routine. When you're through, return to your sleep conditions and try again (this guy recommends 3–10 reps per session). Then wake up at the same time every day for at least 30 days, to condition it fully into your subconscious.

Do I care enough to practice waking up? I like the idea of jumping out of bed, rarin' to go, and I like how you can train your brain to work on autopilot (like a robot!).  But I don't trust myself to stick to this kind of routine. Sleep ins are one of life's greatest joys, and I don't think I'm willing to give them up cold turkey.

In short, I don't know what to do. I hate mornings, and I have to actually figure out a way to work with them. I don't want to, but I do. And I'm too tired right now to figure out an actual solution. What are your suggestions for getting up on time? PLEASE, help me!


  1. today, i woke up when my alarm went off (#1: 7:45am), then when the radio turned on (#2: 8:00) and then my series of alarms (#3,4,5 8:15, 8:30, 8:45) went off - mostly they just vibrate, i tap something on my phone, they stop. i laid in bed, listening to CBC, essentially awake... and suddenly i looked at the clock and it was 9:45. luckily, my work hours are flexible, so i wasn't late or anything, but this is not totally uncommon for me. so, you know... if you figure mornings out, feel free to give us an update. because my bed is just too comfy to leave some mornings.

  2. It helps if you make yourself get up at a decent hour on the weekends as well. This sucks at first, but eventually your body gets used to it. It makes a big difference for getting up early during the week.


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