I am not a morning person. Anyone who’s tried to carry on a coherent conversation with me before I’ve had coffee, a shower, or both can attest to how slowly I wake up. And oh, how I ever hate the blaring of an alarm clock.
It’s not that the alarm doesn’t wake me up. It’s that it DOES. I can’t sleep through something like that. I am a long-time snooze button master, though. I rarely turn off the alarm and go back to sleep (mostly, I don’t let myself turn it off until I’m sitting up), but I will snooze it forever. And ever.
I’ve tried a lot of tricks to make it easier to wake up. Some years back, my mom gave me a “progressive alarm clock” (from a Christmas wish list). It looks somewhat like a Dalek, but rather than EXTERMINATE, it ALARMINATES. It has settings for the usual buzzer-type alarm, but it also has various nature sounds and offset timing, so you can set it to start playing birds chirping first and then blare a buzzer fifteen minutes later. It also has a light built into it, and another setting will turn the light on a half-hour before the buzzer, starting at dim and gradually increasing in intensity. (There are settings for aromatherapy and to put you to sleep at night, too, but I haven’t used those.)
So for a while, I had my alarm clock set for a light to come on first, then songbirds, and finally the alarm. It worked for a while, too, especially in the winter when I’m waking up in the dark. But then I stopped noticing the light and the nature sounds, so I was back to the alarm blaring me awake. And snoozing it forever.
At the moment, I’m using two alarms on my phone. The first one is set to a soothing melody, at a volume loud enough to rouse me but not to blast me out from under the covers. I usually snooze my way through that one, but at least my brain is waking up. The second alarm, which goes off a half-hour later than the first, is set to something louder; at the moment, it’s a line from Spaceballs. (“I knew it! I’m surrounded by assholes!”) I change the tones occasionally so I don’t get too used to them.
Does any of this make it any easier for me to get up? Nope. The only time I ever wake up easily is when I can sleep until I wake up on my own. And that usually means sleeping until at least 9 a.m., so I only get that chance on weekend and holidays. But I’m waking up when I need to wake up, and as long as I have a day job, that’s going to be a requirement.
What I’ve started having trouble with more recently is making myself go to bed at night. You’d think since I clearly love to sleep that I wouldn’t have to force myself to do it. But alas, here I sit late into most evenings, unable to tear myself away to go burrow under the covers. I’m shooting myself in the foot every time, because the later I’m awake, the less sleep I’ll have by the time my medley of alarms wakes me. But my friends are in my computer! And they’re all saying such fun, interesting things! And if I go to bed, I’ll miss it!
In truth, it really doesn’t make that much difference. If I go to bed at 10, I tend to wake up at 5, unable to go back to sleep. If I stay up until midnight, I want to kill my alarm when it goes off. Either way, I end up sucking down coffee to get my brain in gear so I can actually, y’know, function.
I think the harsh truth here is that I’m never going to wake up easily, no matter what alarms I set or what time I go to bed at night. I’m just going to have to be an adult and deal with it.
At least until I win the lottery and can sleep whenever I want. ;)
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net