Waking up

Judy’s comment on Sleep reminded me of the hazards of waking up.

Judy – I changed my alarm clock from a buzzing monstrosity to a radio station I like (K-LOVE) or a CD.

Part of sleeping is waking up.  Has everyone noticed that after you go to sleep you wake up?  (Really need a sarcasm font. It would hit the Amazon best sellers list.)

My children grew up with the mantra, “Don’t wake mother.”  My husband was dismayed that no matter how many years we were married he could not touch me to wake me up without a violent reaction.  Several years ago, I was in a hospital for a problem with my stomach.  On the card that asked to list any other problems I wrote PTSD in big letters on the card.  I naively thought that hospital personnel would understand what that meant.  Nope.  One morning one of the nurses woke me up by touching my arm.  I woke up screaming and my heart pounding like a jack hammer.  The nurse jumped back as wide eyed as one of my kids that attempted to wake me up.  The nurse asked what was wrong with me.  I am not terribly brilliant when I am woken up.  I mumbled confused, “It’s on the card.”  The nurse turned the card over and read the letters.  She looked at me with concern in her eyes, “Do you mean now?”  REALLY.  PTSD doesn’t magically disappear because I was in the hospital.  Yes.  Now.  They made plans to move me right a way to the psychiatric floor but there was no room.  So they brought in one of the nurses from that floor to keep on eye on me.  Sleeping is rough, waking up can be rougher.  Those moments between sleeping and waking when nightmares haven’t been silenced and rational mind isn’t in charge yet is very difficult to maintain a healthy control of reactions.  Prepare for waking up as carefully as going to sleep.  Check with who you are trying to wake up before attempting to use any of these methods.  Warn any one that may attempt to wake you up of the hazards they may encounter.  When I go to the hospital now, I carefully explain to the nurses what they need to do to wake me up peacefully.

I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.
Benjamin Franklin
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wake_up.html#tORU173KwI4JcJRG.99

I’ll add a list of possible waking up techniques to the sleep page that may help.

As Judy mentioned, music – A favorite radio station, CD or music mix that signals morning and time to get moving.

Talking –  Talking normally and calmly to wake the person without expecting them to take in what you are actually saying.  Soothing good mornings, reassuring the sleeper that all is well, and encouraging them to start the day are all possibilities for wake up call. Please, no barking orders, expecting answers, or actual conversation, the brain takes time to transition out of sleep.

Turn a light switch on and off –  Slowly turn the light off and on.

Shop around for an alarm clock that has a sound that doesn’t trigger a violent reaction.  Some of the new white noise programs actually have a setting that allows an alarm to get slowly louder.

Set the alarm 15 to 20 minutes before you need to actually get up allowing yourself time to wake up before getting up.

Develop a stretching routine that starts before getting out of bed.  Many nights muscles would be knotted from nightmares and tension.  Releasing that tension before getting up improves the morning a little.

Create a morning routine that tells your body and your mind it is time to leave the nightmares behind and tackle another day.

Fighting for one’s freedom, struggling towards being free, is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim or good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up the next morning with the job still to be done. So you start all over again.
Maya Angelou
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wake_up.html#tORU173KwI4JcJRG.99

Things I don’t recommend:

NO Loud banging type noises.

NO Alarms that sound like sirens, horns honking or other noises distressful to the person being woken up.

Do NOT Flick the light on and off rapidly.

Do NOT Touch the person in any way.


If possible, leave your nightmares behind.



2 thoughts on “Waking up

  1. I love those, Judy. That gradual light is so gentle, especially here when it’s pitch back out in the morning for months. I’m very light sensitive and over-head lights are a real no-no for me. Too many memories; immediate panic when bright/over-head lights are switched on or a loud, obnoxious alarm goes off. It takes me awhile to get untangled physically and mentally before I can get out of bed particularly when I’m in a deep sleep.

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