Question from a reader -
Awesome post! Do you have any advice regarding actually waking up? I’ve been struggling with this problem for a while now.
In the period between when the alarm goes off and me actually waking up, I’m a completely different person. I have mental battles like “I should get more sleep so I’m not as tired for my day *SNOOZE*, etc, *SNOOZE* etc, *SNOOZE* and when I actually wake up I beat myself up.
I set multiple alarms but my “other self” turns them all off.
Do you have any suggestions to overcome this problem?
There's no perfect advice, but the following all help:
*Set 3 or 4 alarms if you can (easy on an iPhone)
*Change the "tone" on your alarm somewhat regularly (every 3-6 months), if possible
*Have something you need to do immediately scheduled - like a phonecall or Skype call
*Have a morning routine you spring into right away
*Don't sleep in a room that's too cold
*Plan your next day the night before
*Get enough sleep in general
Cool stuff. Found you through DC.
"1) get into the habit of putting your feet on the floor and sitting up when you turn off the alarm- you’re 1/2 way there, continuing is easier."
Bang. This is as close as it gets to my experience.
I have hit snooze less than 10 times in the last 4 years.
I just get up the immediate instant my alarm goes off. You simply cannot pause.
The event that caused this was related to a shift-work job that had really begun to drain me. Like, completely tire me out.
One day I got up and was in a bad mood (as one always is after multiple snooze-hits) and then my sub-conscious just said to me "dude have a cry, other people have to go through so much shit and you're having a sook because you have to get out of bed a little early".
Since then haven't had a problem.
Hey Alexei I'm surprised that you've implemented this "method." I may have to give it a try. I listened to a program that talked about this. They called it the Ulysses Contract though. Here's a link to the program if you or anyone else is interested.
One of the stories is about a woman who said that if she ever smoked again then she would donate $500 to the KKK. She never smoked again.
Another is of Oliver Sacks who imposed a deadline on himself to finish his book or he would commit suicide.
I've conquered my bad snoozing habits a few months ago and have been very successful with not snoozing ever since.
Here it is (both parts are equally important)
1) Make sure your alarm is across the room, near your exit/door
2) When it goes off in the morning, stretch a bit in your bed, yawn, get up and turn it off.
3) Get out of the room IMMEDIATELY. I suggest using a small paper note that you leave right ON your alarm that says "Do not think. Get out of the room immediately."
Staying in your room will only make you go back to bed. Get out of the room WITHOUT thinking. Your brain is too fuzzy to be rational at that time. So, stretch, get up, shut it off, get out of the room immediately.
Simple enough, wasn't it! It works. Do not neglect the power of that little paper that reminds you of leaving the room NOW.
The solutions above are all based on changing one's environment (changing alarms, room temperature, etc) and, to a lesser extent, changing one's behavior (doing chores at night, springing out of bed). These may help, but without corresponding changes to one's beliefs won't solve the problem in the long term.
That is, no matter what one does with their alarm, anyone who believes "I've become a master snoozer" or "between when the alarm goes off and me actually waking up, I’m a completely different person" will overcome those environmental changes. Occasionally environmental or behavioral changes will change beliefs, but rarely. More commonly, beliefs will override environmental or belief changes.
Anyone can change their beliefs, though it takes practice. On the other hand, changing beliefs costs nothing and is completely under one's control.
I would recommend, along with the environmental and behavioral changes, adopting beliefs like
- "If anyone else can get up in the morning easily, so can I"
- "I'm the same capable person in the morning as any other time"
- "I used to be great at snoozing, but I can be just as great at waking up quickly"
- "early to bed early to rise helps make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise"
- or whatever works.
To stagnate in complacent, self-defeating beliefs is the opposite of improving your life.
I wrote about the shortcomings of only changing your environment to improve your life here -- http://joshuaspodek.com/not-the-method-method-1-new-house -- in the context of a series on shortcomings of other methods to improve your life -- http://joshuaspodek.com/not-the-method-methods.
This is all you need to know:
Basically, you practice waking up to your alarm, while you are still awake. I can verify that this works, and not just sort of, this will get you springing out of bed in the morning before your tired brain has a chance to even _think_ of hitting the snooze button.
a few suggestions that work for me:
1) get into the habit of putting your feet on the floor and sitting up when you turn off the alarm- you're 1/2 way there, continuing is easier
2) if you can, turn on a light as soon as your alarm goes off or get a circadian rhythm alarm clock with a light on it that simulates sunrise - I have one of these and the "alarm" never goes off - the light wakes me in the most gentle way imaginable
One thing that has helped me has been to do many of my morning chores at night. In my case, that means taking a shower at night and picking out my clothes for the next day the night before. I try to make it as easy as possible to hear the alarm, throw on my clothes, brush my teeth, and immediately walk out the door.
This is totally over-the-top nuts, which makes it a great advice :D Going to use for a lot of things, thanks for the link !!
Why shouldn't one sleep in the cold room? I found it more refreshing if temperature is about 17 degrees Celsius.
Tips are good, thanks!
I've had this problem for a long long time. I've become a master snoozer. Doesn't matter how many alarms I set, I could snooze/turn all of them off and still continue to sleep. One thing that you mentioned that does work very well:
*Have something you need to do immediately scheduled – like a phonecall or Skype call.
Any kind of interaction (or important thing) that you have to do (classes that you can skip don't count) as soon as you wake up will be a good motivator. However, anything that can be pushed back or postponed, will be, because your morning-self is not thinking straight. But this solution is hard to set up every day.
What I finally did was to follow this advice. I wrote up a contract with myself, where I could only get at most 9 hours of sleep each night. I added some more conditions and a few exceptions to make the contract a little flexible. I also put all my pride and future on the line. If I can't keep this contact, then I'll be forever a slave to my snoozing habits. I solemnly read it out loud, I signed it, I had it co-signed by a friend, and then I waged $1000 that I'll keep it. If I don't, this $1000 will go to a pro-life association (which I completely don't support). (I used stickk.com for this.)
Moral: if beating a habit really important to you, then treat it as really important. Don't be afraid to throw your heaviest tools at it.
I'm stealing sleep again! I love it!
Ah, yes, what's "stealing sleep"?
It's a dangerous but interesting strategy. It means having a hectic, busy schedule where you run on low sleep, and grab naps/short sleeps of between 20 minutes and 2-4 hours when you have a free chance.
I'm... not recommending it. But it can be a good time...
For me, at least, every time I sleep my mind kind of "resets" to some extent. Or something like that. Thus, for a short period of time (weeks, at most), I can get a lot more high level work out of myself when I'm on this kind of schedule.
1. How did I do?
Great. I did my morning rotune each day, adding in waking up at a particular time: 6:30.
2. What got in the way?
It was hard to get up right when my alarm went off in some days even when I had gotten enough sleep.
3. What can I do next week differently to remove those impediments?