I’ve generally set an alarm for weekday mornings, though for big chunks of the last 15 years, it’s been aspirational. I might need to wake up by, say, 7 a.m. for the morning to run smoothly, but the odds are good a little one would be chirping by 5:45 or so.
However, now that my eldest is in high school — and thus the morning needs to start early — and my littlest has his own room — which means all of us are sleeping better — alarm clocks are featuring more prominently in my life. I set mine for 6:30 a.m. and I can reasonably expect that I will not be woken by something else before then.
Longtime readers know that my sleep “set point” is 7.4 hours/day. Over any longer period of time, this is what I average. I know this from almost 7 years of time tracking data. There are good nights and bad nights, but over the course of a month or two, this is where I end up.
Since I know this, I try to set my daily schedule to allow for this amount of sleep. I’m in my bed around 10:30 and relaxing, with the lights going off around 10:45 or 11. If they are out and I am out by then, this will allow for 7.4 hours of sleep. It actually allows for a little more, which explains the phenomenon of waking up somewhere between 6-6:30 on some chunk of mornings. On Friday night last weekend, for instance, I got in bed at 11 p.m., and sure enough, woke up at 6:25 a.m.
Waking before an alarm clock with no one demanding my attention is an interesting phenomenon. I often just lie there (I worry if I get up the house will start waking…). I will likely start using the time to read if this keeps happening. Though honestly, since I’m not really a morning person, I suspect this will lead me to wait a little longer before going to bed. We shall see.
Do you wake with an alarm clock or generally before? What time is your alarm going off these days?
In other news: Last call for the I Know How She Does It book discussion! I’m doing an author chat to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. For a donation of $25 or more, you can join in. (That link goes to the registration form for my session; there is also a link to the donation site on that page where you can). I’d love to see some friendly faces; it will be at noon eastern tomorrow (2/11).
Photo: Sunrise from my retreat in Cape May this fall