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7 Best Alarm Clocks to Wake You Up in the Morning

7 Best Alarm Clocks to Wake You Up in the Morning

I used to have a lot of difficulty waking up in the morning… especially on Monday mornings. I’d hit snooze a million times while cutting everything unnecessary out of my morning routine (i.e showering at night, shaving my head so I wouldn’t have to style my hair, replacing breakfast with an energy drink, etc) so I could squeeze every last second of sleep out of the night. Although I took it out on my alarm clock, my problem had nothing to do with waking up, nor the alarm. Even the best alarm clock would’ve triggered the same reaction.
A lot of it had to do with hating my job. I wasn’t passionate about what I did. How could I be? I worked for the banks. I dragged myself into work every day and put in my 10-12 hours, but I wasn’t a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. That all changed when I blew the whistle on my employer, quit my job, and discovered meditation and yoga.

Now I look forward to Monday mornings. In fact, I wake up every morning feeling refreshed and revitalized, ready to enjoy a productive and satisfying day. If you want to feel the same way, here are 7 “alarm clocks” to use.

1. Meditation and Yoga

buddha meditation Lifehack

     Buddha looooo-verrrrrrs…gotta learn to smoke the buddhaaaaa…

    I know it sounds new-agey, but I assure you I don’t own any Birkenstocks or tie-dyed clothes. What these practices taught me are gratitude, compassion, and how to calm my mind.

    The biggest problem in waking up is going to sleep. When sleep is a deadline, it’s not enjoyable. You’re not mentally prepared to go to bed if you’re stressing about what happened today or what’s going to happen tomorrow. Sit or lie down and take a breath. Instead of worrying about money, bills, your job, family, schedules, projects, and all the other variables in your life, focus on the one important constant: you. Listen to your breath. Feel the air fill your lungs and expand your chest as you breathe in. Allow yourself to sink into the ground and relax as your chest compacts while you breathe out. Nothing else matters in this world except your breath. It’s your life blood. When you focus on it, everything else melts away.

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    Once you’ve mastered the art of meditation, you can begin to understand yogic principle of positive thinking. You don’t need to pull your legs over your head to learn valuable life lessons from yoga. All you need to do is start thinking positive. Instead of dreading the upcoming day, be grateful you’re alive to experience it. By changing your perspective, you’ll find both sleeping and waking up are no longer a chore.

    2. Your Biological Clock

    If you pay attention to the elderly in your life (which you should, as they’re a fountain of wisdom), you’ll notice they tend to wake up on a schedule. Older generations had much more rigid schedules than we do these days, so many older people are used to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This is actually a very a healthy thing to do.

    When you’re younger, it’s easy to get into the habit of waking up at the buttcrack of dawn Monday-Friday, but sleeping in on the weekends. People who work late shifts often do the opposite, waking up earlier on their days off. This takes a toll on your biological clock. You should only vary your sleeping/wake times by an hour in either direction (except on special occasions such as a vacation or your house catching on fire). When your internal clock is kept consistent, you’re less likely to be exhausted and sleep through your alarm clock.

    A trick utilized by Native American tribes prior to a hunt is to drink plenty of water prior to going to bed for the night. Doing so will activate your bladder in the morning, giving you an extra incentive to wake up without the need of external alarms. It’s also helpful to prevent a hangover if you’ve been consuming alcohol.

    3. Nature’s Alarm Clock

    Sunrise Lifehack

       Stop sleeping through the best part of the day…

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      We spend so much time indoors as a society that it becomes easy to block out the natural world. The most natural alarm clock in our lives is the sun. If you have a job and lifestyle that allows you to wake up to the natural light of the sun, by all means, leave your curtains/blinds open and go for it. Personally I enjoy being awake to watch the sun rise though.

      If you live in a rural area, you can leave a window open to wake up to the light, heat, sounds, and smells of the morning. Birds chirping, leaves rustling in the wind–there’s an entire symphony every morning awaiting those able to rise to it.

      4. Soothing Sounds

      Now that your body and mind are prepared, you can focus on the physical alarm clock. There’s a plethora of sounds that can be generated by alarm clocks. Never use a sound you don’t enjoy. You should look forward to waking up.

      If you’re part of the black turtleneck iCrowd, get an alarm clock/docking station. There are a lot of great options whether you have an old 30-pin connector or the latest 8-pin lightning connector. This will allow you to set your own personalized wake up playlist (or pull a Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and wake up every morning to “I Got You, Babe”). I use my iPhone for an alarm because it allows me to set a message to wake up to. Rather than just naming it “Work” or “School,” I name my alarms “You’re amazing!” and “Wake up like a boss…” to give myself a motivational morning message.

      Even if you’re too cool for iSchool, there are alarm clock docking options for your Android or Kindle Fire. If you own a Blackberry, upgrade your pager, Grug Crood.

      If you want an old school alarm clock, get a clock radio and tune it to your favorite terrestrial radio morning show. There are options for satellite radio as well if you wanna get bourgeois about it.

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      5. Tantalizing Smells

      Bacon Lifehack

         My bacon has a first name…it’s K-E-V-I-N…

        Sound isn’t the only way to wake up in the morning. Your nose is just as capable of pulling you out of slumber. Get a coffeemaker with a timer, and set it for 5 minutes prior to your alarm clock. You’ll wake up to the tantalizing smell of your favorite java filling the house.

        Once you’re awake, cook up some bacon to get everyone else in the house up. This works especially well if you’re living with me. If you’re a vegetarian, you can try vegetarian bacon, but I refuse to add a link to such a crime against nature. Speaking of pork…

        6. From Sensual to Sexual

        Morning sex is one of my favorite types of sex. There’s something fundamentally beautiful about a breakfast bump and grind. It makes you feel alive and ready to face the day. If you’re lucky enough to be sleeping next to someone you have a sexual relationship with, make a pact that whoever wakes up first initiates mattress mambo. You’ll both (or all 3, 4, 5, however many of you there are…I’m not here to pass judgment) appreciate each other more and look forward to the morning.

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        If you’re sleeping alone, being woken up with sexual stimulation isn’t really possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself the same way. Rub one out in the morning as soon as you wake up. It’s just as relaxing, and you’ll reap many of the same benefits (plus it’s the only 100% method of safe sex). Once you spill your bodily fluids, you’ll be more inclined to get out of bed to clean up. If you’re not, your lack of hygiene is probably contributing to your solo status.

        7. Rube Goldberg Devices

        pee-wees-big-adventure-lifehack

           Best…movie…ever…

          My personal favorite method of waking up for special occasions involves a complicated series of contraptions that, once activated, launches a chain reaction that ends with a bucket of water being poured on my head. If you’re unfamiliar with Rube Goldberg devices, here are the basics:

          Set your phone’s alarm to vibrate on high (or get a retro analog alarm clock for bonus style points) and set it at the edge of your nightstand or dresser so it’ll fall off when activated. Tie one end of a string to the alarm, run it up over a hook on the ceiling then down underneath a hook on the wall above your headboard, and tie the other end to a bucket of water above your head and hook. When the alarm goes off and it falls to the ground, it’ll pull the bucket over, dousing you with water.

          Brian Penny Rube Goldberg Alarm - Lifehack
            Believe it or not, I’ve had no formal art training…

            Once you have the basics down, you can add even more fun to the equation. Check out The Incredible Machine for more ideas of steps to add.

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            Last Updated on November 9, 2020

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

            Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

            Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

            If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

            Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

            1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

            Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

            Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

            Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

            2. No Motivation

            Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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            This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

            If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

            3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

            Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

            A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

            A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

            The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

            4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

            One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

            We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

            Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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            You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

            5. Upward Comparisons

            Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

            The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

            These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

            Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

            6. No Alternative

            This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

            Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

            Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

            Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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            7. Stress

            As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

            When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

            We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

            If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

            8. Sense of Failure

            People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

            Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

            Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

            If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

            9. The Need to Be All-New

            People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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            These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

            10. Force of Habit

            Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

            Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

            These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

            Final Thoughts

            These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

            There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

            More on Breaking Bad Habits

            Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
            [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
            [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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