Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jumping Out of Bed Without Killing the Alarm

Bill writes about Wasilla. His blog is an interesting read. In his casual photos and his quiet voice (is a keyboard quiet?) he makes me feel leisurely, as if time has slowed down a bit. That's nice, you know. Life should not be frantic and frenetic.

In yesterday's post, he commented that he had gotten up late (which, by the way, he says is not his usual mode) and asked "How do you do that? How do you leap out of bed in the morning?" His post was about many other things, of course, but his question reminded me of my working days and how I got rid of that much-hated alarm clock every workday morning and still made it to work on time.

So to repeat Bill's question..."How do you do that? How do you leap out of bed in the morning?"

And my response:

Long ago, in my working days, I hated alarm clocks. Their noise always sent the adrenaline rushing and I would jump out of bed, mad as all get-out that I had to "get out" of bed. The thing I wanted to do most was to pounce on that alarm clock and toss it against the far wall. Smash it to smithereens. Which I couldn't do, of course, unless I wanted to buy a new alarm clock for the next day.

Then I taught myself to awaken at a given time without an alarm. At bedtime before drifting off to sleep I would imagine a clock with the present time, putting a clock "picture" in my head. Then I would imagine the clock at my "get up" time. And I would tell myself, "I will get up at 6:30." Or whichever time I needed to arise from bed. I became very good at awakening at the exact time and in a good mood. No angry adrenaline punch in the gut, so to speak. I could do it noon hours, too. Come home, eat a sandwich, lie down and take a 20-minute nap and awaken at the precise minute I wished to awaken. There is a trick, however. You MUST get up the moment your eyes pop open OR you will go back to sleep and OVERSLEEP! No second chances! If you allow yourself to go back to sleep, you lose the ability to time your wakeup.

The only time during those years that I used an alarm was for something of great import (more important than getting to work) such as catching a plane next morning. Then I used the alarm for backup but still usually arose at the pre-determined time.

Even though I am retired, I still do this when lying down for a nap. For if I do not "decide" to get up within a half hour, I will sleep away two hours. And sometimes I do. But I can will myself to awaken at 30 minutes if I wish. And I find that I am much more refreshed after 30 minutes than after a 2-hour nap.

Try it. See if you can do it.



Debby said...

I can do this too. But I don't depend on myself. I still set the alarm, but usually can shut it off before it buzzes.

Kelly said...

My younger daughter is ususally able to do this, too.

I often wake up right before my alarm, but would never trust it enough not to set one.