The problem is that this keeps us zigzagging back and forth in the “light sleep” stage of the sleep cycle and doesn’t really let us get any extra rest at all. Here’s a link to a video about the sleep cycle (direct link) All too often that series of “just five more minutes” turns into three ravenous monsters that eat up all your extra time, actually make you more tired, and make your morning routine feel rushed.
In order to do battle with this Terrible Trio, you are going to need to recruit your alarm clock as an ally. To that end, I have created a concept called “Use That Snooze”. (Challenge of the same name has been created in the Life Hackers Guild.) “Use That Snooze” features ways to make that pesky alarm clock work to your benefit, helping you make the transition from Asleep to Awake and from Awake to OUT of bed without stressing out about it! Just follow the steps listed below:
- List some activities that each take about 5 minutes. Some ideas include:
- Listen to a motivating song or two – Pick some energetic songs that give you good vibes without lulling you back to sleep.
- Meditate – Take 5 minutes to think about something positive, like your future goals or things you are grateful for in your everyday life.
- Exercise or stretch a little – There are many gentle exercises, such as ankle rotations, that can be done while you are still in bed.
- Pet a puppy (or your domesticated animal of choice) – I have two adorable mutts, so taking 5 minutes in the morning to focus on them without distractions helps me wake up and makes them happy too!
- Read Something – For me, this has to be a magazine article or a short story. If I open up a novel, I will not stop after the 5 minutes.
- Sit up – It’s hard to fall back asleep when you’re already halfway out of bed. Sitting on the edge of your bed for a few minutes also allows your body to adjust to being upright and counteract the effects of orthostatic hypotension.
- Yummy, yummy in my tummy – Eat the food you set on your nightstand last night. This is not supposed to be your breakfast meal, just a small something to get your body awake and your metabolism rolling. I prefer a piece of fruit since other things tend to get carried off by my pets during the night. You can also use things like a granola bar, a small container of dried fruit, half a peanut butter and honey sandwich, a small serving of “ants on a log”, or some other similar finger food. Recipe for “ants on a log”
- Driiiink Waterrrrr!!! – Drinking the bottle of water that you placed on your bedside table last night can help you feel refreshed.
- Keep this list by your bed (or enter it into your Habits section on Habitica if you have a smartphone or tablet.
- When the alarm rings, choose an activity from your list.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 as necessary, trying not to repeat them more than one or two additional times.
- Actually get out of bed with enough time to go about your morning routine without feeling rushed. Reward self by having a leisurely breakfast!
With these simple steps, you will have a great start to your morning and get better sleep!