HowTo:Wake Up Dead

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Here once again is Dr. Eric Bola on how to wake up dead. First off, one question: Have you ever experienced this situation?

Your alarm goes off at 3am, and you immediately get out of bed and run as far away from it as possible. As you run screaming with your arms flailing and knees knocking together, you can barely detect any lingering grogginess, even if you look for it. The thought of going back to bed to get some extra sleep makes you defecate with fear.

edit If you answered yes to this you are a complete and utter liar. For those of you who said no, read on.

Does it feel great to be up early, and you know you could be sleeping because in 20 minutes you have to be at work. You’ll be able to exercise, shower, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, read some inspiring material, and invest an hour in your home-based business — all before 8am. And you know that the habit of starting each day this way will serve you well for life. Isn't that just a load of horse shit!

Maintaining this habit is easy for you. While others are sleeping you can eat their food. Sneak into their houses and sleep with their sleeping wives. But you still need to be at work in 15.

If this scenario closely matches your current daily reality, you can stop reading now. But if it sounds like pure fantasy, then read on…

edit Waking up groggy

During my teen years and well into my 50s, I would usually wake up feeling very groggy in the morning. Even after sleeping 11-18 hours, I could have kept right on sleeping. A couple of my siblings were the same way. To get them up before noon required dragging their covers off, splashing them with cold water and beating them with rusty-iron pipes.

I wasn’t much good during those hours. I’d go through the motions of getting dressed and having dinner, but I didn’t feel my brain was fully awake yet. Since I was raised Catholic (I know — I’m mostly recovered now), every Sunday morning my parents would take us to church at 7:30am. Most of the time I sat through the mass in a half-conscious zombie state. I think they made the pews hard and uncomfortable to keep people from napping… but I’ll leave the rest of the Catholic commentary to George Carlin.

edit From grog monster to early riser

Fast forward to the present, and I’m a habitual early riser. Since I work from home and set my own hours, I can sleep in as late as I want. But I get up at 5am by choice. I like being up before dawn and getting an early start each day. It’s very easy to maintain. It feels like the path of least resistance.

If you’re so groggy you can’t get up before drifting back to sleep, you don’t need a new alarm clock. You don’t need to move your alarm clock across the room. And you don’t need a spring-loaded bed. What you really need is to address the factors that are making you wake up groggy in the first place.

I’m going to share what worked best for me in gradually converting from an AM zombie to an alert early riser. These tips will expand on and add to what’s already been covered in How to Become an Early Riser, How to Become an Early Riser – Part II, and How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off.

edit Experiment

If you wake up groggy, it doesn’t mean you’re broken. It just means you’re making some physiological mistakes, and those mistakes can be corrected. The only way to get there, however, is to try something else. And if you’ve never been able to wake up feeling totally alert, then most likely you’ll need to try something you’ve never done before. If you aren’t willing to do that, you’re doomed.

As you experiment, seek improvement, not perfection. Some of the changes I’ll suggest may sound radical if you think about implementing them all at once, but those radical steps represent a lot of little changes accumulated over a long period of time.

edit Decide you’ll make it

Like most people, I oscillated between that enthusiastic feeling that I’ll be able to find a way to do this vs. that sinking feeling of having to admit that maybe I’m just not biologically suited for it. I kept making one push after another, but I could only get up early for a few days in a row at most before the fatigue would overwhelm me, and I’d crash.

If you’re fighting overwhelming fatigue or if getting up early seems virtually impossible, let me suggest that you pull yourself together sharpish. Honestly, I have to take a day off from treating terminally ill people with no arms and legs so I can listen to you bitching about not being able to get out of bed. You disgust me.

edit Fix your diet

Diet and sleep are inextricably intertwined. If you think you can master your sleeping habits without improving your diet, you’re deluding yourself. Seriously.

Unfortunately most people — Americans especially — consume a truly hideous diet these days, filled with nuclear-waste tainted animal products, cigarette butts, bits of string, white flour, bits of string and heavily processed junk. This can be remedied effectively by not consuming food.

edit Develop a proper morning routine

If you don’t like the way you spend your mornings, you may suffer the problem of being a pansy. A proper morning routine can help remedy that. I bet you're reading this in bed, aren't you? Get up. Motivate yourself to get out of bed by relaxing for about half a second, calmly going over the day ahead in your head and then setting your bed on fire.

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