“It is a very big problem for me to wake up in the morning,” says LuAnn. “I will hit the snooze button four or five times before I’m even conscious.”
Her husband, Larry, feels the brunt of his wife’s bad habit. “My wife can sleep through a screaming locomotive coming through our bedroom,” he complains. “I would rather be stuck in a phone booth with a chainsaw than to cross her when she really doesn’t want to get up.”
To help LuAnn combat her need for ZZZs, Larry bought her a high-powered alarm clock. “He got me a 100-decibel screaming horn contraption from the truck stop,” she says. “Even that doesn’t work.”
Woefully, Larry says, “She gets up, turns it off and crawls her butt right into bed.”
LuAnn is starting to feel the ramifications of oversleeping. “I’m always running late. I run around here cursing like a sailor, trying to get out of here. It’s an absolute mad house,” she says. “I skip a shower, brushing my teeth, breakfast, putting on makeup. I put that on in the car on the way to work. Out of a five-day work week, I’m running late three out of the five days. I’m sick of it.”
Realizing that she desperately needs to change, LuAnn turns to Dr. Phil. “Oversleeping is putting my life in turmoil,” she says. “I’m sleeping my life away. How can I stick to my New Year’s resolution to get out of bed on time?”
“What do you think is going on?” Dr. Phil asks LuAnn.
“It’s nice to have a little extra sleep,” she laughs.
“It’s beyond that. You’ve got megaphone alarms going off,” Dr. Phil counters. “What do you say to yourself when the alarm goes off?”
“Let’s go back to sleep,” she says.
“Do you wake up tired?”
“If I said to you, ‘Luann, OK. Here’s the deal: You get up within 30 seconds when that alarm goes off 30 days in a row, you get a million bucks.’ Would you do it?”
When she pauses, Larry chimes in, “She’d oversleep.”
“I’d get up,” LuAnn insists. “For the money.”
“So we know you’ve got a price,” Dr. Phil quips.
“Every night, I have this little conversation that I tell myself, ‘Tomorrow, I’m going to get up.’ But when it comes to that alarm going off, I just can’t do it,” LuAnn explains to Dr. Phil.
He doesn’t buy her excuses, pointing out that she has put her alarm across the room. “You know you’re awake. At the point you walk over there to that alarm and you hit the snooze button, you make a conscious choice to either stay up or go back to bed,” he says. “This isn’t about, ‘I can’t wake up.’ It’s just about, you don’t.”
LuAnn has to learn how to control her environment. “First off, you can get an alarm loud enough that you cannot sleep through it. You can get an alarm that will wake the dead. You’ve got one now that’s 110 decibels,” he observes. Her current alarm is the equivalent of someone shouting in her ear, a power saw running by her ear, a leaf blower, a car horn and a rock concert. “You’re not going to convince me that that’s doesn’t arouse you out of a sleep pattern,” he says.
Dr. Phil reads a list of LuAnn’s explanations for her oversleeping. “You said you’ve been doing this all your life. You say you oversleep because, simply, you don’t like being told what to do. You say that you really are basically avoiding a lot of things. There are a lot of things that you don’t like about your life,” he notes.
“Right now, yeah,” she agrees.
LuAnn’s failure to stay awake is an avoidance mechanism. “And you would rather not wake up and deal with all of that. I don’t ask myself why you’re doing this. I ask myself why not? It’s a reward for you.”
To help Luann rise and shine in a timely manner, Innovative Sleep Solutions is going to provide her with a revolutionary new wake-up device called the SLEEPTRACKER. It monitors sleep and it makes waking up a lot easier.
Dr. Phil explains, “It looks for the light stages of sleep in a 15 to 30 minute window that you need to wake up, and when you’re cycling through the lightest time, it goes off and wakes you up right then, instead of trying to wake you up out of a coma.”
He acknowledges that the device is only the beginning of LuAnn’s recovery process. “You’re still going to have to make the choice to stay up. That’s what this is all about,” he says.
Everyone in audience will receive the SLEEPTRACKER.