If you have trouble waking up…

peanuts-sleep-inIn an ideal world, every day would be a time to relax!

But as we have touched on before, just how many ideal days have you had lately?

Probably about the same number as I’ve had too…

wakeupmachineThe harsh reality is that most people need a little encouragement to get going in the morning.

One of my former roommates was ex-military, so he had no trouble kicking me out of bed in the morning. It worked so well that eventually, I was waking up even earlier, and kicking him out of his bed every morning…!

So how do you get from wakee to waker? 🙂

Firstly, get some physical help. Get a reliable friend who will simply not allow you to sleep in! It helps if she has a sense of humour, to put up with you in the morning.

bucket-of-cold-waterThe most effective ways, by far, do not rely on fancy tricks like drugs (e.g. coffee – you still have to wake up first before you start drinking!).

Other “obvious” techniques do help, like going to bed early, and putting the alarm clock at a distance so you have to get up to silence it, but they are no match if your sleeping-in habit is stronger than you are. (I had to learn this the hard way.)

college-student-sleeping-in-class
A common campus sight

Frankly, the only long-term cure for morning laziness is to become desperate enough to want to succeed. Here, a stick works better than a carrot.

I’m not being judgmental against you, the reader; I myself slept through almost all the lectures for my entire first year of university… but I still succeeded. How? Because I was desperate enough to change my ways. And I studied in the meantime anyway.

shock-wake-up.gifSleeping in during school is bad enough, but worse when you’re on paid company time. If you risk carrying these habits into the working world… you won’t last long.

So it helps to spend some serious time visualizing the medium to long term consequences. Become scared (just a little bit), and stay scared.

Basically, your fear of failure has to become stronger than your desire to gain.

what-are-you-prepared-to-do
Is good sleep untouchable?

Eventually, repetition becomes habit. When you’re hungry, you eat. You can train yourself to wake up consistently, just as you can quit smoking. It may take months, or even years… but how badly do you want to succeed in your life?

Some other practical tricks can help. Leave the room lights on when the alarm sounds (try using a timer and a lamp), and use loud music too.

why not me.pngIf necessary, think of people in your peer group who have succeeded. Comparison to others is usually discouraged, yet can be a reasonable temporary motivator – but be careful! It’s like cocaine (useful in an emergency, but devastating as a staple diet).

Just check on Facebook or Twitter, or the social media of your choice, to see who got a recent promotion, or a raise, or acceptance to law school… things of this nature. Then get off these anti-social media platforms!

Now… imagine it’s you!

And finally, reward yourself appropriately after you succeed for a period of time in developing better wake-up habits. Sometimes, the carrot needs to be applied too (and not just the stick).

As politically incorrect as this sounds, fear and greed can actually help you… sometimes.

Just make sure you keep them under control. 🙂

Dr Paul

Honestly, your last excuse for sleeping in was long past.

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