I find that I often wake up at a decent time, but don't get out of bed immediately. This results in me falling asleep again for another hour. This process might repeat itself once or twice, resulting in anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of extra unnecessary sleep, when I could've been getting things done.
This doesn't happen if I need to wake up to be somewhere - it's only because I have a flexible schedule.
How can one break this habit?
- 34 replies
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- EEugenio Perea 2017-09-18 07:47:56.851Z2017-09-18 09:52:08.937Z
After reading this article by Steve Pavlina (his early stuff is really good) and experimenting a bit, I consistently wake up at 5 AM by programming only one task into my head: Get up from the bed and GO.
I forbid myself from having any other thoughts when I wake up, because I know I'll convince myself -with very strong, logical and solid arguments- to go back to sleep, and then I'll wake up 90 minutes later, having failed, and angry at myself. I'll just silently repeat "Get up and go, get up and go, get up and go." until I'm safe.
So, the alarm goes off, I turn it off, I get up and I walk out of the room. All within ten seconds. My workout clothes and keys are waiting by the front door, so by the time I'm changing I'm already into the groove. Only then can I finally allow myself to think about other things (the workout itself, Facebook, family stuff, etc.) because there is no risk of me going back.
Details (by @KajMagnus) from Pavlina's How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off:
Repeat this exercise a few times a day, until bouncing-up becomes a reflex whenever you hear your alarm clock:
Go to your bedroom, ... darken the room ... put on your pajamas. ... Set your alarm for a few minutes ahead. Lie down ... close your eyes ... Imagine it’s early in the morning ... zone out
Now when your alarm goes off, turn it off as fast as you can. ... sit up ... stand up ... proceed to do the very next action you’d like to do upon waking. For me it’s getting dressed.
This exercise is going to take half an hour? each day during a week (?). But throughout the rest of the year, you might save 9 x 40-hours working weeks (assuming you otherwise oversleep 1 hour each day).
This article helped me as well. One of his suggestions seems crazy, but it works. Actually practice getting out of bed the night before so you'll do it as soon as you wake up. You want it to be automatic.
Pavlina has an even more relevant (though very strange) article: How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off. He recommends practising getting out of bed immediately after the alarm going off, including doing this practice in broad daylight when you're not actually asleep. He says "This is going to sound really stupid, but it works."
I sleep for 6 hours at night, from 23:00 to 05:00, in accordance to the 90-minute increments sleep advice that's all over the web. I also take a 20 minute nap after lunch. It works for me, but it does take some control of your schedule.
Excellent article. I haven't tried this yet, but one thing I thought of is not allowing myself to use the snooze at all (possibly getting an alarm without one). So, when the alarm goes off go through the motions that he describes to wake up your body, all the while the alarm is beeping prompting you to wake up already. I also like the idea of planning to do something you really want to do. I usually shower first thing in the morning, but I don't really enjoy showering that much, so I'll have to think of something else.
Many thanks for the article link. It sounds practical and may work for me. I have been searching for a solution since so many days and this site has helped me get one good answer which is tried by many.
Unfortunately for me, the advice in the article worked. However, I would only advice it to people who can get to bed early enough most of the time. It turned out to be very difficult to undo the automatic wake up if you want to, eg because you need more sleep.
Read this quite a while ago...I think this blog was also where I first learned about multi-phasic sleeping.
+1 Works for me! In fact, it's the only thing that works.
I had read Pavlina's articles before but they didn't help me. However your approach to crowd the mind with Get up and go, get up and go, get up and go seems effective (for me). I'll report back in a month in case it works. Everything else has failed me so far.
- T2The StackExchange Community 2017-09-18 07:54:56.328Z
This is what I do almost every single day:
Waking up refreshed is the best way to combat oversleeping, because you won't actually go back to bed and sleep
Look forward to the morning
Make a scrumptious breakfast or submit an answer on StackExchange, and look forward to all the rep you will gain (heheheh)
Use 2 Alarms
Place one really far away from you and another one nearer to you. This will prevent you from subconsciously snoozing your alarm clock.
Use someone's help
Get someone to do something to you (etc. splash some water onto your face, using a bright torchlight and shining at at your face)
Have an iPhone/Android Phone?
Try using [Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock] (iOS, $0.99) or [Smart Alarm Clock] (Android, donationware). The makers claim that they will wake you at your lightest point of sleep bla bla bla, but there are quite a few rave reviews about them.
Don't close your curtains
The sun can wake you up. But if you are paranoid about your privacy, then don't do it.
Make sure it is quiet
Sleep in a quiet area and close your windows. You wouldn't want to get waken up by some random hooligan shouting in the middle of the night waking you up.
**Move your clock 10 or 5 minutes forward **
This never failed me before. Waking up thinking that I would be late will always make me very awake. Put a clock (not alarm clock) somewhere where you can and set it so it would be 10-20 mins or more, and make sure you actually follow that timing.
No alcohol or sex before sleeping
Alcohol or sexual intercourse with an orgasm release endorphins which will make you too much relaxed thus making you want to sleep more. Instead you can have sexual intercourse during the day.
- RRenan 2017-09-18 07:50:27.160Z
I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I usually felt very tired in the morning and when I didn't have anything urgent to do I saw myself sleeping for too long.
3 weeks method
It's said if you want to estabilish a routine for yourself, 3 weeks is the minimum time you have to repeat a given habit in order to make it feel natural.
My sleeping problem was solved by using the 3 weeks method. The cellphone allarm was set to remind me I had to sleep everyday at 10pm in order to get the body used to it. For the first 2 weeks it was very hard to sleep at that time but after trying several methods of relaxation, I eventually felt drowzy when it was close to 10pm.
It feels great to use only a few minutes to fall asleep instead of roll over the bed for hours. I never thought it would be so easy to wake up in the morning like it was just a regular nap.
- HSome disagree with this:HedgeMage 2017-09-18 07:49:12.549Z
I find that in these situations I'm usually fine once I actually get up and moving. So, here's what works for me:
- I make sure to get enough, high-quality sleep.
- I eat protein before bed. (Waking up with low blood sugar is not a good experience.)
- I schedule something I really look forward to first thing in the morning so I feel deep down that there's a good reason not to stay snuggled in bed.
- I have a small child who invariably pounces if I'm not up early enough.
Protein has nothing to do with blood sugar - the only time protein starts getting converted for energy is when you've depleted fats and complex carbs. Proteins are not carbs. Protein might have an effect but I'm quite confident it wouldn't change blood sugar levels.
I have a small child who invariably pounces if I'm not up early enough— Seems like i too need one :D
I've also found that having something to look forward to gets me out everytime. Using that strategy I've been able to get out of bed, even if I haven't had enough sleep (though I wouldn't recommend skipping sleep for any reason).
Eating within two hours of going to bed is a horrible thing to do to yourself. By eating then laying down, you are just asking for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. Don't eat or drink anything within three hours of bedtime.
Any references to point to about protein before bed? I'm curious.
Is there any published research behind this protein before bed strategy?
- R2Robby Slaughter 2017-09-18 07:56:32.897Z
Have you tried accountability? Find a partner who wants to wake up at the same time, and agree to try and call each other as close to the hour as possible. (6:00am or 6:01am). You may want to continue these calls every 15 minutes until you are both committed to being up and running.
- TTodd Williamson 2017-09-18 07:51:41.065Z
Simple trick that works for me - put the alarm clock on the other side of the room, preferably in a high place. This forces me to get out of the warmth of the bed to turn the thing off. Getting up out of the bed also usually causes me to need to use the washroom. Once that starts going my brain kicks on somewhat. Having the snooze button RIGHT THERE is a dangerous temptation.
I found this works well for a while - but once I get used to it I can half-consciously turn it off and stumble back to bed! At that point I usually move it to another place in the room, and it works again for a while.
- BBlowski 2017-09-18 07:58:11.008Z
Snooze is your enemy! Disable the snooze function on your alarm clock and then you don't trust yourself to wake up again.
If you are able to wake up for specific things, then give yourself specific things to do - make appointments with friends, etc.
- Nnewuser 2017-09-18 07:59:24.821Z
One thing you could try is to plan an important task on the mornings when you think this might be a problem. For instance, if you have pets you could intentionally not feed them the night before you're afraid of sleeping in as an incentive to get out of bed the next morning.
If you're anything like me once you're up you're up for the rest of the day, it often just takes the initial willpower.
I completely agree with the last statement. I have found that having to meet with someone early in the morning or getting out for a run/bike ride usually helps. Alternatively just getting into a shower or having a glass of water have helped me get up and going.
- TTom Wijsman 2017-09-19 03:17:28.846Z
Here are some tips that could be of benefit to you:
If you can't get awake, you might not be catching enough sleep.
Get to bed earlier one or two hours earlier to see whether this helps you wake up more properly. Make sure you don't take in food the hour before you go to sleep as this can keep you awake in bed, also don't use your bed for other things than sleeping. Well, there is one exception... :)
Check whether you might have a light Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder and try to read up on it.
Check that your sleep environment is fine: Noise, temperature, light and your bed make a difference.
My nightly habit is to open up the valves of my roof windows to have fresh air during the night...
Get a proper alarm at a proper place
Set an alarm before you have to wake up and make it repeat every X minutes.
This will ensure that even if you fall asleep again the first time you will be awake when you have to, having it repeat will make sure that you don't sleep for another Y hours.
Place the alarm out of reach, so that you literally have to stand up and walk to it to turn it off.
Force yourself to get out of bed
Try to stay awake, perhaps set up some music and get busy. (Breakfast, coffee, ...)
You should be able to do this given that you can sleep earlier and well...
- AAlexD 2017-09-19 03:19:29.404Z
Hunger could help to bring yourself out of bed, so trick is to stop eating 12–16 hours before you want to be awake. Following excerpt from this article:
Researchers at Harvard Medical School
and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center in Boston have now pinpointed a
second clock that is set by the
availability of food. Their study,
published today in the journal
Science, is based on research on mice.
But they believe all mammals,
including humans, possess an internal
food clock, too.
Clifford Saper, the senior author of
the study, said this second clock
probably takes over when food is
scarce. It may have evolved to make
sure mammals don't go to sleep when
they should be foraging for food to
- SSaša Šijak 2017-09-19 03:27:05.569Z
I have an alarm set on my smartphone far away from may bed, so I must get out of bed to turn it of because I use annoying waking sounds. Also, with some apps you can set easy math problems that you need to solve in order to turn off the alarm, very effective!