Someday, when I restore the sleep cycle that was so brutally destroyed between September and November, I hope to begin waking up on my own again. At a regular time. Also, falling asleep at a regular time would be nice, too. And by "regular time" I don't mean at 11am, 3pm, 7pm, and then midnight, as it is now. No, I mean sleepy at 10, asleep by 11.
I have definitely become a convert to the idea that if you are getting enough sleep, and at approximately the same time each night, you will wake up on your own. Apparently most of us are going around quite sleep-deprived, hence the ubiquity of alarm clocks.
There seem to be two schools of thought about being awakened: some people feel that only a shock will wake them (loud alarm, cold water, repeated slapping, bright lights, blanket removal, etc.) and those of us who require gentleness in order to be able to slither our heads out of the bedclothes. I am definitely one of the latter.
I used to think that I needed a loud alarm, but now I have discovered that having an east-facing bedroom that gradually lightens works much better. (Provided, of course, I am getting enough regular sleep.) I absolutely hate being shocked awake, and it makes me want nothing more than to crawl back into the covers and start over. Whereas if I wake up gradually, I actually feel okay about getting out of bed. In fact, I actually find myself bored with lying there, like a kid who wants to get up and play.
The only drawback to this method is that TheLimey's bedside radio is set to BBC (WuldNyews), and I seem to hear the actual content of the news sooner than he does: "....Mumble mumble mumble mumble blah blah blah, terrible, horrible, awful things happened to a ridiculous number of people in some distant part of the world today, caused by your countrymen. Mention of blood and maiming, body count, dispossessed families. Right-wing nutjobs insist this is proper, says right-wing nutjob spokesperson. Furthermore, twenty additional species went extinct as you were listening to this report, and in related news, SUV sales are through the roof this quarter. This is Felicity Forthright, for BBC News, Angkor Wat."
A grim, if gradual, way to wake up. Of course, he thinks that my "cathedral chimes" alarm is far too loud, (which it is), so I guess we're even.
PS: I am still very sad about Mr. Foxsmith and Lady Devonport. Why can't they get together on the outside?! There can't be any really good reason. I'd like to see some follow-up on that.