Column: Alarm clocks no way to wake up

My alarm clock and I have vastly different ideas of when is the best time to get up.

It begins chirping at me at 5:30 a.m., at which time I promptly pull the sheet back over its cage and go back to sleep.

Most people then would get up about 15 minutes later, after the alarm went off again, louder, even though technically that shouldn’t happen. Most people press the snooze button.

I am not most people.

The snooze button is for people who just aren’t quite ready to get up. I, however, am definitely not even close to being ready to get up at 5:30 a.m. So rather than press the snooze button, I pull its cord out from the wall.

This might seem mean, but, seriously, who woke who up?

Now, I’m employed, so I’m not going to sleep until noon, as nice as that might sound. I couldn’t sleep until noon even if I wanted. In fact, I’ll probably wake up again naturally sometime between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

So, this begs the question, why not just set my alarm clock for 6:30 or 7 a.m.?

Great question! You get a star.

The simple answer is that I hate waking up for good to the sound of an alarm clock. That 5:30 alarm is just a memo to my body that lets it know it should consider getting out of bed sometime in the next hour or two. I enjoy waking up without the help of an electronic banshee. It helps my mood. Both sides of the bed become wrong when an alarm clock is involved.

The entire concept of the alarm clock is bogus. What a horrendous way of starting the day that we’ve grown accustom to. Could you imagine people 250 years ago thinking it a good idea to begin what would be a long, work-filled day with a metallic, pulsing sound that’s impossible to ignore?

Of course not. They would call us crazy. And then possibly burn us as witches. It just goes to show you that no time period is perfect. The 1750s: No alarm clocks! No unburned witches!

I believe a lot more people were morning people before the advent of the alarm clock. Do you have problems getting out of bed on Saturday, the day that is most free of the modern-day rooster? Probably not. Waking up naturally just makes you feel better about the upcoming day, and, well, life in general. The Buddha didn’t use an alarm clock, and he was a pretty optimistic dude.

Now, I’m sure that many of you are worried about the possibility of being late to work. That alarm clock is the only thing keeping you from starting your work day with a stern lecture from the boss.

And some of you need more time to get ready in the morning. Not everyone is like me, whose morning routine is to get out of bed, stumble into the shower, stumble out, stumble into the closet, hope some clothes find their way onto my body, hope they match, consider breakfast, forego it, and proceed out the door, all in a time span of about 15 minutes.

For most people, the alarm clock is an inescapable, integral part of their morning routine.

So how do you break free of the charms of the plastic Siren, beckoning you toward a bad mood by getting up at a time that your body certainly didn’t agree to?

Go to bed earlier.

That’s it. Go to bed earlier. Forget Letterman. Say goodbye to Leno. And don’t even think about Conan. Go to bed. If you’re in bed by 9 p.m., most are going to have a tough time even making it to 7 a.m., with or without an alarm clock.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man wealthy, healthy and wise. And a dork, but that can’t be helped.

To be honest, I never get to bed as early at 9 p.m. This doesn’t mean I’m not a dork. It just means I’m a hypocrite. But I’m a hypocrite who gets out of bed most mornings without the help of the alarm clock. And you should see the smile on my face when I wake up sans buzzing. You should try it. At worst, you’ll show up late for work. But at least you’ll have a smile on your face while being sternly lectured.


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