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I find that I often wake up at a decent time, but don't get out of bed immediately. This results in me falling asleep again for another hour. This process might repeat itself once or twice, resulting in anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of extra unnecessary sleep, when I could've been getting things done.

This doesn't happen if I need to wake up to be somewhere - it's only because I have a flexible schedule.

How can one break this habit?

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Kind of a PS to my answer - I don't think laying around in bed is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes that makes you more refreshed and alert so that when you are getting things done, you do them better. – Blowski Jun 22 '11 at 19:34
@Blowski only true when done every now and then. Done often (as in OP's case) it hardly is healthy nor very productive. – 0sh Apr 19 '12 at 22:26
sleep is never a waste of time. if you were able to sleep another "1 to 3 hours", that means you needed it – amphibient Jan 23 '13 at 20:12
You haven't mentioned time you sleep, if you sleep at 2 am and try waking up at 5, that's bad! – rptwsthi Apr 23 '13 at 12:17
I noticed it sometimes happens to me when I know there's something pretty unpleasant waiting for me — when there're troubles at work, for example. – Michael Pankov Feb 17 '14 at 15:58

35 Answers 35

I always found it difficult to get out of bed. I tried many different methods none of which worked. The following method uses an unusual principal and I have found surprisingly effective.

Do reps to condition yourself to get up.

At the weekend during the day get into bed and set your alarm for 2 minutes later. Then snuggle down as if you were going to sleep and lose yourself. Then as soon as the alarm goes off jump out of bed, switch on the light. Repeat this up to 10 times. It is actually surprisingly fun. After doing this for two days at the weekend I find that on Monday morning I just jump up without thinking. As you start getting up like this every day it gets more and more ingrained.

The hardest part is the first weekend, because it is temping to sleep in and then you can lose the conditioning for the following week. Also if you go on holiday it is possible to lose it and you need to repeat the whole process.

It is amazing how effective this is though.

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These are what have worked for me, as opposed to what I have heard or think should work.

  • exercise
  • less carbs, especially for breakfast so as to stay out of bed
  • work out your baggage: what are you avoiding, fearing, mindlessly responding to
  • morning pages (akin to journaling)
  • hour a day (or two, or ten minutes) building something that matters; do something with high purpose and lasting effect

Whenever I have an irregular sleep problem I notice I haven't been exercising lately.

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What you need is a good reason to get out of bed. On days where you don't "have to be" out of bed, it's easy to go back to sleep because, deep down, you know there is no real consequences of not doing so. So the trick here is to inject some negative feedback into the routine - some real physical pain to not getting out of bed. It has to to be both immediate and sustained.

1. Get a proven Alarm Clock. Get two of them.

Truckers solved this problem years ago with the worlds most obnoxious alarm clock: the Screaming Meanie. Some models can crank up to an earsplitting 120 decibels. This will get you out of bed because your ears will hurt. Put a couple of these bad babies around your house with one preferably next to the coffee maker. Set that up to have fresh brew ready and you can always rub some pepper spray in your eyes for good measure.

2. Be accountable to your expectations. Use visions of success and failure to motivate you.

Can you see what success looks like during those 1 or 3 hours? Really plan what what you would do the night before. Set some goals, and imagine what that looks like when you have them done. How great it feels. Conversely, and more importantly, imagine how bad you will feel if you don't do them.

To go the extra mile, set some disciplinary actions should you fail. Ideally, these would be consequentially related to the goals you set the night before. For instance, if you planned to do some exercise in that time, you have to skip lunch or dinner.

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In 2011 I developed/discovered a method that does both - gets you asleep in the night even if you are stressed, and also makes your getting out bed experience totally reliable and pleasurable. I use it every day myself. Check it out by doing a Google search on the Masafen method. You won't be disappointed.

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Welcome to Personal Productivity. If you provide more information you may get (more) upvotes on your answer. Saying that people should google isn't a great answer to the question. – THelper Feb 18 '14 at 20:52

I got myself a fan with a timer and when its off in the morning (after 8 hours) its not that comfortable to be in bed. Are you in this kind of weather? then it might help!

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sindhus - please first read the existing answers to see what is expected – Rory Alsop Apr 2 '15 at 7:45

protected by Rory Alsop Apr 2 '15 at 7:46

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