Getting out of bed is, in fact, as many people know and many others have failed to realize, one of the true forms of art. Being able to get out of bed on a set time, without oversleeping, is just plain old-fashioned difficult.

First, of course, make sure you have a high-tech, modern state of the art alarm clock. It should be reliable, and most importantly, have a sound that is sure to wake you up. Something sounding similar to a legion of five-year-olds with cheap synthesizers is to prefer. Shun radio alarms.

But just having the clock is not enough! What should you set it to? This may seem simple, but setting the alarm clock right is vital. Of course, you should allow yourself time to do your daily morning chores and routines and get to work, and also include an extra buffer for unexpected events. But do not set the clock too early! Safely assured that you've allocated enough time for three mornings, you will be misled into evil laziness and come too late anyway. This is a well known phenomenon. If teachers are upset about pupils always coming 8.05 when classes start at 8.00 and move the classes ten minutes, pupils will then be arriving at 8.15 instead.

The placement of the alarm clock is also very important. It should never be placed just next to the bed, or before you know it, it's received the beating of its life, and you're snug in bed, late for work once again. Place it somewhere where you will have to get out of bed in order to turn it off. And don't even consider coming anywhere near the bed after turning it off!

After setting your clock and going to bed, the actual task begins. The first and foremost piece of advice is: do not ever press the snooze button. Snooze is your enemy! If at all possible, surgically remove the button from your alarm clock! It is just another way of luring you into believing that things are under control, when in fact, you've just received a one-way ticket to Entropia. Assuming that your alarm clock has an annoying enough sound, and you followed the placement instructions above, you should already be out of bed. No, don't even think about it. If you go back into bed for “just another five minutes”, the tooth fairy will come and rip your sorry behind apart.

Now go take a cold shower damnit, before you do something you know you'll regret.

The Cranky Waker's Guide to Booting Up

Your brain operates much like a computer. We have processes and weird hardware and sometimes our drivers don't quite match up, but we manage with some of the buggiest software I've ever witnessed. Thus, waking up properly in the morning, comparable to warm-booting (cold-booting would be stopping and restarting your heart or something) is an important step toward mental health.

Now, this method is based on my particular needs, however, it should be a good starting point for anyone who is typically oversensitive and somewhat angry in the morning. Mix and match activities to your own tastes.

First, when you wake up, don't open your eyes. Bask in those last vestiges of deep sleep and slowly come out of it. Snapping to full awake mode probably isn't very good for you.

Next, sit up slowly. Open your eyes. Look around. This is where it gets different for most people; I have a processing disorder, so I desensitize a bit before moving around too much, but it's fun to do this part one way or another. Run your hands up and down your arms, first petting lightly and then pressing firmly. Watch what you're doing. This does two things; it gently activates both sets of nerves (surface and muscle), and it lines up the input from your eyes and the input from your nerves. Do the same with your legs and torso.

Then stretch. This can range from full-out yoga to just wiggling around a bit. For those of us short on time or just too lazy to do much, stretching your arm up and your leg down, first on one side and then another, is perfectly good. Just something to get you moving.

Get out of bed and rock on the balls of your feet, once again watching carefully what you're doing. The inner ear gets confused easily, so orienting it first thing can't be bad.

Finally, go take a shower, you stinky bum. And put on some clothes! Kids these days. No shame at all.

This doesn't take as long as it looks. Five minutes with this ritual is normal for me, but if you take the time for yoga or reciting epic poetry, don't blame me if you miss your bus.

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