I’m So Tired, I Haven’t Slept A Wink…
Staying up too late is the worst thing I do to myself and I apparently have no willpower to stop it, as evidenced by about 20 years of being unable to stop it. Ironically, I love sleep. I just don’t seem to want to do it at 11pm (or midnight, or 1am).
The Sleep Equation: Bedtime
My Lenten promise of getting into bed earlier and thus getting more sleep was a complete bust. During Lent my plan was to attack the first, and probably most important, part of the sleep equation: my bedtime. The idea was to get into bed by 11pm. That happened exactly zero times. I got into bed before midnight four times. My average bedtime in the time period before Lent was 1:07am. My average bedtime during Lent was 1:17am. Oops.
The Sleep Equation: Wake Time
Not surprisingly, I never want to get out of bed in the morning. My late mornings affect getting to work on time, how much I can accomplish on days off, and what time I’m tired at night (perpetuating the vicious cycle of sleeping in and then staying up late). I’m sick of feeling like a deadbeat, of missing out on weekend mornings with Dave, of running when it’s already sticky hot in the summer, of feeling behind all the time.
I subjected my Twitter followers to a daily update on my Lenten promise failings and on a day when I lamented being late to work, someone suggested moving my alarm clock across the room.
Enter Tocky, The Alarm Clock That Runs Away
Tocky is advertised as an alarm clock that will “jump from your nightstand and roll away to get you out of bed.” Dave actually got it for me for Christmas. I was 95 percent amused and 5 percent offended. OK, I get it, I’m a deadbeat!
I used it a couple of times in January, but was not impressed. I revisited Tocky during Lent and now I find it much more useful.
The first few times I used Tocky, I placed it on my nightstand, as recommended. This is a very dumb idea. No one’s reflexes are too slow to stop Tocky from jumping (falling, if we are being honest here) off their nightstand. Tocky never made the plummet to my shag carpet, so I concluded I was considerably smarter than Tocky and put it away until failing at Lent.
My first Lenten attempt involved putting Tocky on the floor on the side of the bed I use to get up, but far enough away that I wouldn’t be able to grab it. When Tocky went off the next morning, it rolled right to me. Dumb ass.
So then I put Tocky on the other side of the room. Success! Having to get out of bed, walk around the bed, and reach down to turn Tocky off turned out to be sufficient most mornings to stay out of bed.
Tocky is expensive, he is $69 (yes, Tocky is a “he”). And quite frankly, given the way I use him, his $69 rolling capabilities are completely unnecessary. But the novelty of it adds some fun to the horror of getting out of bed in the morning.
One fun thing is you can upload MP3s to use as your alarm. You can also record a message, or you can just stick with the cute little electronic gurgling noises Tocky makes.
On the annoying side, the button used to set up Tocky is hard to press and it doesn’t always respond the first time. The dial used to change the clock and alarm times is very touchy. It either spins around uncontrollably fast or won’t respond at all.
If you really feel you need the rolling aspect of Tocky, keep in mind he doesn’t roll around very long, only for about 30 seconds. Lazy ass.
Also, the music option is misleading. While you can upload up to two hours worth of MP3s, Tocky shuts off after 10 minutes. So I suggest selecting two to three songs that will make you want to get out of bed.
Here is a video of my Tocky in action. “Run to the Hills” was an inspired choice, it seemed appropriate for a clock that’s supposed to run away from you and it’s pretty jarring first thing in the morning. As you can see, try as Tocky might, he’s no match for my shag carpet. I barely had to move my camera. He can move quite a bit more on a solid surface.
Tocky has definitely helped me get out of bed earlier. I’m no longer hitting snooze 800 times.
But I’m also getting less sleep now. I had hoped getting up earlier would eventually, naturally, push my bedtime back. That something would have to give if I were more tired. Unfortunately I’m even more stubborn than I thought. My bedtime hasn’t changed. So now instead of averaging about 7 hours of sleep per night (due mostly to hitting snooze on weekends), I’m down to an average of about 6 hours of sleep.
I miss my executive functioning.