Why do you do what you do
[This post is a parody of “How to Be an Early Riser” and How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Clock Goes Off by my friend Steve Pavlina. Please read Steve’s posts first!]

I’ve never been good at sleeping in. From an early age, I was always up before my parents and everyone else in the neighborhood. Even as a teenager, I jumped out of bed each morning at 5:30 to attend an aerobics class before school.

Sleeping in doesn’t come natural to me. It takes a lot of hard work, but the effort is always worth it. On those rare occasions when I do sleep in, I notice a significant feeling of well-being throughout my day from not being such a personal development nutjob. So being the proactive goal achiever that I am, I’ve recently set out to be a habitual late riser (well, maybe not every day, but definitely on Saturdays).

It’s hard to be a late riser using the wrong strategy. But to my surprise, with the right strategy, it’s relatively easy.

The most common wrong strategy is this: you assume that if you’re going to get up later, you’d better go to bed later. So you stay up all night snorting lines with Paris Hilton and collapse into her 1000-thread count sheets at 4:30am. Sounds reasonable, but for “smart people” like us, it will usually fail. I know if it were me I’d be up again at 5:15am, writing a blog post entitled, “10 Reasons Paris Hilton Should Never Get a Job”.

The optimal solution is very simple, and many late risers do it without even thinking about it. The solution is to go to bed at your usual time, and set your alarm clock at your usual time. But the difference is that when your alarm clock goes off, instead of getting up, YOU PRESS SNOOZE.

When you press snooze, it gives your inner “late riser” an opportunity to convince your inner “early riser” that staying in bed is a good idea:

It’s nice and warm under the covers. If I get up, it’s going to be cold. That won’t be too pleasant.

I don’t really feel like working out right now though. I haven’t even had breakfast. Maybe I should have a muffin first. Banana nut. Now that’s a good muffin.

Maybe I’m trying to get myself up too early. I’m still sleepy, aren’t I? Getting up with an alarm is unnatural. Won’t I function better with more sleep?

I don’t have to get up right this minute, do I? Surely I can relax another five minutes or so. The world isn’t going to end if I don’t get up right now.

[Zzzzzzzz ]

Two hours later, you won’t even remember your alarm clock going off. You’ll have had a great snooze, and guess what? You got to skip the gym!!!

So if you want to become a late riser (or just exert less control over your sleep patterns), then try this: Go to bed when you’re too sleepy to stay up, and sleep in until a random time every morning.

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