Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
My Semi-conscious Superpowers
Who’s in the mood for a trivial post? I know I am! This post is all about my morning alarm. You’ve been warned.
I’ve always been someone who can wake up when I need to wake up. Working Alaska tourism during summers while in college, I’d get up at 2AM after 4-5 hours of sleep to be to work at 3AM for the morning shift as Bell Staff Manager. I’d work 10-12 hour days and usually get off that job early to mid afternoon. From there, I’d go to my second job at a golf course and often work into the early evening. Hence the 4-5 hours of sleep. I worked 80 hour weeks – one summer I worked 79 straight days. And I managed to get through college with a manageable amount of debt as a result.
But back to the original point – if I know I need to be up for something, I’ll have no problem waking up. If I get into a routine, I’ll actually start waking up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off without trying. When there is something I have to be up for that I’m anxious about such as a bike race, it’s a given I’ll be awake before my alarm goes off.
The problem is that when I don’t have anything specific to be up for, my sleeping self refuses to wake up for anything! This has been an issue lately with the lack of job and no need to be up early. It’s not particularly a problem, other than that I want to get started on job hunting, riding my bike, and other projects at a reasonable hour. The issue has been compounded recently by half-way waking up, looking out the window at wind and rain, and noticing just how warm and cozy I am under the covers.
So, to remedy the situation I’ve taken to fighting my sleeping and semi-conscious self. Problem is, my semi-conscious self has outsmarted me every time. I’m actually to the point where I’m really impressed with my sleeping self’s prowess and dexterity.
To begin to understand the situation, we must examine my alarms…
First up, Burrito. This alarm has been my tried and true constant since I got my iPhone. It’s named burrito because I set it to remind myself about a leftover burrito in the hotel room fridge while traveling on the Crocs tour last year. It brings back good memories, plus I like burritos, so I’ve seen no reason to change its name. The sound is currently set to a dog bark, which would be quite grating were it not for the fact that I’ve used it the most and have actually gotten used to it to the point that it’s only mildly annoying. This alarm is currently set for 4:56AM since that’s when I got up last week to hop a bus to Eugene. Which is all great except that, per the usual, I was up before the alarm because I knew I needed to be up.
The second alarm has no name, and is currently the 5:55AM alarm. I used this one most recently to wake myself up for the race yesterday. I got tired of hearing a dog barking when I woke up and figured it would be a good idea to enter my day more peacefully, so this alarm plays a nice harp tune that is soft and soothing yet loud enough to wake you up. Once again, I didn’t need it to wake up.
Let’s skip to 10:30AM, which is fittingly yet unnecessarily named “alarm.” This one doesn’t get much use, other than as a reminder alarm during the day for things I don’t want to forget. However, it’s the one I may as well be using since 8:26AM fails me too often.
Now, 8:26AM is where the real problem lies. It’s an innocent enough time, yet it’s the one that gets me every time. It’s the one I set to a reasonable hour when I’ve got no particular reason to be getting up, and it’s the one I inevitably hit snooze on for at least an hour, if not turning it off outright without completely waking up.
I realized that if this was ever going to be an effective alarm, I needed to step up my game. The first method I tried was simply turning off the snooze function, but this led to me turning off the alarm without waking up enough to realize I had turned off the alarm.
The second method involved moving the phone around to various spots in the room so that I’d have to figure out where the phone was in order to silence it, which would theoretically wake me fully in the process. Problem is, it turns out my subconscious has impeccable memory and is able to immediately find the phone based upon remembering where I put it the night before.
The third method I attempted was hiding the phone – usually by turning off the lights and putting the phone somewhere out of plain sight. My goal was to use the darkness to confuse my memory since I wasn’t completely sure where I’d put it the night before in the dark. Yeah – that was a no go as well. Turns out my subconscious has a GPS lock on my phone.
The fourth method showed the beginnings of desperation, as I sought to combine placing the phone in a hidden spot across the room with a new tactic – obstacles. I figured I could force myself to wake up by having to navigate through various impediments, though the downside was potential injury.
What I didn’t know at the time is that my sleeping alter ego is actually a ninja. After setting up my system last night, I promptly stumbled and tripped my way across the room into bed. This morning, I vaguely remember crossing the room with apparent ease. After waking up well past 8:26, I found my alarm off.
Unless I come up with a brilliant plan soon, I may be about to admit defeat with sleeping me having outwitted awake me for good.