No alarm!

on May 9, 2012 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 34 comments by

I have a weird habit.

I pick one day a week and I don’t set an alarm.

Every other day of the week, I make myself wake up at 7am and actually get moving. [I know, some of you have to get up way earlier… don’t hate me for sleeping until 7. When I taught school, I was up at 5am and interacting with small people by 7am. I know this is a luxury that won’t last forever.] [Sidenote: why does telling you I sleep until 7am make me feel insecure when I am about to tell you a whole story about REALLY sleeping in? I’m a complicated human.]

Because I rarely sleep in on Saturdays and we go to the 9am service at Cross Point on Sundays, my weekends aren’t the time when I get to sleep as long as I want. I used to do “No Alarm Monday” because we had college ministry stuff until 10pm-ish on Sundays, but now I go to the chiropractor at 8:30am on Mondays, so that isn’t an option anymore.

[Sidenote #2: Would you pray for my neck and back? Nothing serious, just some continual pain that makes it hard to sit for a long time… which is unfortunate when your job is sitting and writing.]

So each week, I strategically plan a No Alarm Day. This week, it was today. No Alarm Wednesday.

I don’t know why this feels like the most delicious freedom in the world, but it does. And I also don’t know why I insist labeling it. I’m a freak.

Since my working life [that I’m gonna tell you all about tomorrow] has some pretty weird hours, and I’m not doing a 9-5 job, there aren’t really OFF hours either. You know what I mean? So it’s not like a Saturday feels like my day off of work. In fact, I worked/wrote for seven hours last Saturday.

So when I left the Vanderbilt baseball game yesterday [which, some of those boys have started frequenting the blog and I’m all, “uh, I better write a dude-centric post every now and again”] I got home and realized, “TOMORROW IS NO ALARM WEDNESDAY!” And I did a jig.

I still was up by 8:30am. I don’t have the sleeping in skillz of my teenage years where I could snoozle until lunch. I wish I did.

So on average, not on No Alarm Wednesday, I go to bed around 11pm and I’m up at 7am. But today… oh it was nice to never hear the bullhorn that wakes me up most mornings.


Here’s what I’m curious about: on average, what time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up? How many hours of sleep do you need to feel human?


  1. posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:29 AM  |  reply

    Girl, I stayed in bed until just after 9 this morning. I don’t set an alarm anymore (unless I have an appointment or I’m heading out for church). I left behind the “typical” work grind almost 2 years ago and I do not miss it. Instead, I finally followed God’s call to attend seminary/grad school. So that’s the season I’m still in and that is plenty of (unpaid) work for me. I usually head to bed between 11 and 1. It just depends on what I’m reading and writing at the time. I need at least 7 hours to feel okay when I get up. Anything less and I risk becoming a monster.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:56 AM  |  reply

      Seven is good for me too. If I am afraid I’ll get less than 6, I am practically already in a bad mood. πŸ™‚

  2. posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:43 AM  |  reply

    first let me say that you sleep a long time – from 11am to 7 am the next day :). Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    I usually go to bed sometime between 11 pm and midnight. I get up around 8:15. Some days I sleep a little later – to 9 if I can. Like you, I have lost the ability to sleep until lunch that I used to do as a teenager. I don’t have little people in my home, but do have a life where I don’t really have off hours. As a rural missionary, I can be called on at any time – middle of the day or night to help someone. So, I try to take a day off every now and then and sometimes it actually works :). Otherwise, I take little sets of time whenever I get the chance to just read or veg or some such thing.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:55 AM  |  reply

      HA! Good catch and fixed. πŸ™‚

  3. posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:44 AM  |  reply

    Enjoy sleeping in until 8:30. Bedtime is around 11 or so. I have a built in alarm clock that snaps my eyes open every morning anywhere from 5 to 6. I try to ignore it. Oh, how I try.
    As I type this, our 20-year-old son is asleep and will be until 1 or so. He works hard at two jobs and just finished his junior year in college so I let him. πŸ˜‰
    I’ll pray for your neck and back.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 10:55 AM  |  reply

      YIKES! 5 or 6am? I would not be happy.

      Thanks for your prayers!

  4. posted on May 09, 2012 at 11:54 AM  |  reply

    It seems like most days I’m up at 8:30…and go to sleep by 12:30-1am. Yeah, now I feel like I should be more disciplined and get up earlier instead of rolling out of bed and starting my work day. (The joys of working from home where you feel like you never actually have a “day off”.) πŸ™‚ Its pretty consistent 7 days a week even on days that I don’t have to be up to do anything right away, I’m still up at 8:30. I am very much a 7-8 hours of sleep a night girl.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:40 PM  |  reply

      I totally love the nights where I get to stay up late working and sleep late. πŸ™‚ I do make exceptions for that.

  5. Beverly
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    Years ago I realized I was waking up every morning about 5-10 minutes before my alarm went off. I decided to strike out on my own & not use an alarm at all. One of the best & most freeing decisions I have ever made. Every morning starts better without the horrible sound of an alarm clock. I only use one when I have to be up crazy early for a flight or something.

    However,I do have to go to bed at a regular time for it to work well. I am usually turning out the light no later than 10:00 & am awake around 6:00/6:30. Even if I stay up later, I wake up about the same time…..just one of those things that comes with age. I need the 8-9 hours of sleep, so staying up late is usually a bad choice for me.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:40 PM  |  reply

      I’m impressed with your internal clock.

  6. posted on May 09, 2012 at 12:51 PM  |  reply

    I’m a girl who LOVES her sleep. I need at least 7 hours a night otherwise I’m crabby as anything.

    They (who’s this “they” anyway?) told me once I had kids I’d stop sleeping so much but no, my hubby gets up at 6 with them and leaves me to sleep til 7:30 πŸ™‚

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:43 PM  |  reply

      I’ll take a husband like that one, please. πŸ™‚

  7. posted on May 09, 2012 at 1:26 PM  |  reply

    I wish I could do that every week. But sadly, I can’t EVERY week. But when I can go to sleep without an alarm – I relish it.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:44 PM  |  reply


  8. posted on May 09, 2012 at 1:32 PM  |  reply

    I usually go to bed between 10 and 10:30, start hitting snooze at 6:03, and get up at 6:21. Because I’m scheduled like that. πŸ™‚ But I loooove a good no-alarm day (usually Saturday)!

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:45 PM  |  reply

      You are scheduled for realz. Well done.

  9. Jess
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 1:39 PM  |  reply

    7 hours?! Eeeeesh. I need at least 9 with one no alarm morning a week with freedom to sleep as long as I like(which is usually exactly the same time as I normally wake but with a few hours reading in bed). I also lament the loss of teenage epic sleeps-it makes me feel like a proper grown up!

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:45 PM  |  reply

      Nine hours? Impressive. I can definitely sleep that long most nights. πŸ™‚

  10. Mollyanne
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 3:07 PM  |  reply

    I usually go to bed between 10:30 and 11 and get up around 6:30, or whenever my 2-year-old wakes up. I haven’t used an alarm regularly since 2009. I need 7 hours to function but 8 to be a pretty good version of myself. Last night I went to bed at 12:30 (thanks to a fun girls night out) and woke up at 5:30 (thanks to a toddler with the world’s worst internal alarm). It’s been a long day.

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:47 PM  |  reply

      YIKES. I believe it.

  11. posted on May 09, 2012 at 3:22 PM  |  reply

    I am so impressed that you wake up at 7am and you don’t even -have- to. I can barely drag myself out of bed by 8:30 and I’m supposed to leave for work at 9. (Well, I’m supposed to be there at 9, but it’s 3 miles away.) Overachiever!

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:52 PM  |  reply

      I also don’t always work until 5. So…it balances out in the end. πŸ™‚

  12. Beth
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 4:02 PM  |  reply

    I am ready to sleep any time of the day or night and sometimes do.
    As for the neck/back pain – what kind of chair do you use to write/type at? Maybe you should consider one of those posturepoedic jobs?

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:54 PM  |  reply

      Girl. I hear that.

      Yeah- my chiropractor says new chair and new pillow. I’m old.

  13. Kim
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 5:56 PM  |  reply

    I’m a mom of 3. Bed by 11. Up by 6. Mon-Fri. Sat might sleep til 8. Sunday depends if we go to early or late service…

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:59 PM  |  reply

      So I can kinda keep my schedule even once I have 3 kids? Booyah. πŸ™‚

  14. posted on May 09, 2012 at 7:27 PM  |  reply

    As a teacher, I am up at 5:30-6ish and at school by 6:30 or 6:45, school starts at 7:30. Lately, I have been going to bed about 11:00-11:30. So about 6-7 hours. I need at least 8-9 hours to feel human, so needless to say these days I don’t feel human right now. I am soooooooo ready for the summer!!!!

    • Annie
      posted on May 09, 2012 at 8:01 PM  |  reply

      Good luck finishing out the school year! I know how wonderful those first few weeks of summer when you’re teaching.

  15. merideth
    posted on May 09, 2012 at 8:03 PM  |  reply

    I love you and your side notes Annie. Just have to tell you that. I’ll for sure pray for your neck and back.
    I go to bed between 10 and 11 usually, and wake up somewhere between 7 and 8. Sadly, though, I wake up a couple of times during the night most nights, which is really annoying. I let myself sleep in until whenever on Saturday, but I still end up waking up by 8. I just don’t make myself get out of bed until I feel like it on those days. It’s nice to just have lazy mornings like that, and Saturdays are the best days for that for me.

  16. Emily Woodhouse
    posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:58 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie. I work about 10 hours per day. So I don’t get enough time for sweet dreams! Usually I go to bed at 10 p.m & get up early in the morning at 6 a.m. That’s it. I still miss king sleeps from my college days.

  17. ~VA~
    posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:20 AM  |  reply

    I tend to go to bed at 9pm and get up at 5am…my body’s clock, however seems to think 1am would be a great time to get up, so my alarm is more of a formality to tell me when I can get up rather than when I must.

  18. posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM  |  reply

    I’m an 8 hour a night, really need my sleep, it’s better for everyone else kind of girl. I work in college athletics and often have to be at work early, and I like to run before my day starts. Add all that together and you have a girl that often wakes up in the 4s, and therefore often goes to bed in the 8s. Most people know not to call me after 8pm unless it’s an emergency. Emergency is defined as substantial loss of blood, broken or dislocated bone, or the like. My BFF called about 2 years ago to tell me she was engaged, I said “cool I’ll talk to you later.” About 10 minutes later I woke completely up, called her back and said “did you just call to say Dan proposed or was that a dream” She started laughing.

  19. posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM  |  reply

    Hey Annie,

    I’m a new follower to your blog and loving your serious but quirky writing!
    I NEED my sleep. I go to bed roughly between 9 and 10 every night and get up when I wake up, unless the alarm is set for an appointment. I am in a study period of my life and so flexibility is awesome! I will generally be awake between 6:30 and 7am though.
    I am also recovering from burnout so this is a time of taking care of myself first and foremost so I can in turn care for others again.

    I will be praying for your back. I am currently studying counselling and recently have been learning about how our deep emotional/heart pain and journey can sometimes get stuck in our body. (‘The Body Remembers’ by Babette Rothschild is a fantastic book on this). I am currently working through some hard stuff and am in constant back pain or discomfort… Maybe something worth thinking about?

    Blessings in Christ,

  20. posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM  |  reply

    As to your question, I’m just not a good sleeper and never have been. Four or five hours do it for me. I’m old–almost 60, but even in college I would wander the halls at 7:00AM on a Saturday and wonder when my peeps would arise.

    Regarding your prayer request, have you considered standing while you work? I spend the first two hours of each day gathering information–reading several newspapers, catching up on blogs and Twitter, and (for mental fitness purposes) I work at least two crossword puzzles a day. I used to sit at the kitchen table for all of these events, but now I stand. As I stand, I stretch, do lunges, squats and wimpy little push ups against the counter. Those two hours of stretching make a huge difference in my day. It may not work for you, Annie, but it may be worth a try!

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