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Can I Die From Morning?

by Alex Iwashyna

in Is It Just Me?

As the title of my blog makes clear, I hate early.

Early to an event? Awkward.

Early in the morning? Exhausting.

Hmm, I can’t think of any other examples of early except pre-term babies, which I didn’t have, but I’m pretty sure sucks since medicine has not been able to recreate Planet Uterus very well.

I have had trouble sleeping for as long as I can remember. My mom swears I slept through the night at 6 weeks old. I guess I got it all out of my system because what I remember about sleep is trying to find it for hours and once I found it falling into nightmares.

Even now, when my nightmares have subsided into a once a month occurrence rather than daily, I cannot sleep. I lie there alternating between closing my eyes and playing with my phone. Please don’t lecture me on playing with my phone. I struggled with sleep long before cell phones existed and staring into the ceiling with only the ticking clock as my companion is as stressful.

Since I have no reason to avoid sleep, as my brain is not kidnapping my children, sending me to school without pants or forcing me to face murderous rampages, I have decided to tackle my lack of sleep head on.

I am setting an alarm for butt-crack early. (Any morning person who disagrees with 6 a.m. being early will be forced to stay up until 2 a.m. while this night owl laughs.)

My6amAlarm

Why yes it does say “you can do it” but quietly so as not to get beaten by my flailing hand.

I am committing to it for 30 days because the only time my falling asleep has ever improved is when I woke up at the same (early) time every day for 2 weeks. Then I slept in once and it all went to crap.

I will not be using staying up until 3 a.m. (see last Thursday) or my children being awake for 30 minutes to 3 hours at 1 a.m. (see the last 5 and a half years of my life).

I am done with insomnia.

I probably also need to keep the phone and computer out of the bedroom, do something relaxing right before bed (Scott stop wiggling those eyebrows), and reduce my caffeine intake even further (I already do no caffeine after 2 p.m. except the occasional 3 p.m. green tea), but I have slept like crap my entire life even when I’ve made those changes. Plus, I can’t change everything at once, or I will fail.

So I will start with what works and maybe the rest will fall into place.

Or I will be writing incoherent blog posts while snorting caffeine pills and talking to small pink men shaped like elephants.

I’m raising my right hand and committing to this before my laptop and the Internet, which is a lot like committing before God except the Internet will give me a hard time for failing, whereas God just shrugs and says: Guess Alex needs to be a little more miserable before she’ll do what’s right. (jerk)

This decision may not seem exciting or revolutionary to anyone else. But I hate early unless I stayed up all night. Wait, could I stay up for 30 days straight instead? That sounds way more appealing.

PS. Under the alarm is the word “song.” Feel free to offer suggestions for what song I should chose to hear at 6 a.m..

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

The Mommy Psychologist March 20, 2012 1

If you want to change your circadian rhythms (these are your sleep-wave patterns), the best way to do so is to move forward instead of backward. So, instead of waking up earlier, you gradually move your night time later and later through a 24 hour period until it’s caught up. Message me if this doesn’t make sense….

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Kate March 20, 2012 2

My own battle with insomnia is far from over, since the only thing that seems to work for me is a rigid schedule (I hate schedules, I fight them like the two year old I truly am) and regular vigorous exercise. Schedule? With a baby? Ha. Exercise? Um. Does walking to the couch count? But I’m carrying the baby!

Seriously, I hope it works for you.

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Rob R March 21, 2012 3

My first kid was born 5 weeks early and wakes up everyday at 5:30. Then we had a second kid who decided 5:15 was a better time to get up. We were going to have third kid but we opted for a turtle instead.

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Late Enough March 21, 2012 4

I think the only reason my youngest doesn’t wake up at 5:30 is because she doesn’t nap and still wakes up at night.
My oldest can tell time enough to stay in bed until 6:30 when his alarm goes off. Yes, he insists on an alarm but he’s always awake beforehand so I’m not too worried.

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Chara March 21, 2012 5

I can only imagine it’s a horrible feeling to just stare at a clock and not sleep. I have had a few mornings I’ve woken up around 2:30 a.m. and can’t fall asleep again for two hours and it’s very annoying. If that happened on a regular basis I would be certifiably crazy. I’m so sorry! I’ll be praying for some super Zzzzz’s for you. I am going to start making myself go to bed at 10 pm each night. I’m in a bad rut of staying up and doing nothing of importance and being rather crabby in the morning because of it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Late Enough March 21, 2012 6

I’ve tried the “go to bed earlier” thing but because I stare at the clock instead of falling asleep, it’s never worked to reset my sleep habits. But if you don’t have trouble falling asleep, it’s a great way to go although I’ll miss you around 11:30 p.m. on Facebook. xo

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Katie March 21, 2012 7

That’s what cured my sleep woes! I fall and stay asleep all night since my alarm goes off at 6:30. I hope it helps you! It’s made me so exhausted it even cured my scared to stay alone fear since I can’t stay awake to worry! LOL

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Stephanie March 21, 2012 8

I empathize with your sleeping issues. I’ve struggled with getting a good night’s sleep my entire life. A hot bath before bed and no screen time for an hour (oh it’s HARD) both help for me.

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Lady Jennie March 21, 2012 9

It is revolutionary. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. And hope it’s exactly what you need!

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Jordan March 21, 2012 10

You could always do that one that sounds like it’s from somewhere pre 1950 and Doris Day-y … “Good morning, good morning! We’ve talked the whole night through! Good morning, good morning, to you!”

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Julia March 21, 2012 11

No! You can not turn into a morning person! I think one of the reasons I love you and your blog is the openness about being a night owl. Because I totally am too. Night time is just better. But insomnia? Is not. I wish you the best of luck and am looking forward to living vicariously through you on this challenge! You rock. You can totally do this.

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Skye March 21, 2012 12

You are seriously brave. I hate mornings. (I’m also not really a night owl as I get tired late at night. My body tells me to go to bed at 11, I just don’t listen, so I’m tired all the time too. Can someone be an afternoon person?) I can’t wait to hear how this works for you. Sometimes I think I should try it, but I’m too wimpy!

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Itsadomelife March 21, 2012 13

Insomnia is a beast I have yet to conquer. I hope you find success with your strategies. I’m rooting for you!

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Walt March 21, 2012 14

No, you won’t die. Probably. I’m no doctor. Maybe. Oh Hell, this isn’t helping. Click my link for better advice and support.

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julie gardner March 21, 2012 15

I suggest Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” –

Because I like the movie Groundhog Day.

And I’m slightly sadistic.

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Ginny March 21, 2012 16

Rod Stewart has been singing me awake since I was in the 9th grade with “Maggie.” That was a long time ago! From time to time I like The Weather Girls to get me moving with their song, “It’s Raining Men.”

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Kimberly March 21, 2012 17

Planet uterus…bwhahaha….
Ok insomnia is an awful problem.
I don’t have it…only because i take a pill for it. Lord if they ever stop making drugs, I’m screwed.

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anne March 21, 2012 18

insomnia is the worst. i’ve never been able to sleep at night, so i worked third shift for many years instead. then i had kids. and keeping kids on a third shift schedule is frowned upon around here, so we’ve switched to a sleep at night/awake during the day thing. still, i wish there was a first grade that started at midnight, then everybody in my family would be happy.

also, the alarm on my phone is a song called “wake the sun” by the matches. it’s peppy but not annoyingly so.

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Tony March 22, 2012 19

I will say, that in time the getting up early trick does work, but I have never been very alert until noon regardless. Prefer working creatively at night. I will be curious how effective it is for you.

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The Sweetest March 22, 2012 20

Okay, hugs to you ,and as a fellow troubled sleeper, here is my five cents. There have been times when I was up almost the entire night, up to several nights in a row. I attributed that to times of depression, abnormal sleeping conditions or seasonal depression (like when we were living in New Zealand during their winter). I have had troubles off and on since my teens. Here are my rules: no caffeine past breakfast- this includes chocolate. Some form of exercise every day is ideal, but not past 2 pm. No sweets past 2 pm. No alcohol past 7 pm. No food past dinner (3 big meals a day, no snacks). Get as much outdoor daytime activity as possible. For me, sex at night is not ideal. Don’t miss the window- just like with babies, sleep begets sleep, so the earlier to bed the better. And each night, no matter what time it is when I get in bed, I give a little time to wind down. I get in bed with a heating pad and read, either a book or on the iPad. Even if only for five minutes, just to try to turn everything else off.

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Katie March 27, 2012 21

early is my nemesis…and i am a great sleeper. i just really hate early.

the perfect wake up song that wont make you break your phone is Wake Up by mad season.

if you want to be jolted to the point of heart attack use Snooze Button by Snot.

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