Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

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Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

It seems like no matter what I try, unless I have something *really* important to do in the morning, I can't get out of bed before noon. And that time is getting later and later. I have 4 different alarm clocks and have been trying different settings with them, turning lights off a few hours before bed and on as soon as I get up, etc. The problem isn't getting to sleep, or getting up again, it's that after shutting up the alarm clocks I just always crawl back in bed and fall asleep again. Every time. No matter how much I tell myself the night before not to do that, I end up doing it anyway. I'll sometimes lie there for a while thinking like "well I'll just lie here for a minute to wake up" and not be able to convince myself to actually get up before falling asleep again.

It doesn't seem to matter what time I go to bed. 23:00, 0:30, 5:00, I still don't get up until 12:00-13:00 the next day. It's annoying to say the least and likely to become a real problem sooner or later.

The only solutions I can think of are to somehow "shock" myself fully awake, so that I'm conscious enough to know better than to go back to bed, or to make it somehow so that I can't go back to bed. How to do these things, I don't know. The alarm clocks are loud enough that they should do the job... any louder and people will be complaining about the noise.

Another idea I had was to rig up an alarm clock script on the computer that would play music for 5 minutes or so, then start an episode of some animé, so that I'd be inclined to move to the couch to watch it. But I'd probably just fall asleep during the show on the couch. :-/

Any other suggestions? Am I maybe not sleeping well enough or eating right or something to cause this?
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby joeframbach » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:26 pm UTC

Drink a gallon of water before going to bed.
You'll wake up. Don't worry.

edit: I use my bed as a desk. I keep all my notebooks and class books on my bed during the day, then move them onto the floor or something when I go to bed. The first thing I do in the morning is put the notebooks and crap back on the bed. It keeps me from sleeping on them.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:31 pm UTC

Sure, he'll wake up.. but will he wake up in time?
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Cheese » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:43 pm UTC

...I'm not very useful here, as I've never had problems with getting up in the mornings.
Sorry...
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Azrael001 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

I find that I have trouble getting up in the morning too, though it is only for class that I have had problems. I had to get up at 6am for work for over a year and had no problems. If you can convince yourself that what you are missing is important enough then you should have fewer problems. At least that is how I am solving my problems.

I think that with me it has something to do with responsibility. At work other people relied on me, and my absence would be a negative thing for other people, but at school the professors don't even seem to notice let alone care. I don't know if your experience is similar.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Matheson » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

Hrm, sounds terrible, you have my sympathy. I tend to get something similar (albeit, much milder than what you describe) if I get into the wrong sleeping pattern. For me that was the key. Irregular sleeping patterns would prevent a good night's sleep and ensure I would try and catch up the next night, which was never as satisfying. However, once I trained myself into sleeping normal 22:30/23:00 until 6:00/7:00 hours I felt fantastic, after a painful period of adjustment, the problem simply disappeared and I had no problem bouncing out of bed.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby tgjensen » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:22 pm UTC

Man, I have exactly the same problem. Unless I've got an appointment, I just don't get up. Drinking loads of water before going to bed sound like a clever trick, I'll try that myself tonight.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Savoy_Truffle » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:27 pm UTC

I do a combination of things including the throw-stuff-on-my-bed-so-it's-a-lot-more-lumpy-and-uncomfortable idea. Also, I really hate the sound of white noise (it bothers me to no end) so I set my radio alarm to that icky place between stations and let it scare me awake. I used to sleep with my cellphone under my pillow, tangled somewhere in the sheets so I'd have to spend a while trying to find it and shut it off in the mornings. Something helpful is putting your alarm clock somewhat far away, so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.

By the way, the water trick works.

After conditioning yourself for a while, it gets to be habit -- I can now confidently wake up at 8am every morning alarm clock or no. Yes I'm an undergrad sophomore. Yes I'm a freak.

Edit: Wow, I didn't think I was capable of starting that many sentences with "Also" in a row. Fix'd.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby |Erasmus| » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:43 pm UTC

Savoy_Truffle wrote:After conditioning yourself for a while, it gets to be habit -- I can now confidently wake up at 8am every morning alarm clock or no. Yes I'm an undergrad sophomore. Yes I'm a freak.


Not so much a freak... I do it too. It helps that if im not up by quarter to 8, then my dog will start barking when everyone else leaves more often than not.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby turnip » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:47 pm UTC

You could always get this alarm clock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ajut1IglzQ

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Coin » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:53 pm UTC

The key for me is to have something important enough to wake up for.
I have absolutley no trouble getting up for good lectures, but on weekends I just don't feel the urge to get out of bed and so I sleep untill far too late and miss half of the day.

Remedies:
1) Knowing that someone is depending on you to be somewhere at a certain point works wonders. See if you can meet someone for coffee or something. Maybe go out jogging with someone?

2) Get a "teasmade" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teasmade). Knowing that there is a hot cup of tea or coffee waiting for you in the kitchen (or in your bedroom) might convince you to get up. I know it would convince me :)
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Freakish » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

My sleep has been degrading, faster and faster the past few years. I'm an insomniac, unable to sleep for hours after going to bed. Even when I'm drained it takes at least an hour. I'm always tire even after 8,12,15 hours of sleep. Over the past few months I've been finding it harder to stay a sleep despite being incredibly tired. I'll wake up after 5 hours, then 3, then 1, then 30 minutes, then it takes me about an hour to pull myself out of bed. 1 or 2 weeks ago I was so tired getting up to school that I was hallucinating... or awake dreaming... The worst part is that you can't build a tolerance to sleep deprivation. Every day is just as bad as the last.

I've tried going to bed earlier, sleeping with my window closed/open, TV on/off, music on/off, thinking/not thinking, meditation, exercising (Made me fall a sleep earlier but didn't make me more rested), eating different foods, Mussel relaxers, and night time medication.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Shadow Tyrant » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

Hire someone to punch you in the face when your alarm clocks go off.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Master Gunner » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:17 pm UTC

I too often have problems getting up in the morning, especially when after I do finally get up, I have about 30 seconds to get out the door to make it to the bus. As I know that I need to lie awake for at least 15 minutes before I can get up (I've tried, unless I've really slept in and need to go NOW or miss the bus, my body just refuses to move), I've set up two alarm clocks. One goes off at 6:45, the other at 7:00, which is the time I actually need to get up. Usually by then I'm able to drag myself to the bathroom and properly wake up.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby joeframbach » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:18 pm UTC

Shadow Tyrant wrote:Hire someone to punch you in the face when your alarm clocks go off.

This is why most college campuses pair you with a roommate.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby bbctol » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:31 pm UTC

Shadow Tyrant wrote:Hire someone to punch you in the face when your alarm clocks go off.


Well, if you lived in Japan...

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby parkaboy » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 am UTC

My willpower: Let me show you it.

just get up. zombie yourself to the bathroom, zombie yourself to the kitchen and zombie yourself on a walk around your block. don't crawl back into bed. just don't. and don't bother telling yourself you're going to or not going to do something the next day because you don't know until you're faced with it not to mention it obviously doesn't work. Just do it.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Aperfectring » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:21 am UTC

I used to have this exact problem, and have a couple of suggestions:
  • Only use one alarm during the week. If you currently use more than one, slowly wean yourself down, because you won't be able to do it right away. I used to only use one alarm, and continually hit the snooze. This will put your body into the mode that you are only in bed to sleep, and that after you wake up, you should be getting out of bed.
  • Always set your alarm(s) for the exact same time every day of the week. Even if you have nothing specific to do, you can almost always FIND something to do. I personally like getting myself a nice breakfast. The reasoning for this is that after a couple of months, your body will get used getting up at that time, and you won't really be able to stay in bed for too long after that time passes.
  • If you have an east facing window, leave the blinds/shades cracked a little bit. It is practically impossible to sleep if you have light shining in your eyes. If you don't have an east facing window, you can always set up a directional lamp on a timer.
I get up at 7 every day during the week. I used to have to set my alarm for 6:30 to do that, because I would hit the snooze for half an hour. One advantage for this is that I can go to bed a bit later, because I will get better sleep for that last half hour. I used to wake up between 11 and 1 on the weekends, and now can't sleep past 9, no matter the time I go to bed. I have stayed up as late as 4:30, and still woke at quarter to 9.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Berengal » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:36 am UTC

parkaboy wrote:My willpower: Let me show you it.

just get up. zombie yourself to the bathroom, zombie yourself to the kitchen and zombie yourself on a walk around your block. don't crawl back into bed. just don't. and don't bother telling yourself you're going to or not going to do something the next day because you don't know until you're faced with it not to mention it obviously doesn't work. Just do it.

Willpower just after waking up? Are pigs flying now? I can't do this. I mean, I have, but it's not to be trusted. I guess it depends on how fast I wake up in the morning.
Aperfectring wrote:I used to have this exact problem, and have a couple of suggestions:
  • Only use one alarm during the week. If you currently use more than one, slowly wean yourself down, because you won't be able to do it right away. I used to only use one alarm, and continually hit the snooze. This will put your body into the mode that you are only in bed to sleep, and that after you wake up, you should be getting out of bed.
  • Always set your alarm(s) for the exact same time every day of the week. Even if you have nothing specific to do, you can almost always FIND something to do. I personally like getting myself a nice breakfast. The reasoning for this is that after a couple of months, your body will get used getting up at that time, and you won't really be able to stay in bed for too long after that time passes.
  • If you have an east facing window, leave the blinds/shades cracked a little bit. It is practically impossible to sleep if you have light shining in your eyes. If you don't have an east facing window, you can always set up a directional lamp on a timer.
I get up at 7 every day during the week. I used to have to set my alarm for 6:30 to do that, because I would hit the snooze for half an hour. One advantage for this is that I can go to bed a bit later, because I will get better sleep for that last half hour. I used to wake up between 11 and 1 on the weekends, and now can't sleep past 9, no matter the time I go to bed. I have stayed up as late as 4:30, and still woke at quarter to 9.

Alarms usually have no effect no me. Once I slept through a (false) fire alarm. Actually, I woke up for that one, but since nothing was burning (in my room at least) I went back to sleep. I didn't get it was the fire alarm, or really, any alarm. I just thought "loud noise, no worries" and fell asleep instantly. I also have a east-facing window, but leaving the shades up only serves to heat my room to unbearable temperatures so that when I do wake up I'm thoroughly soaked and gross.

I don't have a sleeping problem anymore. I mean, I still sleep till noon usually, but I don't have to get up early most days, and I've gotten better at sleeping too, going to bed at midnight, not six in the morning, and actually managing to sleep before six...
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Aperfectring » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:52 am UTC

Berengal wrote:Alarms usually have no effect no me. Once I slept through a (false) fire alarm. Actually, I woke up for that one, but since nothing was burning (in my room at least) I went back to sleep. I didn't get it was the fire alarm, or really, any alarm. I just thought "loud noise, no worries" and fell asleep instantly. I also have a east-facing window, but leaving the shades up only serves to heat my room to unbearable temperatures so that when I do wake up I'm thoroughly soaked and gross.

The three things generally work together to get you to wake up with regularity. To give you an idea, I once slept through a transformer exploding on the power pole about 50-75ft from my bed. Once you start getting into a routine, you will be a much lighter sleeper around the time you wake up. The east facing window thing only works if the light will directly shine on your pillow.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Berengal » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:55 am UTC

Aperfectring wrote:The east facing window thing only works if the light will directly shine on your pillow.

It does. In fact, it does so for three hours (from sprint till autumn anyway).

The problem with alarms is that when I first started using them, they worked, but then I slowly started ignoring them until no amount of noise could wake me up except after ten hours (I usually sleep less than that though, so the point's moot).
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Aperfectring » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:07 am UTC

Berengal wrote:The problem with alarms is that when I first started using them, they worked, but then I slowly started ignoring them until no amount of noise could wake me up except after ten hours (I usually sleep less than that though, so the point's moot).

Then I only have two more pieces of advice:
  • Have a roommate/friend punch you in the shoulder until you wake up.
  • Find some song that absolutely annoys the crap out of you. As in you can't hear it without cringing. Then have your alarm be that song in an infinite loop.

EDIT: List fixed.
Last edited by Aperfectring on Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:17 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Zak » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:10 am UTC

If you dont like metal, there's your answer, nothing like lots of dudes screaming at you to get out of bed.
*waggles eyebrows*

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Berengal » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:18 am UTC

I used to go to bed with metal blaring full volume. Made me sleep better.

Naw, I just go to bed earlier, so I get up in time when I have to. Either I wake up at 7am, or at 1pm, depending on how early I go to bed.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Masuri » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:26 am UTC

This is a timely thread for me.

I've been having problems getting to work on time - which I don't feel guilty about since I work an assload of hours - but my boss has started to hound me a bit and he does have a point. 9am isn't an unreasonable hour to be at work. I absolutely cannot drag my sorry ass out of bed at a decent time for some reason, even when I go to bed early. Then it takes me an hour once I get to work to even be able to function. So, I'm starting my day at 10:30, roughly. Meh.

So, tomorrow, I am going to set my alarm for 6:30, drag my tired ass to the gym via parkaboy's zombie strategy, and see if I can wake up enough on the treadmill to get me to work at 9am and ready to DO work at 9am.

I'll report back on this strategy once I've done it for a few days. (If it kills me, you guys can have my stuff.)

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Zak » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:28 am UTC

Dibs on any game consoles/computers!
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:43 am UTC

^ Damn.

Water: No good, my bladder is extremely sensitive when I try to sleep. If it's not completely empty the need to take a leak will keep me awake.

Dumping stuff on the bed: Might work if I can convince myself to do it. I'll try to remember to find stuff.

Alarm clock on the other side of the room: Already is. In fact one of them is a computer program that won't shut up until I enter a random 8-character code. (It starts a song and locks the volume/play controls.) I've tried both awesome songs and annoying songs.

Automatic breakfast/tea-making machine: I'll see if I can find one. I was thinking toaster on a timer, but I can't seem to find any timers. (If I had one, I'd put a lamp or two on it.)

Willpower: Been trying for a while now. I'm just not conscious enough at that point to know that I should drag my ass out of bed.

Using one alarm clock: Worth a try...

I really need to find an electric timer, I think having a lamp and/or toaster on one could work. Zellers seems to have mysteriously stopped carrying them.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:54 am UTC

Willpower: Been trying for a while now. I'm just not conscious enough at that point to know that I should drag my ass out of bed.


Yeah, for what you're talking about, willpower is useless. If your brain isn't coherent enough to know that you should make yourself do something, then having the willpower to be able to make yourself do it won't do any good.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Birdman » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:24 pm UTC

I share your problem.

Unless I'm going to miss something really important, I can't get myself out of bed any time before 0930. Fortunately "nearly on time for work" qualifies as "really important", so I manage to be up for the early starts (which can be as early as 0445, meaning a wakeup time of about 0345 at the latest). Doing shift work means I can't try the "same time every single day strategy" though I can see it has merit.

On most workdays I can manage with a single alarm next to my bed. I've had to wean myself down from two on opposite sides of the room. If I'm worried about waking up (going to bed 3 hours before I need to wake up, for instance) I'll set two in case.

On days off though, I'll sleep straight through alarms (clocks, or fire) and can turn them off in my sleep even if they're out of reach. Since I wake up properly only once I'm in the shower, the best trick for me is to put an alarm clock in there with all the doors between my bed and it open. That'd be my suggestion to you. Doesn't work very well in shared accomodation though.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby tiny » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

Open a window and put your blanket far far away. This works best in winter.

Make a route of alarm clocks to your bathroom. Get up to switch off the first clock and take your blanket with you to the clock, then doze on the floor next to it until the next clock rings in the next room. When you reach the bathroom, wash your face with cold water.

EDIT: Damn, Birdman kind of beat me on that last one...
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby segmentation fault » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

joeframbach wrote:Drink a gallon of water before going to bed.
You'll wake up. Don't worry.


its true...

maybe 4 hours before youre supposed to, but you WILL wake up.

my method works pretty well. put the alarm clock somewhere where you will hear it, but HAVE to get up in order to shut it off.
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby Julie » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:18 am UTC

Your sleep cycle (light sleep to REM sleep back to light sleep) lasts approximately 90 minutes. So, you must sleep for an interval of 1.5 hours. You can sleep for 1.5 hours, 3 hours, 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours, 9 hours, et cetera. It will be equally easy for you to wake up at each of those times. For example, it'll be a LOT easier to wake up after 6 hours than after ten hours... simply because you're in light sleep at that time and your body is ready to wake up.

It also helps to force yourself up at the same time every day, be it a weekend or a weekday. Let's say you normally go to bed at 10:00 and wake up at 6:00. If you don't go to bed until 11:00 one night, it is better to wake up at the usual time than to sleep until 7:00. This is because of your circadian rhythms.

Funnily enough, we're learning about sleep cycles in my psychology class right now... if you have a legitimate sleep disorder (insomnia, sleepwalking, sleep apnea), neither of the above applies to you, though.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby audoue » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:15 am UTC

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby koneko » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:54 am UTC

I have the same problem, and if I don't set an alarm or have someone wake me up I will go on sleeping, in extreme cases until as late as 4pm.
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PhantomReality
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby PhantomReality » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:27 pm UTC

yo same problem here and it's seriously fucking with my life. i'm missing classes and shit. if you find a solution you best let us all know
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SteaL7h
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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby SteaL7h » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Flying Alarm Clock

Clocky Robotic Alarm

and if the problem is that you simply ignore the sound:

Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

"The Sonic Bomb Clock has an adjustable volume alarm with a maximum loudness of 113 decibels (just for reference, a jackhammer is about 100 decibels!) And the bed shaker does just that. Slip it under your mattress and your ears will bleed and your bed will shake, and there is no way you will oversleep."
"Well, shit." My intro.

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Re: Help, I've fallen (asleep) and I can't get up!

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:15 pm UTC

Well the past few days I've been having decent luck with a few methods:
-Single alarm clock; a computer program that starts a cool song at almost-too-loud volume. The song will keep looping until a random 8-character code is entered, at which point you can stop it or adjust the volume and it will stop on its own when done. The computer is on the other side of the room so I have to get up to do that. (I should probably clean up and release this program, it's cool.)
-After doing that (but leaving the song to finish), remain in bed until it finishes, but prop the pillow up vertically and sit up straight against it, rather than laying down. Falling asleep in that position would be a challenge. I also suspect being in this position helps you wake up faster than being horizontal.
By the time the song finishes I'm generally awake enough to actually get up and do stuff. The one time this method failed, it was because my friend Catherine came in and decided to be all cuddly; naturally I just had to curl up next to her and sure enough... <_<

Only thing is I usually don't have trouble getting up if I have something important to do in the morning, and every day I've tried this (except the cat incident) I have, so there's really no telling if these changes have helped much. But sitting up in bed seems to be a good compromise between crawling back in and not going back at all.
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