Sleep Wars: A New Hope

Over the years I’ve struggled with falling asleep at night. I used to lie awake for hours with my brain chugging away a mile a minute. I would sleep 3-4 hours a night and nap during the day. It was an unhealthy existence.

I’d like to say there was a single thing that fixed my insomnia, but there wasn’t. It took many lead bullets to take down the beast and I’m constantly refining my formula.

Today, I usually get to sleep before midnight and usually get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep per night.

That’s great, my productivity and health have been immensely improved. I have won the battle against insomnia.

Unfortunately, the war for excellence wages on. One side-effect of my lengthy sleep habit is a tendency to wake up late. This is no good for someone who is most efficient in the morning.

I’ve decided that waking up earlier is a priority for me, so I’m participating in a challenge:

Every night I will set my alarm for 6 am (I normally sleep without an alarm, wake between 8 and 9). Every morning I will write down the time I turn off my alarm.

Afterwards, I can go back to sleep if I like, or I can begin my morning routine.

Sunday was day one. I woke up, wrote the time (6:06) and went right back to sleep.

Monday, I woke up, wrote the time (6:11) and meditated for almost an hour. Then I went back to sleep.

Today, I woke up, wrote the time (6:00am exactly) and I conducted my entire morning routine. That means meditation and a protein shake. I even finished some laundry and was at my office before 7:30.

To be honest, I almost failed today’s challenge.

When I woke, my journal was in a different part of the house. I was totally wiped from yesterday, and it was still dark. I actually turned off my alarm and lie in bed for a moment debating (groggily) whether or not to wake up

Luckily, I had a little personal coach to jolt me into action.

My Pavlok Beta prototype was right next to my bed. So when I laid back down after checking (but not writing) the time, I was able to self administer a few shocks.

The experience was incredible. We’ve all conducted the timeless internal negotiation: To snooze or not to snooze? This time, my Pavlok device negotiated on my behalf: “If you don’t get out of bed, you’re just gonna keep shocking yourself until you do.”

It didn’t take long for me to make a decision. I got out of bed, found my journal, wrote down the time I woke up and settled into a blissful meditation.

Everyday we’re finding new uses for micro-aversion therapy. I’ve used it to quit wasting time on social media, beer, and now I’m using it to wake up on time.

We’ve helped users quit life-long addictions like smoking cigarettes and pick up (hopefully) life-long hobbies like painting. Our CEO is using the device to hack his dietary habits and even keep his apartment cleaner.

And these examples are only the beginning. I can’t wait to see all the uses people find for this elegant little device.

I hope you’ll be one of them. Preorder a Pavlok today 🙂

2 thoughts on “Sleep Wars: A New Hope

  1. Matthew J Shochat

    I very much have been a night owl much of my life. Mornings have never been the most productive in my opinion, although that has changed much more lately. Because I am use to staying up at night, I will force myself to go to sleep earlier in order to get some rest (such as what I am doing this week). This helps prevent burn out, which is something I am very prone to due to my very active lifestyle, and constant thought processes on a regular basis, but it also encourages decent sleep.


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