The bed problem


If you saw me get up out of bed, you’d wonder how I ever learned to maneuver the way that I do. If I outlined the movements for you, they’d go something like this:

  1. Roll onto left side
  2. Use right arm to pull left arm out
  3. Bend left arm and put hand under chin
  4. Roll slightly to the left
  5. Reposition left arm
  6. Change angle of hand under chin
  7. Roll more to the left and use momentum to put weight on my left elbow
  8. …And on and on for what seems like 100 carefully coordinated movements

It doesn’t take forever, but a minute seems like forever when there are so many things to do.

Getting out of bed in the morning is, as I’ve mentioned, one of the more difficult physical tasks I do in a day. Since it’s usually the first thing I do, it’s nice to get it out of the way right away. However, because it’s not as easy as just hopping up from the bed, it becomes easy for me to just stay in bed. Combine that with the fact that I’m usually perfectly comfortable when I wake up and I waste a lot of time in the morning.

One idea I have is to get an adjustable bed to make it easier for me to get up. Then I could just push a few buttons and practically be sitting up. Sounds great, right?

But a red flag for me is that I don’t want to lose the ability to get out of bed by myself. I worry that if I stop doing my special “maneuver,” I might lose the strength to do it when I need to — like when I am traveling and the bed I’m in is not adjustable.

This is a great example of when making something easier might not be the smartest thing to do for myself. It’s not painful or impossible for me to get out of bed on my own, it’s just an inconvenience. I don’t think I’m willing to sacrifice independence in order to make getting out of bed a little more convenient…at least not yet.

So in the meantime I brainstorm ways to get myself out of bed with a little more discipline. As I’ve come to find, it’s not just a “physical ability” thing that keeps people in bed in the morning. Able-bodied people have a tough time too. So hopefully in the coming months I can figure out a way to get up earlier and with more discipline using strategies that don’t involve getting blown out of bed by water from a fire hose!

I sleep in a regular bed and through a series of what feels like 100 different coordinated movements, I can get myself up and out of bed on my own. This is extremely helpful to maintain my independence, particularly when I am traveling by myself.

One problem I have, however, is that I love to sleep. When I wake up and I am totally comfortable and warm, I feel like I want to stay in bed all day.

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2 Responses to The bed problem

  1. Brad says:

    I also love to sleep as well! It takes me a long time to get up in the morning its just so comfortable. We all know rest is the best thing for us. I actually love sleeping for 8-10 hours as it help me make it through the day. Sometimes when I am really tired and have to get up early in the morning I use my side table to help me stand up. Legs are a little weak at first in the morning. Sadly I don’t always get the 8-10 hours I need.

    Waking up though does takes for ever. Right now the times when I have the most trouble is when I am staying over at someone house and have to sleep on a Air Mattress. Its so hard to get up from the ground. Ok its next to impossible to get up off the floor. You could just imagine what I have to do to get up, I use chairs, desks what ever I can to get up off the air-mattress. Guess that why I hate going away because at one point of another I may have to sleep on an air-mattress.

    But like most of us I love my sleep and hate getting up in the morning!

  2. Gord Wallen says:

    Where there’s a will there’s a way. I too have some unique methods in my daily life. Getting out of bed is a challenge for me too. I LOVE to sleep and could spend the day, night and the next day in bed if I didn’t have to go to the bathroom. Having to pee is usually what gets me up.

    Right now I cannot get my chair into the bedroom so I have to stand and walk out of the room.
    To get out of bed I turn on my left side
    * pull my legs up and rise to grab my right leg with my right hand
    * use my left arm elbow to sit upright and put my legs over the side of the bed
    * place my right leg on the floor against the dresser with leg straight
    * pivot and swing my butt from right to left while using my hands to push up from the bed
    * now facing the bed I straighten both legs and hold on to side table to push myself up.

    Getting out of a chair – bend forward to the floor, turn with a spider walk (hands and feet) and climb up the chair with my arms.

    If I fall in the house, to get up I now crawl to the front door and go out on the deck. Lower the lift and stand up and use the lift back up to the deck. Kind of messy this time of year. If I’m too tired to crawl my wife pulls me on a plastic toboggon slider (sheet of plastic – a great tool and it only cost $1.59).

    All in a days work!


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