The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Waking up is hard to do

An appeal to readers - what are your tricks for waking up when really tired?

I'm struggling to get out of bed in the mornings lately, and feel like I may have to resort to keeping my eyelids open with toothpicks.

Help me avoid that icky eventuality, please!

(Pic Via)

22 comments:

llew said...

Uppers.

Idiot/Savant said...

Get up later.

Works for me, except when the neighbours decide to play with a woodchipper. And they weren't even feeding it corpses...

Bren said...

Hot bread! I put the breadmaker on overnight. Set it to finish when I wake up. The smell goes into my room and I just wanna eat it...

che tibby said...

i have a bit of a problem with insomnia, so i use set up/down times to ensure i sleep.

maybe you could try forcing yourself to get out of bed every day at exactly the same time. might mean that your body is trained to response to wake-up time more.

i've heard it's a good response to cfs-type hassles as well (but don;t quote me on it)

Cheezy said...

I generally get out of bed at 5.45am most mornings. Set the alarm to very loud and, as soon as you hear it, swing your legs out of bed and get on your feet... boil the water for your morning coffee, and then make sure you're in the shower (a hot one, no need to be silly) within about 15 seconds. Pour coffee and get it down you before (or as) you dress.

If I don't do all of that, and think "just 5 more minutes" when I'm shutting the alarm up, then I'm generally asleep until about 9...

Anonymous said...

A mish-mash of ease-into-it, force it, and somewhat tricksy(hopefully not patronising) ideas:

Alarm clock on other side of room, so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off, or to hit snooze for that matter.

Keep room warm overnight with small panel heater on low, so not too unpleasant to crawl out from under covers, or turn heat on at same time as leaving bed briefly to hit snooze on clock.

Stretch, consciously and deliberately, to some length (in bed)... like those relaxation stretches one can use to ease into meditation where you consciously tense and release muscles throughout body, in turn. Can be a wakening thing, too.

If free feeding cat, stop doing this so that cat will wake you when dawn chorus begins? Or get dog who sleeps with you and will require letting out/feeding at roughly same time each day... will likely whine some if too long between first stir of human and human rising.

Change environment in some way, large or small... rearrange some furniture, find large cheap piece of interesting fabric to hang on wall or drape somewhere that will please you, burn oils or incense so new pleasant scents in room or throughout house... create something (large floral arrangement or wild but cheap piece of art) that your mind will want to oblige your eyes to gaze upon first thing, at least until the novelty wears off.

Allow self plenty of time to wake up, once up. Try getting up a little earlier in other words, to make time to luxuriate into best impression of wakefulness in some way (read book or pleasant blog(s) briefly, spend time stroking or playing with cat(if cat will oblige), stare out window at most pleasant vista available while sipping coffe/tea) before getting on with business of day (showering, dressing, leaving house) - may necessitate retiring earlier of an evening, but may be worth it.

If S.A.D.ish at all, maybe one of those lightboxes might help - request as potentially life-changing gift if necessary.

If by some chance you don't *have* to get up, then don't! Try going with it, if and when you can. That may help some, seeing as strict routine does not always work well for everyone in all situations, all the time.

Deborah said...

Small children.

Works every time. You won't sleep in past 6am for at least 5 years.

Sam said...

Go to bed earlier. If you're having trouble getting to sleep, try excercising a few hours before. Don't drink coffee. Have a really loud alarm that must be turned off from the other side of the room. Have a heater on timer so your room is warm when you wake up.

Apathy Jack said...

Friend of mine has this new Hippylight(tm) (actual name pending until I ask her). It switches on about half an hour before the alarm is ready to go off, then slowly - at the same pace as a natural dawn - increases the light level in the room from none to quite a bi. But the time the alarm goes off, your body is already waking itself up.

Want me to find out the name of the thing?

Mrs Smith said...

Slimfast (with BZP). God help me now they are banned. Once my current supply runs out, I may never get out of bed again.

Idiot/Savant said...

Cats. There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast...

Asher said...

I'm gonna have to agree with the cat/dog comment here - a pissed off/hungry animal will make sure you don't get back to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Sex. Worked for me this morning!

Cathi said...

Various anonymousers have said what I was going to say, but I shall say it again anyway, with my own bits:

Alarm out of reach. Very important. Impossible without this. I manage with an electric one but some advocate getting a clockwork one much like your image on this post, and putting it in a metal saucepan so that it makes one hell of a racket. There are some very nice Zen ones that have a subtle ring that builds up gradually, you could integrate this solution with the light mentioned above.

Warmish room to get up into. Helps if the bathroom and kitchen aren't frosty-breath cold too.

Plan a nice breakfast. Knowing you're getting up to fresh bread, gorgeous fruits, yummy meats (my favourite enticer, there's some German in me somewhere), great coffee, fresh juice - whatever is a treat for you, basically - gives you a bit of motivation at a vulnerable time

Having another living thing that is insistent will work better than an alarm, provided you are the only option for that sentient being. My partner and I had a daily battle of wills as to who would hold out the longest while the beloved moggies were screaming the house down. If you are the only adult in the house, it never fails. Child, animal, lover, charity collector at the door - take your pick. (NB problem with cats with cat-doors - they go elsewhere if you don't get up in time)

If you go to the loo first thing, don't go back to the bedroom straight away. Put the kettle on, check your email, do anything for 5 mins. When you do eventually go back to the bedroom, the bed won't be as inviting. (You guessed it, this is my downfall - going BACK TO BED when I should be up and about)

Tell yourself when you go to bed that you are getting up at [whatever time]. The action of setting the alarm does this, but tell yourself out loud as well. I wake up about 2 seconds before the alarm goes off most mornings.

Figure out why you're having trouble getting up and try and fix that - too little sleep? too cold? don't want to engage in life? avoiding something/someone?

I like the light idea, might check that out :)

Ghet said...

Heh, I must be weird... One thing I've found worked for me was setting the alarm for about twenty minutes EARLIER than I needed to get up, then hitting snooze twice. This makes me feel like I've greedily slept in.

I have a Canadian friend who suffers from hideous SAD and finds those light boxes really helpful. They're not cheap, but.

When I was at uni, I could get out of bed, walk across the room, turn the alarm off, and get back into bed without waking up. I wouldn't have believed it, but it was witnessed several times.

And as a CFS sufferer too, when you don't have to get out of bed, just don't. Get the extra sleep on the weekends. Our circadian rhythms tend to get seriously fecked up anyway.

exexpat said...

Eat more meat.

Joe Hendren said...

Weekdays, I have a habit of staying in bed too long listening to National Radio. Solution was obvious really - put a cheap radio in the shower room!

Sandy said...

Red bull, amphetamines and any other drug you could possibly think of.

Span said...

Wow, everyone, what a great array of suggestions! I've been trying a few of them - like Ghet I have the ability to walk fully across a room, turn off the alarm, get back into bed, without waking.

Interesting to see the endorsement of cat/dog related ideas. Sadly Mara likes to go out considerably earlier than I like to get up and as the other person with opposable thumbs who lives in my house is a lighter sleep than I she rarely wakes me before she has irritated him into obedience.

OK, I will report back soon on progress :-)

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