How to get rid of sleep-o-holism?
I went to sleep last night around 1 o'clock, had the alarm ringing at 9, woke up to it feeling awake and energetic, but I continued the worst of my habits again, shutting the alarm and starting to lay again in the bed for "just a few minutes as being in bed in the morning feels so unbelieveably nice and comfortable" and falling back to sleep until rising up at maybe 13:30(1:30pm)! :mad:
And this happens very often, it is rather a rule than an exception on the "free" days when I don't have to go to work early in the morning. Sleeping like 12-13 hours a day, what an unbelieveble amount of time it consumes, and what a frustration it creates. But still, the temptation of going back to bed after the alarm has gone off is strong almost every morning. The dreams in the late morning hours are often very vivid and "nice", making me want to stay in the dream world.
The oversleeping seems to happen often if I write down or otherwise just decide many (often even interesting) things that I'm "going" to do the next day. My subconscious or something sabotages my day by preventing me from achieving those minor everyday goals because I'm sleeping. Maybe my subconscious is just afraid of the possible discomfort of doing things? Although I can consciously perceive that being unproductive and wasting time creates a lot deeper discomfort!
Last summer I tried practicing getting out of bed many times in sequence beforehand like Steve Pavlina advised in one of his blog entries, and that helped me getting out of the bed better, but I think that's not the problem, the problem is after I've gotten out of bed and shutted the alarm. How to get the mind working, motivated and to see the whole picture of my life, instead of seeing going back to sleep as the most "optimal" solution? Any ideas on getting motivated immediately after rising up? And any other sleep-o-holists online? :D
I am in the same position.... this morning I woke up and subconciously wanted to continue my dream, even though I would counciously rather been awake doing my daily tasks..
stop fighting it
Learn to accept yourself including your sleep habit, before you try to change it.:)
Some more pragmatic advice would be to try setting your alarm clock so that you are woken up after approx. 6 hours sleep. Without getting into the details of sleep patterns, there are certain "optimal" times during when you sleep to awaken. These are periods when you are sleeping less deeply. If you wake up in that period you'll feel bright and alert.
Another practical solution is to put your alarm clock across the room and force yourself to get out of bed to turn it off.
I'm a big believer in not using an alarm to wake up. The body will naturally wake when it's done. What happens if you go to bed when you're tired and wake up when you're done sleeping? I find I get the best rest when I just listen to my body.
Have you read Steve's How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off?
Beat me to it Baltar :P
I used to have a very similar problem. I drove my college roomates mad by hitting the snooze alarm 10-20 times before actually dragging myself out of bed. I never ate breakfast and made sure that I never had any classes before 10 AM. Then, I made a conscious decision to quit that habit, and rather than hit the snooze alarm, I turned on the radio to NPR and listened to Morning Adition for an hour or so. I still didn't eat breakfast or schedule early morning classes. After college, I spent about a year on 'sun time', not relying on clocks whatsoever. As there was a skylight immediately above my bed, I got up shortly after dawn. The only heat was a woodstove so winter temperatures were an added incentive to get up and get the fire going. After I joined the Navy, I never had any problems getting up in the morning. It could be because when I was in boot camp, I had to get up when I was told to. If I didn't, the concequences were too horrible to contemplate. Since then, I allways got up at the first ring of the clock, or sometimes just before. Basicly, if I know that I have to do something at a certain time, I get up for it. Since I have to be at work by six, I get up at four. If I didn't have to work the schedule I did now, I wouldn't be crazy enough to get up as early as I do. I'm not sure how you will be able to apply any of this to your situation.
YES Erin is so right-- the easiest and most natural way is to let your body wake when it's ready. Your body has a natural rhythm that will get you out of bed and make you wide awake and bright eyed and busy tailed in the morning.
When everything is on track, sleep, diet, exercise, there's a natural super energizing rush that I get in the morning as soon as I wake up.. the positive one (not that panicky one that comes if I ever have to use an alarm)!
(that also solves the problem of incomplete dreams. tropicality, your subconsious is probably 'right' in wanting to continue your dream. I find it very disruptive to ever have 'incomplete' dreams, if I ever have to wake before the dream cycle is over-- it's like the universe wants to complete its transmission to your brain, and you want to get the whole story, before you wake up... it's very important to get the whole message! :))
the problem is that when you have either school or a job outside of home, you often have to wake up at set times instead of when your body wants to.
I have noticed though that when I have to wake up early, I almost always wake up about 5 minutes before my clock goes off, which is kind of spooky. It's the days when I don't have to get up early that I also fall into this alarm snooze ritual.
I used to have my alarm play podcasts on my computer (using alarm software), but I would often fall asleep while they were playing.
are you a morning or evening person? Finding out which you are, and sleeping at the right times can make a huge difference.
Another thing to consider: diet and exercise also play major roles in the amount you sleep. On a day without caffeine, and a trip to the gym, you'll sleep deeply and feel ready to wake up much earlier.
yeah the caffeine definitely hampers it. I quit drinking so much coffee but I still drink a lot of black tea. The days when I drink less caffeine or none at all there is a marked improvement in sleep patterns.
I'd consider myself a night person but I have noticed that when I do wake up earlier I have more focused energy. My night energy is abundant but very unfocused (I am currently browsing these forums instead of working on a school paper, go figure).
With the tea, it may be worth trying a few decaf varieties. I'm still looking for one I like (my drug of choice is actually high-caffeine green tea), but it may help. Oh, if you find a good one, let me know.
You should check out rooibos tea. It's red tea from south africa. It has no caffeine. It has a distinct taste but it tastes like something in the realm of black tea and it goes well with milk and suger. It's my favorite non-caffeinated tea.
I used to have really bizarre dreams when I drank caf tea a few hours before bed. I've found that organic decaf green tea works wonders for me now.
Thanks guys. To avoid hijacking this thread with a discussion of caffeine-free teas, I started a new one.
How to wake up, get up, and STAY up: Part 1
My experiences with sleep
I can relate to your plight, Vektor. My sleeping patterns aren't as good as I'd like them to be, and while I can get up early if I whip out some discipline, it's not very sustainable and I eventually end up slipping up at some point. I find that since my body doesn’t adapt fast enough to a new sleep schedule, I end up not getting quite enough sleep and accumulating what some refer to as a "sleep debt", which basically means you end up feeling like you need to catch up on sleep because you're not getting enough (to learn more, check out the Sleep Debt article on Wikipedia).
Although, like you, while I originally thought that it was the methods I was using that were failing me, after I tried Steve's methods and failed, methods that made so much sense and had reportedly helped so many people, I decided take a few steps back and look at the "problem" from a different perspective.
Steve to the rescue - A possible solution to your problem
Suffice to say that after some analysis, I found that the reason I did not succeed in becoming an early riser was because again, like you, I failed to wake up and stay up. No matter how much (or how little) sleep I got, going back to my warm and cosy bead was always the more appealing option.
And that's when I realised that waking up and staying up had nothing to do with the "how", but everything to do with the "why" - the reason you were getting up in the first place. My main motivation for getting up early was so that I'd spend less time lying unconscious in bed and more time actually being productive. But when I had to choose between productivity and sleep in my warm, cosy bed, to my chagrin, I chose sleep.
I noticed that the only time I got up and stayed up was when I either really wanted to, or when I had to. I found that while motivation may seem like the most important factor, it's only part of it. Without some sort of goal in mind - a goal that you deem both consciously and subconsciously worthy and is not victim to internal resistance - motivation means squat.
To further illustrate my point, I'd like to share a quote from Steve's article, What's Your Motivation Threshhold?. It's actually a violation of Copyright to quote this much from an article, but since these forums are part of Steve's website, I hope Steve will allow it:
The real source of motivation
To be useful, your motivation must be channelled appropriately, and furthermore, you must realise that motivation, as with happiness, is available to you regardless of your external circumstances. Thinking that external circumstances motivate you is merely an illusion of the mind and is the product of troublesome attachment to outcomes and external circumstances—both things (depending on your beliefs) you have little control over. Ultimately you can only control your efforts, not your exact outcomes, so instead of using an outside-in approach (relying on external circumstances to motivate you), I've found it far more effective to use an inside-out approach (learning to feel motivated regardless of circumstances). That said, I must admit this hasn't been, nor does it continue to be easy, but like many things in life, it's not so much something you master and be done with, it's something you constantly have to maintain. The good news is that with practice it does become easier, and despite the initial difficulty, the results are worth it.
Of course, it's not impossible for external circumstances to motivate you even when using an inside-out approach, but circumstances are not the key ingredient here—you are. Once you no longer need external circumstances to motivate you, circumstances that can change and/or become undesirable with little to no intervention on your part, you’ll be liberated of your need for them and they'll only add fuel to the already existing fire.
(This post is continued below...)
How to wake up, get up, and STAY up: Part 2
(…continued from the above post.)
That's all well and good, but why am I still not feeling motivated? How can I get motivated?
If you are not motivated to do something it is often for a good reason. Most people will probably tell you it's because you lack discipline, and while that is a possibility, discipline will only get you so far. Supreme discipline that allows you to complete task after task with near flawless precision may work well for machines—objects that have no feeling or emotion—but there are other factors to consider when it comes to a human being.
Usually the reason you find it difficult to motivate yourself is because you have some sort of internal resistance—some sort of blockage that is (consciously or subconsciously) holding you back, and until you identify this blockage, the path to your goal seem frustrating and difficult instead of smooth and enjoyable.
Anyway, because this post has already gone on too long, this is where I leave you in the capable hands of Steve, an accomplished early riser. If you'd like to explore the topic of motivation further (and I really think you should if you'd like to solve your sleep issue), here are some articles I recommend:
Note: All links open in a new window.
Additionally, here are some semi-related articles that you may find useful with your sleeping issue. They're good articles, but maybe not all that useful for your issue, depending on some factors. I'd suggest reading the articles I listed above before you read these ones, and if they don't help, then see if these help:
Getting up early is hard but achievable
Can I reccomend a shower as soon as you get up, just practice staggering into the shower a few times, getting washed, etc. By the time your done you'll have been up for 20minutes or so, so hopefully out of the danger zone, be soaking wet so you wont want to return to bed and also you'll smell nice for the day ahead
Hope this helps
The only thing that ever worked for me was practicing getting up with my alarm every night before bed, and sticking to a strict workout schedule first thing after I got up. I don't have very good willpower, so momentum was the only thing that kept me from getting back beneath the covers.
I can really relate.
I'm one of those people who can lay down and sleep at any time, for any amount of time. I feel blessed that I'm not one of those who struggles with insomnia. But at the same time, yeah, it can cause productivity issues.
The alarm clock across the room does nothing for me, I get up to turn it off, and then race back to my bed and dive into it for more snooze time. Aaaaaah.
I find I have less difficulty waking up in the morning if I've eaten really well the day before-- enough calories, enough protein, balanced proportions of food, etc. So that's my only piece of advice, pay attention to your food intake and see if it helps any. For me it at least cut down on the hours of sleep I find I need to wake up feeling refreshed (now I'm pretty much at 8 hours).
And my only other advice is, if you can't cure it, at least enjoy the luxury of having a schedule that lets you sleep in while it lasts!
My diet is definitely a huge factor in my sleeping patterns as well. When I eat well the day before, I can get up much quicker and feel much more energetic.
This is insane because I'm a huge night person - I love sleeping in and snuggling with my cats. However, today I woke up naturally at 4:30am. Usually I'd blissfully fall back to sleep, but this time I forced myself up and did some yoga stretches. So far, two hours later, I feel really good and have gotten some things accomplished. :)
A quick workout and shower in the morning works for me....well at least it's worked for the past 2 days, I just started my 30 day challenge of waking up at 7:00 a.m. :eek: . Visualizing yourself waking up and doing the things you want to do for the next day could help too. Good luck with staying up!
I believe the best way is to keep on changing the location of your alarm clock. Changing the sound of the the alarm also works well. :D
"These are periods when you are sleeping less deeply. If you wake up in that period you'll feel bright and alert." Good advice! Experiment with that.
But a solution that solves more than this problem is:
-Never eat heavy meals 4-6 hours before sleeping, drink tea, water or juice only.
-Eat 2 times a day, & juice-fast at weekends (then you get a taste of the wonderful energy & decrease of sleep colorie-restriction can give you).
-Relax completly 3-5 times for 10 minutes each day, letting go of all worries!
Relax by focusing at the tension in your body part-by-part.
Do this after aerobic exercise, & you will feel the effects of exercise really good!
& further improvement is to do deep, complete diaphragm breathing before & after the exercise.
Don't drink coffee -- drink tea with lots of cayenne in it! It's good for your circulation both short & long term (I think, all I feel is that it's great short-term).
It's easy to end the coffee addiction if you take small doses throughout the day (to avoid headache by replacing it with tea).
I slept constantly until my 20's. What a waste. But at that time, I was allergic to over 27 foods and didn't know it yet.
Most people only need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep to be fully rested, I have found as soon as the alarm rings get up and start a program with 15-20 minutes of exercises, 15 minutes of reading over your goals and affirmations, make a list "I am so happy and grateful now that.... and list 5-10 things.
After doing the exercise and reading your goals you should look forward to getting on with your day to accomplish your goals.
Have a great day
But my first reaction was grinning and thinking
"Jesus, what a busy morning just to hide frustrating thoughts. Look where globalization, feminism and television have led us." :p :D
Couldn't resist ;)
Erin, there have been periods of time in my life when I've been able to do what you suggest - sleep until my body is done, as you say. If I did that, I'd sleep about 18 hours a day, in two phases. I'd only be awake for about three hours during business hours. It's just not feasible. I don't know why I need so much sleep now - any one of several chronic illnesses I have could be the reason. Years ago, I slept from two to four hours a night, and could sometimes skip it altogether (although I paid for it). I would love to have that smaller sleep requirement again.
My natural pattern is biphasic, I guess - when I'm not taking stimulant medications (and even most days when I am), I fall asleep sometime between 2 and 4 pm every day - no matter how much I slept the night before, no matter how interested I am in what I'm doing, no matter how much I exercise, etc. I sleep about three hours, if someone/something doesn't wake me up, although most of the time several someones/somethings do - taking a nap seems to send out a universal beacon "Call Jeni! Right now!" or "Go knock on that door over there; it doesn't matter why." lol :) My conscious mind (the ambitious part of me) wants to "get away with" sleeping three hours a night (total) and spend the rest of my time being productive and connecting with people, but that's not going to happen. My body wants to sleep forever. So we compromise: I give my body half of the sleep it wants (which is still more than twice as much as I want to give it). I go to bed at the first yawn at night, and at 2 or 3 pm for a nap. I get up at the same time every day. I'm still searching for a better way, because I believe that sleeping ten hours a day is a horrible waste of time (and the 18-20 hours my body wants most days is just insane). That searching is how I found this forum. LOL And it's naptime.
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