Not everyone is a morning person.

Can our elders help a letter writer who’s having serious trouble with a 7am start?

Dear EWC

So I have serious issues with waking up in the morning. I’ve tried different alarms and alarm clocks; I’ve tried multiple ones; I’ve tried putting them far away and all sorts but nothing works. No matter what time I go to sleep I cannot wake up at 7am, which I have to do. I have absolutely no willpower in the morning and cannot just tell myself to get up. Every day I have a screaming match with myself to get up but I’m really struggling and it’s affecting my school attendance. Please help me find a solution.

Beacons-of-Light reply

We are a group of seniors living in a retirement community and we are glad you wrote to Elder Wisdom Circle. We think that it might be necessary to have a talk with your doctor. Perhaps you have an underlying condition that it making it difficult for you to get up in the morning, maybe you are vitamin deficient or maybe you aren’t getting the adequate amount of rest that you need — we aren’t doctors but we have heard about bio-rhythms and REM cycles affecting a good night’s rest. It would be worth it to have him/her rule out those things to determine if there is anything they can do to help you or if it is something that really falls back on you and lack of self discipline.

We can see that you are really trying and can understand the internal wrestling match that you have with yourself every morning! We talk in our group about self discipline, self control and motivation — it is shocking to us how sometimes in our lives it seems ever present but at other times it is missing in action!

We do like the idea of keeping the alarm clock away from your bed but we wonder if there is someone you live with who could help to wake you up in the morning? Anyone that could call you? Someone to splash cold water on your or take your blankets away from you? If there isn’t anyone to help you then you definitely need to find something that motivates you to wake up in the morning. Can you offer yourself incentives — if you make it to school on time all week perhaps you could reward yourself with something that you really want or limit yourself something if you don’t get out of bed. Maybe you like a certain drink during the day, but every day you are late you can only drink water or maybe you don’t allow yourself any time of social media each day you are tardy for school. Obviously we are just making up examples and you would need to tailor it to something that would be a punishment or motivation in your life.

You could also try to increase your physical exercise during the day and perhaps your body will be able to rest more during the night and you can wake refreshed in the morning. Try limiting your screen time before you go to bed — there are lots of studies out that are saying that that is affecting young people’s sleep cycles. Another thing you could do it try to limit your caffeine consumption in the late afternoon/evening in hopes that you will be able to fall asleep when you actually lay down in bed to go to sleep. We don’t know exactly how old you are but you should find out exactly how many hours of sleep is recommended for your age and try to make sure that you are reaching that number.

Ultimately, you need to stop making excuses and get yourself out of bed. It can take approximately 30 days to develop a habit so don’t expect it to come fast or easy. Instead of having a screaming match with yourself we want you to try to use positive self talk. Remind yourself that you can get out of bed and that it is important for your future that you are able to be punctual and responsible. Not only for your school career but for any job that you plan to hold in the workplace will require that you be on time and be dependable.

Of course this just might be a phase that you are going through and you will outgrow it but we want you to continue to work towards getting up when you need to. Plan how much time you need to get ready, how long it takes you to get to your destination and add on 10 extra minutes for a cushion and be like the Nike ad and just do it! We wish you the best of luck now and always.

Letter #: 414323
Category: Self-Improvement

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