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How to Get Up Early - What to do When an Alarm Clock is Simply Not Enough

Updated on April 26, 2011

10 Ways to Wake Up Early

For better or for worse, here are ten suggestions to help you "rise and shine":

Sleep on Your Front Lawn

This has a lot to recommend it for getting up early. First there are the insects (do you live in mosquito town?), damp and dewy grass and soil, slugs, wandering pets and other natural disasters vying for your attention. Then, if you are social at all, there is the embarrassment of being there at all ... at the crack of dawn you are sure to want to get up and go about your day rather than endure the curious stares of your neighbours. And then there is the natural increase in traffic that you, as a late sleeper, have been blissfully unaware of. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who enjoy getting up early, or are forced to do so be circumstance, and they will be driving by and walking by your house, and perhaps coughing politely to let you know that you have ... er ... fallen asleep on your front lawn.

Have a Baby

If you have already had a baby, you know what I mean. If you have not had one (or God help you, a set of twins), listen up. Babies are natural alarm clocks, and they will go off at random times throughout the night, giving you an excellent choice of times to say: Hey, I suppose I can stay up now. Of course your time will not be your own, what with feeding and burping and changing and entertaining and etc., etc., ... but you will be up early, whether you continue to think it is a good idea or not.

Build a Rube Goldberg Device

You've seen these wonderful contraptions in the movies ... the cuckoo clock bird pops out and knocks a ball into a funnel, which feeds to a ramp that the ball rolls along until it hits a wooden paddle that lights a match that burns a string that releases a pail of water onto your head, waking you up instantly! Not only does this have a definite whacky cool factor, but setting it up at night and knowing that it is there waiting to go off will probably make a light sleeper out of you. You can even get creative about what you put in the bucket, or whatever. A face full of night-crawlers would be a real wake-me-up for all you verminophobics and helminthophobics.

Get a Pet

Pets are great for keeping you awake. Here are a couple of ideas to start your day off just right.

Buy a Puppy

There is nothing like pitter patter of little paws on your bed and body, and the feel of a happy, wet tongue in the face and elsewhere to get you up and at 'em early in the morning. And if that is not enough, the knowledge that if you do not rise and shine and let the dog out you will be cleaning up doggy do-do and mopping up doggy puddles may be enough to motivate you out of bed. Don't forget the added bonuses of barking and whining, and the oh-so-playful sounds of your furniture, clothing, and data cables being chewed to oblivion as motivators.

Buy a Noisy Bird

Find someone who is driven crazy by the early morning "sing-a-long" that their pet bird offers each morning to greet the rising sun, and offer to take the bird off their hands. They will happily do so, and question your sanity to boot. This saves you the inordinate expense of buying all the accessories necessary to make your new pet bird (best to get a parrot, their calls are ear-splittingly loud and guaranteed to wake you out of the deepest slumber). They'll happily throw in the cage, mirror, and a year's worth of bird feed because they KNOW they will never get another bird as long as they live, and don't want the stuff hanging around the house. Don't cover the cage at night with a cloth, that will keep the bird all cozy and sleepy and nix your chances of an early morning wake up.

Pay the Paper Boy

Give the paper boy a few extra dollars a week to ring your doorbell violently every morning as he passes by ... it will be a bit of fun for him, and if you have a nice loud bell it will get you jumping out of bed in no time. Don't forget to tip him well at Christmas time; or he will end up "forgetting" to ring your bell just when you need the wake-up the most. No need to subscribe to the paper, this will be a side-job unrelated to his primary responsibilities.

Sleep in the Bathtub

Believe me, after spending the night in a bathtub without sheets, blankets, or a pillow will get you up before dawn. Ceramic and steel are hard, cold surfaces to sleep on, and you will be sure to get only the amount of sleep that you actually need to survive ... if that much. Make sure you put your head at the end of the tub AWAY from the taps ... if you don't, after a groggy night of half-sleep you are sure to drive your forehead or worse into the tap head as you rise. No, you do not have to fill the tub. It is uncomfortable enough without adding the risk of drowning. And yes, you can keep you clothes on. Naked in the tub is normal for bathers, optional for sleepers.

Live in a Hotel

If you move full-time into a hotel, you can take advantage of their convenient early morning wake up service. They will ring you up on the phone at any ungodly hour you choose; there is always somebody at the front office in the wee hours of the morning to do so, or if you find yourself living in a high-tech hotel, they will have designated a robot to do the job. You will find yourself even more productive than usual for your early morning wake-ups, as you can leave the making of the bed and general tidy-up and maintenance to the hotel staff.

Start an Alarm Clock Collection

We all know how ineffective a bedside alarm clock can be. Buzz-Snooze ... Buzz-Snooze ... Buzz-Snooze; you are really just partaking in a exercise in futility. What you need is a houseful of alarm clocks, all set to go off within two or three minutes of each other. That way, you will actually have to get up out of bed and run around like a maniac to turn them all off -- and by the time you are done, you will be hungry and thirsty and probably in need of using the toilet ... all good reasons to stay out of bed and get on with your day.

Fall in Love

You know how when life is depressing, and your mood is down, and the sky is gray, all you want to do is curl up in a hole somewhere and sleep? Yeah, I know you know. I shouldn't have mentioned it. Anyway, if you fall in love (and I really mean FALL IN LOVE, a mild dose of lust or infatuation simply will not do), that all changes. Suddenly like is worth living, the sky is blue, every little thing, like bird dropping on your car, makes you simply gush with happiness to know that you are alive, here and now, experiencing the wonders of the universe. And, here is the point, there is not a moment to squander. Sleeping is out of the question! You want to LIVE! There is a world to embrace and explore, sunrises to capture in memory (or on film if you are forgetful). You will not have any trouble getting up (or getting it up, for that matter, all you guys). Just remember that this doesn't last ... soon enough reality will hit you in the face with a big something or other, and you will have to try one of the solutions above.

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