I have always been the ‘early to bed’ type of person and my day mostly ends by ten thirty in the evening. But the ‘waking up early’ part was not as ‘strict’ as going to sleep part. I have always struggled to wake up at the sound of the alarm, which I always set without fail. It was either me hitting the dismiss button or it going completely unheard, only to be reminded about, at breakfast by my wife .
I have noticed that it’s not that waking up in the morning that is a problem. Waking up from bed at any time of the day is a problem and we all tend to lie down for a few more minutes. Further reading about these on the Internet I came up with some strategies to help me wake up to an alarm. I have been following this for couple of months and its been working out for me, most of the time.
Plan: Plan your activities to be done after waking up, before going to sleep the day before. ‘Not having anything to do’, is one of the main reasons that keeps us from waking up. So plan ahead for it and find activities like reading, writing , working out, anything that you like. But have a plan!
Jump out: Don’t let your brain rationalize on your plan at the sound of the alarm. The decision to wake up has already been made the night before and you have a plan at hand, so just jump out of bed. The more you think, the more likely it is to doze off.
Multiple alarms: At the early stages of trying this out, you can have multiple alarms set at very close intervals, as close as one or two minutes. Have a couple of them at one, two, five, ten minutes interval.(If somebody else shares the room with you make sure they don’t mind this, for a couple of days till you find the rhythm.)
Alarm tone: Change the alarm tone frequently so that your brain does not get used to it and ignore it all together. You could also try having the same tone as that of your phone ringer, which would make you think you have a call and wake up immediately.
Early dinner: Have your dinner at least two to three hours before you sleep. Going to sleep with a full stomach makes you more tired in the morning and increases the chances of you having to hit the snooze button.
Daily alarms: Set your alarm daily and delete of all that recurrent alarms set for the entire week. This would ensure that you plan for your day when you set the alarm. No plan, No alarm!
Sleep Cycle: Over a period of time, listen to your body and understand how much sleep you require and adjust your timings accordingly. Too little or too much of sleep is bad.
Smart Alarms: There are mobile applications today that come up with puzzle based alarms, you would have to solve the puzzle to turn of the alarm. You could try one of those if needed(I had not used any though).
These tips have really helped me to wake up to an alarm and be an early riser too. The feeling of starting the day as you wished for is great and stays throughout the day, helping you to do more and staying organized. Hope you find this useful and do let know if any other tricks has helped you to wake up to an alarm.