2016 was a whirlwind of events and emotions that, most of the time, caused me to want to stay in bed or sleep in until the evening. I felt annoyed and anxious every time this would happen; waking up after 8 am, rushing to get ready and clumsily stepping out the door with a bagel in my mouth. More often than not, I’d have to be at work close to 6 pm because I arrived so late, which brought my energy down even more so.

Anywho, for 2017, I decided that I wanted to finally wake up earlier, get ready, and have some free time to do whatever I want before finally walking to work with a smile. If the past has taught me anything, it’s that I really enjoy saying that I’ll wake up early, but I cave when the alarm eventually sounds, shutting it off and falling back asleep. This has happened time and again. So I asked myself, how can I do it right this time? In the past, here is a list of things I have tried:

  • Multiple alarms (on both one device and multiple devices)
  • Setting the alarm in another part of the room
  • Drinking a glass of water before bed

And they just weren’t doing it for me. In comes FreakyAlarm, an alarm app. FreakyAlarm forces me to solve puzzles and math problems, replicate random case-sensitive text, and scan barcodes on the other side of my apartment all while the sound of crying babies, buzzers, and a cacophony of other ear-piercing noises spew from my phone. Success.

I have never woken up at 5 am so many times in a row before. By the time I have solved all the puzzles and scanned the bar code, I’m either wide awake or entirely peeved to the point where I couldn’t NOT be awake.

For this past week, I have met my goal of waking up at 5 am, being ready by 5:30 am, having free time (usually playing World of Warcraft or reading) from 5:30 to 6:30 am, and walking to work from 6:30 to 7 am.

-E.B. Alexander