Emily Lam

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Waking up to one alarm

This year, I made a new year resolution to wake up to one alarm. It stopped making sense to me why I would set multiple alarms. I would set an alarm for 6:30am, 6:45am, 7:00am, 7:15am, 7:30am, 8:00am, 8:15am, 8:30am. Then I would allow myself to hit snooze a few times. It got really ridiculous. I never woke up at 6:30am. Despite how much I wanted to, deep down that was never my intention. So why was I setting an alarm for 6:30am and interrupting my sleep if I wasn't going to get up until 8:30am? I was basically ruining two good hours of sleep.

Initially, I had used multiple alarms as a safety net. I think that's how most people use it because you just can't trust your unconscious self in the morning. But then I started to not take the first alarm seriously and would immediately turn off the alarm and go back to sleep and then miss the second alarm or hit snooze at the second alarm. I remedied that by setting more alarms closer in interval. If I don't give myself the chance to fall back asleep, then I'd be able to get up. But nope, that didn't work either. It spiraled so out of control that I'm guilty of setting alarms with five minutes differences from each other. Yikes!

So I decided to cut cold turkey. One alarm. That's it. No safety nets. If I don't get up, I'd have to deal with the repercussions of sleeping until noon. I was done being that annoying roommate who sets 324094589 alarms.

This post really isn't about how I got to being able to wake up in the morning because there's so many different ways one can try and their effectiveness varies. But the main goal is to have enough self-discipline and motivation to develop a routine and habit. Humans are creatures of habits. But if you put in enough effort, change is possible. Your sleep schedule is actually one of the easiest habit to hack because there's a circadian rhythm your body strives to maintain. Once you get yourself on a good schedule and you sleep enough and don't throw your circadian rhythm too out of whack, it's actually really easy to wake up, even if you do go a day or two of the week messing up your sleep.

So I did it. I now only need one alarm! =] And most of the time, I wake up before my alarm! I know, crazy! It amazes me too. But the main reason I wanted to write all this is because no one really talks about how much less stressful it is to not have to worry about waking up. Now I can go to sleep in confidence that I will wake up when I need to. It's so so so beautiful. There are times I've forgotten to set alarms and I still wake up at the time I need too. Sometimes, when I know I don't have meetings or anything of priority I don't even set alarms. I'm giving my body the opportunity to get the sleep it needs. Because when there's no alarms, your body will naturally wake up when it needs to and compensate when it has too. So yeah, one alarm! =]

I'll leave you with a picture of some adorable goslings! =]

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