It’s 6 am, your bed feels like a warm, soft masterpiece of comfort. You have slept as hard as tungsten, not even a rock, but tungsten, one of the hardest metals found on earth. Your prior day was rigorous, almost never ending with a constant barrage of events, creating moments of agitation and stress to your mind, and today is just another day of potentially more the same. So that warm, soft masterpiece of comfort you are lying in is the last place you want to leave from, but your alarm clock is now beeping at you! UGH! Just 10 more minutes, Bam you hit it with a hatred of that piece of electronic plastic that needs to die! So back to sleep it is, and what feels like in 2 seconds, your dreaded alarm is beeping boisterously at you again! Well, I guess, it’s time to get up, but man I’m tired!
There are many things in life we hate to do, and for many Americans, one of the most hated things to do is simply popping up out of bed with enthusiasm. Many people hit their snooze daily and research proves it is one of the worst habits to have and one of the worst forms of procrastination. What research has shown is that we sleep in 90 to 110 minute sleep cycle through the night. And as our alarm goes off, we are breaking out of that 90-110 minute sleep cycle, but if we hit the snooze, our body falls back into a new sleep cycle. And even if we get up the second time our alarm goes off, our mind and body is still in the 90-110 minute sleep cycle. You know, it’s that feeling when you are just up, but, “Man, I’m tired.” Not only are you tired, but that feeling can last up to 3-4 hours, which is well beyond the 90-110 minute sleep cycle. This is called “sleep inertia”. Sleep inertia is a physiological state of impaired cognitive and sensory-motor performance that is present immediately after you wake up. It persists during the transition from sleep to wakefulness, where an individual will experience feelings of drowsiness, disorientation, and even a decline in your body to move.
This is a very real event for many people every day, even for us members of the 5 am club sometimes. It can be so easy and feel so good in the moment to hit that snooze button. But in doing so, robs us of our most productive 3-4 hours of each day which is after you wake up. Your mind and body isn’t any fresher, malleable, and moldable than those first 3-4 hours of the day. The good news is there is a research proven strategy that works to help you! Mel Robbins started using the 5 Second Rule, prior to understanding the actual neurological pathway in which it truly works to help people get out of bed. And it is simply counting down, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and move!” If there is anything your mind and body are procrastinating doing, countdown “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and take action!” and you will excite your prefrontal cortex of your brain, which will then in turn help you get out of bed, wakes you up out of your sleep inertia even quicker, and give you a new energy to face the day.
I know, this seems crazy, whacky, maybe even moronic! That’s ok, I’m good with passing on this teaching from Mel Robbins, as her scientifically proven rule she has helped hundreds of thousands of people and I dare you to try it! I have, and not just getting up, but in situations I know someone or something had to be addressed, but held a level of discomfort and anxiety in doing so. This rule works and will help you move, take action, move forward, and reduce destructive procrastination that is a negative effect on your goals and where you want to be in 5 years.
Beyond waking up, we all have things on our to do list that we are avoiding because we just don’t want to do them or we don’t like to do them. For all things you are procrastinating, give the 5 Second Rule a try, I dare you! And remember, there are no do overs for today. Do it today!