Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? -James Thurber
Question #44300 posted on 04/10/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Lately I've been sleeping through my alarm a lot. And by sleeping through my alarm, I mean that when it goes off, I don't even regain enough consciousness to realize I'm hitting the snooze button. I don't usually go to bed particularly late, but I think my body's pushing for the 8 hours/night schedule...and I really can't wake up on anything less.

What's a good way to make sure you wake up to your alarm? I tried putting double-sided tape all over the snooze button once, but it only worked for a day or two. But it is kind of funny to wake up and realize you're stuck to the clock.

-Zzzzzz

A: Dear Sleepy,

Short-term solution: Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room so you have to physically get up to go turn it off.

Long-term solution: Get more sleep! Your body is doing this to you because it wants a full night of sleep and getting less isn't healthy or sustainable over the long term.

- Katya
A: Dear Zzzzz~

Um, if your body is demanding sleep that badly, maybe you should, I dunno, sleep more? Stop trashing yourself and go to bed earlier.

~Hobbes the hypocrite
A: Dear Zed-

I had to chime in, here, because... this is the story of my life. I'm pretty much the heaviest sleeper I've ever known, so this is a big problem for me. I know the feeling: you feel ridiculous, but it's hard to account for something you don't even remember doing!

Aside from moving the clock across the room (which is an excellent suggestion) and getting more sleep (which is always a good idea, albeit a tough one), there are a few things you can try:

-Get a loud alarm clock. I mean, a loud one. Last time I bought an alarm clock, I specifically got one that said "extra loud alarm" on the box. I've adapted to it a bit (much to the chagrin of my roommates), but it helps.

-You can also set multiple alarms. Another clock, your phone, maybe a super-nice friend who could call sometime in the morning for a few days until you're into a sustainable pattern, etc.

-Get an alarm clock that plays CDs or mp3s. While you can adapt to this after a while, as well, the variety putting on a song you can control and change regularly may help catch your sleepy brain's attention. Back in high school, when I was even worse about waking up, putting on Rush's "Spirit of Radio" one morning had me out of bed and dancing before it was 10 seconds into the song. Just don't use the same song too long... aside from getting too used to it, you'll start to associate it with the unpleasantness of waking up and begin to hate a previously enjoyed song.

-Once you're actually out of bed, do something that wakes you up. This could be exercise, eating breakfast, or getting right in the shower. Whatever it is, do it right away. Don't believe it when you tell yourself that you'll be up in 5 minutes if you just lie back down for a bit; you'll fall back to sleep, and then you're dead.

-Get married! I don't plan to mention it until the future wife is pretty well roped in, but whoever she may be, she's probably going to have to kick me out of bed in the morning for the remainder of our lives. Or a kiss would be nice... I guess I'll have to find a sweet and not-so-irritable woman.

It's rarely fun, but it is possible to get up and get going on time. Hopefully some of my personal tips will be helpful for you, as well. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it.

-Foreman
A: Dear Zzzzzz,

Like Foreman, apparently, I can be a really heavy sleeper. I've found that if I'm sleep-deprived enough, even the excellent suggestions of Katya and Foreman don't do much for me. If you get to that point, the only real answer is to do as Katya and Hobbes suggested: get at least barely adequate amounts of sleep, and more if at all possible.

—Laser Jock