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Frankie's avatar

Is there anything I can do to stop waking up before my alarm goes off?

Asked by Frankie (4032 points ) November 9th, 2011

Every day for the past three weeks or so, I’ve been waking up before my alarm goes off…and it’s really starting to bug me. I don’t know how early it is when I wake up, as my theory is that checking my clock will wake me up even more or stress me out so much that I won’t be able to go back to sleep, although I’m never able to go back to sleep anyway…I just sort of doze until the alarm eventually goes off. This only seems to happen during the week – I usually don’t use my alarm on the weekends, and when I do, I never seem to wake up before it goes off. I’ve also been taking melatonin before I go to bed for the past several months, as I’d been having trouble falling/staying asleep. But, again, this waking up early thing has only been for the past few weeks. I don’t think it’s effecting my alertness much during the day, it’s just really annoying me. Any suggestions for what I could do about it would be great.

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21 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

Try moving any clocks out of your room. Set your alarm in another room as well.
Then you know you won’t be able to look at a clock and will eventually gain trust in the alarm getting you up by having to walk to the alarm that is away from the bed and out of site.
The other thing you can do is make sure you are doing something that allows you to sleep deeper. Some physical exercise in the evening can help you rest longer and better. Maybe a long walk or something (NSFW)

whitetigress's avatar

I would say just take a double take before you go to sleep. Then before you sleep tell yourself all is well, and that you will only wake up when the alarm goes off.

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sliceswiththings's avatar

Avoid food or drink for at least an hour before bed, and go to the bathroom right before bed. Maybe you’re being awakened by your bladder, even if you don’t realize it.

Spallybob1232's avatar

Try going to sleep a little later? Idk

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Avoid alcohol, stimulants,and stress. Ok you’re screwed.The good news is you’re young you’ll survive it. We all did.

JLeslie's avatar

Is it getting light in your bedroom before your alarm? That can easily cause us to wake up, or if you can smell breakfast cooking through the vent system. Any change in environment can trigger us to wake, especially if we have rested well for several hours already.

SavoirFaire's avatar

How soon do you eat breakfast after waking up? If your body is anticipating food, it can wake you up. Try to put at least 30 minutes between waking and eating.

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Frankie's avatar

Thanks for all the responses and suggestions!

@JLeslie I don’t think either of those situations are the case…it does get light in my bedroom in the morning, but why would that be effecting my sleep for the past three weeks but not anytime prior? I’ve lived in my current apartment for three months now, and there really hasn’t been any change in the environment…at least not that I’ve noticed.

@SavoirFaire Actually (and I know this is really bad) I don’t really eat breakfast…if I do, it’s usually at work, roughly two hours after I wake up.

Everyone’s suggestions make sense; the thing is, literally nothing in my environment or lifestyle has changed in the past three weeks (or preceding weeks) that this has been happening, which is why I can’t pinpoint what the problem is. And like I said, I don’t think it’s really effecting my alertness/productivity, but it’s really annoying! I like to get as much sleep as I can, so being cheated out of 20 or 30 minutes every day is rather getting on my nerves.

JLeslie's avatar

@Frankie I have another idea. Is it colder in your room the last few weeks? Are you in the northern hemisphere? The cold wakes me up. Or, has the sun been rising earlier where you live?

No matter what I think wearing a mask for sleep might help. Being in total darkness really helps to stay asleep. It may not be triggering your problem, but it might still help. Have you been worried about anything? Having more dreams? Start a new medication?

JLeslie's avatar

Just curious, if you live in a place that just changed from daylight savings to standard time, did it affect what time you are waking up? Are you waking up an hour before you were a couple weeks ago?

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Frankie If you think about it, it gets worse. I used to look at the clock and think I can get x minutes more of sleep. And then stay awake thinking about it. Let it go completely and don’t think of time. Fi your thoughts on something warm and fuzy.
@muffin16 You too muffin, and welcome to fluther.

Frankie's avatar

@JLeslie Well, I do live in the northern hemisphere, but despite it getting colder out, I haven’t had any issues with being/waking up cold. I have noticed the air getting drier, though…maybe that is a fact and I should use a humidifier? Either way, I think I’ll take your advice and get a mask – couldn’t hurt! There are things that I’m worried about, but they’re things that have been on my mind for at least a couple months (not liking my job, applying to grad school, etc.), and I haven’t really been worrying about them more for the past three weeks than previously…no new medication, no change in dreams…it’s a mystery!

@Adirondackwannabe I know, I’m trying not to get too worked up about it. It’s just annoying that it’s been happening for the past three weeks and doesn’t seem to be getting better. And I agree about not looking at the clock – I know if I did that it would just make it worse, so I’ve not been doing that, and I think that’s what’s allowing me to doze off a little instead of waking up completely – I know I have some time to keep resting, but I don’t know exactly how much, so I can’t focus on exactly how many minutes I have before I have to get up. But still, I much prefer sleep over dozing. I’m a terrible morning person and like to get my sleep :P

JLeslie's avatar

@Frankie Another thing to consider: people typically sleep in multiples of 1.5 hours. Are you waking at say the 6 hour or 7.5 hour mark? Do you need a nap in the afternoon? Or, to catch up on the weekends? You might just be gettingolder and your deep sleep is shortening, that’s natural, and so you awaken more easily, especially with the stressors added in. I go through weeks where I wake up at 4:00 in the morning, and then i go baxk to sleeping throught the night for months.

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