Wait, what?

It may be too soon to actually label myself as an early riser, but after struggling in vain for so long to figure out a way to get out of bed in the mornings and ignore that snooze button, I’ve hit on something that works for me.

I tried the multiple alarm approach, I tried different alarms, I tried one of the wake-up lights; none of it seemed to work.  I would roll over, hit whatever alarm it was to shut it up, and stay in bed.  No matter how much I wanted to get up, no matter how much I knew I would have a better day if I just got up when the alarm went off, it didn’t work.

Not too long ago I had to start giving my cat, Reki, medicine every twelve hours.  So I decided 6am and 6pm would be the best, timing wise.  This was going to work!  If I had to get up to give my cat medicine, which involved getting out of bed, going into the kitchen to prepare her pill and give it to her, then I could certainly stay up.  At least one would think.  

What actually happened was that I did all of the above, and then crawled right back into my bed.  I often found that when my alarm went off at 6 it would yank me out of a dream, leaving me feeling groggy and disoriented.  Those mornings were the worst and I struggled to function.  

So I decided to set an alarm with the radio to go off a few minutes after the alarm did. Maybe hearing the talking of the morning show would help me stay awake.  Only that didn’t work either.  I still crawled back in bed and then dozed or fell back to sleep anyway.

Getting fed up with being pulled out of dreams,  I looked up some info on sleep cycles. Generally they’re 90 minutes, so the recommended amount of sleep is not 8 hours.  It’s usually 7 ½ or 9.  And looking back I found that if I hit the 7 ½ naturally I usually felt much better that day (I tracked my sleep with a fitbit – not perfect, but good enough).  I tend to go to bed about the same time each night (10pm), and it was a good time for trying to get out of bed at 6am, according to the sleep cycles and all that.  However it still wasn’t working.  So I decided to change the time my alarm was set.  I bumped it up to 6:15 to see if that might be better.  The vet had told me the 12 hour difference for Reki’s meds didn’t need to be exact, so why not give it a try.

And it worked!  Except the reason that it worked was because I forgot about the alarm set for the radio to go off.  So the morning after I changed the main alarm, my radio went off at 6:05.  And the sounds of people talking mixed in with the music pulled me gently out of sleep.  The main alarm went off at 6:15 and by that time I was pretty much already awake.  So I got up, gave the cat her medicine, and then decided to play on the computer for a bit since I didn’t have to rush to get ready. I actually had extra time!

This method has worked for two weeks now, and I’m rather proud of myself.  In addition to getting up early and just feeling better throughout the day, I’ve also started back into doing my Duolingo lessons for French.  And I usually get cuddle time with Reki in the mornings too, as she will curl up in my lap while I’m sitting at the computer.  A win for me and the cat!