This is a huge problem for me and has been so for about eight years. It’s not that I sleep through alarms, it’s that always, absolutely no matter what, unless I am responsible to other people to be somewhere on time, going back to bed is incredibly attractive and the world outside seems miserable and desolate. (It’s worse when I’m actually depressed.)
When I think about it at any other time, I think, “My god, how could I possibly be so stupid as to keep going back to bed?” but, unfortunately, knowing down to the core of my bones that I am a stupid horrible lazy person I am does not enable to me to magically get out of bed. It actually tends to make things worse, because the worse I feel the less I want to get out of bed.
There are two possible problems a person can have here. One is not sleeping through the alarm; the other is staying out of bed. You can usually fix the first with a superloud alarm or a vibrating alarm or a light alarm or all three. The second is harder. I need to be out of bed for long enough that I’m fully mentally awake. When I was in sophomore year in college, I got up and stayed up on time every day because I was sleeping in a top bunk without a ladder, and by the time I was awake enough to clamber back up the furniture I was using to get into the bunk, I no longer wanted to. I can’t practically build a loft in my current apartment, but I think doing something cognitively engaging would work, for me and possibly for other people.
Unfortunately, no one seems to implemented something similar yet for computers (although there is Sleeper Killer for the Nintendo DS). There are some similar physical alarm clocks, but they’re not that cognitively engaging and are kind of expensive. And some dude in Japan will come vacuum your face to wake you up, but that’s not practical if you don’t live in Japan or don’t want your face vacuumed.
So for lack of sufficient programming skill, I’m looking into this instead, which I found while searching for alarm clocks today. The basic idea is that you want to train yourself to get out of bed and stay out of bed when the alarm goes off. So, train yourself to do it automatically by doing it when you’re awake enough to actually stay out of bed – and keep training yourself until it starts transferring over to when you wake up in the morning.
I’m also working on some CBT trying to address the thing where I’m convinced that if I get up in the morning in response to my alarm I’ll feel desolate and lonely, since that’s not actually true for more than a brief period of time.
As an adjunct to all that, I would like to get somebody to build me a working bacon alarm clock. Mmmm….