Why can’t we wake up?

Here in Northern Europe, long summer days are upon us. The seagulls are up at 4:30, ushering the day in like a bunch of rowdy football hooligans, that have not yet made their way home from the win the night before.

A few hours later I join them, albeit my precession downstairs is almost reverent in comparison. I having been weening myself off an alarm clock for some time with limited success.

Does anyone else struggle to wake up Monday to Friday? Only to find themselves wide awake at 7:00 on the weekend?

I know it is purely physiological, since I made sleep a priority, I know that I am getting what I need. So what is it that keeps us from leaping out of bed Monday through Friday?

My hunch is that it is the day ahead of us which keeps us pinned in-between the sheets every morning. And what what troubles me about this is, I am a summer person. I love long warm summer days. I have a reasonable amount of flexibility and am self-employed so autonomy is in abundance, yet I still require an alarm to get my day started.

When I searched for how to wake up with ease, the internet search yielded the expected:

  1. Go to bed early
  2. Stick to your schedule even on the weekend
  3. Do not hit snooze
  4. Genetics
  5. Seasonal impact
  6. Technology
  7. Avoid alcohol

Good sleep hygiene is important to me so I can tick off the first two items, plus I am not a snoozer so three is gone as well. From what I found on genetics the research is still limited, I am pretty sure my mother was a morning person, aren’t all mothers after all (by choice or otherwise)? With the season impact on my side, I have another positive tick in that box. My iPhone reports my usage weekly and I have a reminder set an hour and a half before bed to wind down, whether I choose to dismiss it or not is another story, I would say I am mostly diligent about technology. Finally, avoiding alcohol is not necessarily a no-brainer. Unless you have done a long stretch alcohol free, and have felt the deep blissful sleep it brings you might think a few drinks are the best way to unwind after a busy day. Alcohol might put you to sleep, but the quality of sleep is no good, honestly, I have done the leg work.

So back to my hunch, that it is the day ahead that determines our desire to get out of bed. Thanks to Corona we some of us can WFH, which evaporated our daily commute and has provided greater autonomy and flexibility. Many are still working to a widget making schedule because either we have not or our employers has not evolved to view tasks and deliverables more important than hours worked. Hours aside,

My question to you is what can you add, subtract, or shake up to rekindle that yearning to leap out of bed in the morning?

*if not leap out of bed in the morning, at least happily stagger towards your first coffee?

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