February 6th 2019

Today was day three of a science experiment I am conducting into my own sleeping pattern. Recently, I’ve been finding it really hard to get up in the morning when my alarm goes off. I have pretty flexible office hours at work, meaning I can arrive at any time between 8am and 9am, but my plan every morning is to get in for 8am.

To get in for 8am I need to leave the house at 7:10, which — through the magic of being a male — means I need to wake up at 7am, though, because I am a huge maths nerd that enjoys palindromes, for as long as I can remember I’ve set my alarms for times that are the same forward as they are backwards.

So my 7 o’clock alarm is actually set for 6:56, and my “just in case” 7:30 alarm is set for 7:37. Don’t ask why I started doing that, because I really don’t know. By this point, it’s just habit. And why, if my 7:00 alarm is set to the closest palindrome (6:56) is my 7:30 alarm not also set to the closest palindrome (7:27)? I literally just asked you not to ask questions, so please stop that.


When my 6:56 alarm goes off, I always struggle to get out of bed straight away. And that usually means I don’t get out of bed until my “Just in Case” alarm goes off at 7:37. So by this point, my “Just in Case” alarm is basically my primary alarm, because that’s when I mostly get out of bed. And that means I get to work at 9am instead of 8am.

To fight against my struggles of getting up in the morning I have taken the somewhat unusual decision to set my alarm even earlier. My initial wake up alarm is now set for 6:46.

If I was struggling to wake up for 6:56 then it’s illogical to suggest I’d find it any easier to wake up at 6:46, but somehow it’s working. For the past three days (admittedly a relatively small sample size) I have woken up and gotten out of bed without difficulty when my initial alarm goes off at 6:46. Now, when my “Just in Case” alarm goes off at 7:37 I’m already three-quarters of the way to work.

So clearly, my experiment has worked. I have made it easier to wake up in the morning by setting my alarm ten minutes earlier. Life hacks.

I wonder what the science is behind that. From the little I remember about human sleeping patterns, I know that sleep is cyclical, and if you’re woken up during a phase of “deep sleep” it’s much harder to actually get out of bed than when woken up during light sleep. Which makes sense, and makes me wonder if that extra ten minutes each morning puts me back into “deep sleep” therefore making harder to wake up at 6:56 than to wake up at 6:46.

Really fascinating stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I do literally own a literal fitness watch which can literally track sleep cycles, so I could find out pretty easily by just wearing that when I sleep, except I don’t like wearing it when I sleep because it’s not comfy. A struggle.

Until tomorrow, I will continue to conduct my thorough analysis and keep you posted.


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