Ms ZiYou Snoozing Cat

Sunday Short #10 – Getting up Early or the snoozing problem

Welcome all, to the tenth Sunday Short. This week I want to go into the snoozing problem or my challenges in getting up early.

Does the Early Bird Really Catch the worm?

Ms Zi You Early BirdSo, are you a morning person or a night owl? Given I fall asleep at 10pm, I’m definitely a morning person. I feel more alive and productive in the morning. In comparison, in the late evening, I feel sluggish and tired. Hence I’m on team lark – an early riser.

Or so I thought; now lately, I’ve been struggling to get up for my 6am alarm, and have got into the snoozing habit. And this snoozing problem is getting worse, last week I snoozed the alarm every single day. WTF? So now I’ve got a snoozing problem, and the Type A part of my personality wants to sort this out. Snoozing is not productive, and getting this low quality sleep cannot be doing me any favours.

Ms ZiYou Night Owl

Originally I wanted to get up at 6am to get productive work done; do some journaling, yoga or run, Chinese and blog before work. But I’m finding after snoozing I’ve hardly got enough time to eat brekkie, hence not getting these things done. Article after article extolls the many virtues of rising early, and how the majority of top performers are early birds with rising times of 4am, 5am and 6am commonplace. But the articles outlining their bedtimes seem fewer, and the only ones I’ve seen tend to indicate they get by on minimal sleep – 4 hours a night cannot be good for you? So, what should I do? Is going to bed earlier the answer? Or the more radical solution of setting my alarm later?

Whatever I decide, I’m determined to end this snoozing problem – I need to either get to bed earlier or set the alarm later.

Week Review

The Sunday Short also features a review of the past week and some thoughts on the coming week.

Past week

  • The week has been perfect on the work side, uneventful and no long hours. And the overall stress level is reducing which is epic. Sadly the three-continent project which is ruining lunch is still ongoing. One continent gets 7am meetings, one 6pm meetings and one 1pm meetings. In a way it is balanced that everyone suffers, but I want a clear lunch slot back in my diary.
  • And wow, no rejections yet on the trustee applications, although after a while I’m going to start calling the no replies rejections. How long should I give it?
  • I had one interview this week – it didn’t go too well on reflection; it wasn’t bad per say, but I could have added and said so much more in support of my candidacy. Will find out either way in a couple of weeks.
  • And another trustee interview added to the diary, this is quite a high profile charity, so it’s a complete long shot and I’m not getting my hopes up; but it will be a good experience. And I’m not loving the idea of facing a panel of four, let’s hope my nerves hold up.
  • For some reason, my Chinese tone pronunciation has taken a turn for the worse – I’m really struggling to pronounce fourth tones, and had a really frustrating lesson when I just couldn’t do it. I know what to do, but making my mouth pronounce it is the hard bit. Hopefully, it gets easier in the future – or maybe I need a speech therapist?
  • My Parkrun time is finally improving, without me feeling like I’m dying. However, the nice weather keeps bringing out loads of people, and it’s getting really rather busy each week. I’m not very good at getting past people, I have to wait till the hills to power past.

And the coming week 

  • Another interview this week and I need to prepare better this time, and make sure I give full and complete answers to questions. And master the politician’s art of giving them information I want them to have, even though they did not ask for it.
  • Another bank holiday weekend, another trip away. This time I’m off to Northern Ireland, so see the Giants Causeway and the Causeway coast itself. Luckily the weather is holding up, so it should be a good weekend. Now, all I need to do is remember how to drive a manual car!

Over to you?

  • Has it been a good week?
  • Any plans for next week?
  • Are you a lark or an owl?
  • What time do you rise?


Thanks for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or Pinterest.

Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas – all are welcome. 

14 comments on “Sunday Short #10 – Getting up Early or the snoozing problem

  1. I’m a fellow lark! No matter what time I go to bed, when the sun starts rising at 5am in the spring, I wake up. So sleeping until a decent time in the morning (like say 6) gets to be challenging. But I also love the hot summer nights. There’s something special about those.

    Your snoozing problem… as you call it. Not sure it’s a problem. You mention stress decreasing. Is there any chance you were sleep deprived or recovering from a high stress period? I know from experience even if you got a full night sleep during a stressful period, it takes a toll on your mental and physical energy. It can take awhile to get back to normal. So maybe let yourself sleep in as long as you can until you naturally don’t want to?

    1. Hi whymances, thanks for commenting, great to hear from a fellow lark.

      Yes, I might try setting the alarm later for a bit, the sun coming in earlier and earlier certainly doesn’t help!

  2. As you mentioned, I have also read articles talking up the benefits getting up early. I have tried to get up early to write a blog post and I can’t make it work. I am tired and sluggish in the morning. I need coffee 🙂 I attribute my morning malaise to working evening shifts at a hospital for the last 10 years. Your job sounds stressful, having to prepare for all those interviews. EEEKK.

  3. don’t get me started on these 3 continent calls. My calls start at 10.30pm these days (if with people at your time zone, and sometimes closer to midnight for central european time zones. grrrr!!!!)

    they are never productive, I always have another laptop/ cellphone going on and browse some FI blogs and plot my early retirement scheme, hehe. and wake up tired the next day…

    1. Same here – 10.30pm call scheduled tonight and a 6am tomorrow morning 🙁 Just makes you think….the sooner we escape the better.

      I find natural light the best antidote to the snooze button. l leave a couple of the blinds in my bedroom open so that waking up early is easier with the room completely light.

      1. Ouch on those call times, that sucks a lot.

        And actually, I rarely open my bedroom curtains – I don’t have blinds and my neighbours can see in. Easier to keep them closed and avoid any embarrassing situations!

  4. I am a lark but within reason i.e. setting the alarm for 5.30am is not good. With the light mornings I am awake by 6.30am usually whether I want to be or not. I used to snooze my alarm constantly, moved the clock to the other side of the room and couldn’t snooze it then! Now my rule is never press snooze, not even once – slippery slope and all that.

    Your round of interviews sounds a little intensive. Do you intend to land just one voluntary position or are you gunning for more than one? Hopefully not every week is like last week. We have a free week before DD2 descends upon us for her half term. No doubt I’ll be financially stressed by the end of the week!

    1. Hi Tuppenny, hell yeah, I love your snooze advice- hitting it once is the downfall. All snoozing is bad!

      Yeah, I kind of like batching things together, but didn’t expect to be so successful in getting to the interview stage. At this stage I’m just going to see what happens – I don’t interview well, I’m a bit Marmite so we’ll see who I click with. Most positions are only 5 hours a month, so it’s not a massive time commitment by any means.

      Good luck relaxing before DD2 imposes on you again! I’m sure your financial muscles are well trained for her return.

  5. Have always been an owl. When required at work, I can put in an early productive shift but I’d say I concentrate far better later in the day. I tend to go to bed between midnight and 12.30am during the week and I have 3 different alarms, the first one going off at 6.55am. The alarms all sound different, with the last one being in my cupboard so I have to get up to switch it off, bit like @Tuppeny!

    Everything for work is sorted the night before, eg what I’m going to wear, my packed lunch, and my gym bag. In the morning, I just have time for a shower and a sip of water. I have my free breakfast when I get into the office. I go to the gym after work and have plenty of energy, which I most defniitely don’t have in the morning!

    I think I’m a lot better than I was when I was in my 20s and early 30s, when I would regularly sleep in til noon at weekends (even when not hungover) – these days, I set a weekend alarm which goes off at 8am (later, if I’ve had a really late night in town). Sleeping too much makes me feel sluggish, like I’m jet-lagged.

    I guess I’m never going to be one of those top performing larks since getting up at (to me) a stupid hour isn’t part of my plan!

    All the best for your interviews – they sound tough. How different are they from ‘normal’ job interviews?

    1. Hi Weenie – your alarm in the cupboard is funny, a true sign of a night owl. I can’t believe how many weekend mornings i wasted in my twenties – I really slept in a lot too!

      I do miss working in an office with free brekkie, that was a good perk.

      I think the interviews are different as they are much more about alignment to the charities mission and personal connection than professional interviews, which have always been more skills and experience based in my perspective.

  6. Hope the interview goes/went well. It’s been over 20 years since my last interview – I’m not sure I’d have the fist clue at how to promote myself these days. Is it all powerpoint presentations and the like? Petrifying! It sounds like you know what you want to get across so hope you manage that.
    I’m a complete night owl, as is Mr FU, we’re absolutely hopeless at hitting the pillow before midnight, even with early starts for work/the school run/child’s football match the following day. It’s actually a good thing we’ve reason to get up reasonably early most days or we’d probably be asleep until almost midday otherwise, but it does take its toll surviving on 6 hours sleep a night. I’m in awe of anyone who is a lark, because for the mornings I’ve ever been up and out early I’ve really enjoyed the productivity I can achieve, and also the ‘newness’ of the day. There seem to be hours in which to achieve things. Every now and again we force ourselves to have ‘an early night’ (that is, to actually go to bed before 12) but it’s a good habit that never sticks for us, unfortunately.
    Have a great bank hol trip.

    1. Thanks Mrs Fu – god no, no powerpoint presentations – that would be bad. Or would it? At least I’d know what they wanted to ask??

      That’s cool that you & Mr FU are both in sync as night owls, much make life so much easier.

  7. The beauty of being early retired is no alarm clock for me! Sometimes I wake up regularly at 5:30am, other times I’m dragging out of bed around 7am. I’m a big fan of the YouTube show “Impact Theory” and he’s always optimizing diet, exercise and mindset. He believes sleep is very important and you should keep sleeping if your body says snooze. For me, the culprit is usually either too much coffee, too much wine, or too much late evening exercise when I can’t wind down.

    1. Hi Susan, have to admit that’s one of the things I am really looking forward to – the flexibility to not have to get up every weekday morning. It must be a fabulous way to live.

What do you think?