Don’t Be Alarmed – You'll Still Get Up on Time
The alarm clock isn’t a recent invention; there are mechanical alarm clocks dating back as far as 15th Century Europe. But, despite the fact that it is a very familiar and common part of daily life, me and my alarm clock could not get along. Each morning would begin with one of the following situations:
I wake up before my alarm and decide to turn it off while I rest for a couple more minutes. More often than not, I fall back to sleep and wake up later than I ever planned.
The alarm jolts me out of sleep and I start the day feeling groggy
The alarm goes off, followed by a series of snooze sessions until I give up and get out of bed.
Sound familiar? Tired of being tired, I decided to break up with my morning alarm.
On the first night I went to bed at my usual time, around 11.00 pm, without the alarm set and woke up just before the time I wanted. But after a couple of days, the waking time and my optimism started to sleep. And even though even though I was waking within a half hour of the time I wanted, I was starting to feel groggy. What was the problem? Was it not the alarm, but me?
I flipped focus to bed time and found that when I went to bed even 10 minutes later than my usual time, it was followed by a groggy morning. Knowing I will never go to bed at exactly the same time each night, I began to aim for around 10.30 pm and this changed everything. On the nights I went to bed on time and fell asleep easily, I had bonus time the next morning. If my bedtime routine wasn’t as smooth, this buffer meant that I still woke at the right time and didn’t feel rushed. Within a couple of weeks, I had forgotten what life was like with a morning alarm.
It was during this time that I began to understand why past attempts to get up for a 6.00 am were never successful. My clock and my sleep needs just don’t fit with that lifestyle. Each of us have our own internal clock and need to listen to it. The other thing that changed is that I stopped planning any critical work into the first 30 minutes of my day. More the 99% of the time I am alert and ready to go as planned. But I’ve welcomed this allowance of the occasions that the day gets off to a slower start, for whatever reason.
What have I learned?
The day will begin with or without an alarm clock.
Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep or follows the same body clock.
Being kind to yourself by allowing a buffer both at night and in the morning works wonders.
I get on much better with my alarm now that I only use it when I do need to get up at 6.00 a.m. or earlier and my usual morning routine is more in sync with what I need.
Are you ready to break up with your morning alarm?