Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Awakening in the Morning Doesn't Have to Be Torture

Read an article in the WSJ today about night owls and sleep patterns. It reminded me of how I got rid of the alarm clock and trained myself to awaken on time every time.

Alarm clocks don't work for me. Oh, yes, they DO wake me up. But it makes no difference whether they wake me with music, buzz, bells, or bugles. When they sound off at the preset time I am instantly awake and angry that the alarm has the audacity of breaking me early morning dream time and that I have to crawl out of bed when all I want is more sleep.

I tried different alarms but all brought about the same anger upon being awakened. To avoid having to hear that dratted contraption every morning, I taught myself to awaken myself. On time. Every time.

Upon going to bed and just before lying down to go to sleep I would visualize the face of a clock. First I would visualize the current time. Then I would visualize my waking time and tell myself "I will wake up at 6:00 o'clock." It took no more than a few tries and I became quite good at it and almost always awoke within a minute or two of my prescribed time. I could do the same at noon if I wanted a short 20-minute nap before going back to work. There was one caveat. If I thought I could snooze and catch a few more ZZZs, I would inevitably go into a deep sleep and not awaken for another hour.

As for the naps, short naps were refreshing. Even a mere ten minutes. If I napped longer than 30 minutes, I awoke extremely tired.

The only time I now use an alarm is if I have to arise at an extremely early hour (to catch a plane for instance). Then, and only then, do I use an alarm.

Happy dreams.

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