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The Royal Navy still does this - partially because you want to ensure that whoever is going to relieve you at 0400 is definitely awake and getting ready.

I always slept more soundly when I was getting a "shake" versus relying on my alarm clock. It's very comforting to know that you're absolutely going to be woken up when you asked to be and not have to worry about your phone being on charge or accidentally sleeping through an alarm. It also meant you didn't have to do time zone maths when you went to bed and that your alarm wouldn't wake your cabin mates.




In my fraternity we all slept in a single room (a cold-air dormitory). That way you could stay up studying or whatever without bothering anyone trying to sleep. As such no alarms were allowed from 6 to 9 am and there were two people who had to sleep in their rooms for wake up duty. We had a big board outside the sleeping hall and there were 2 tags for every bunk number. And there was a nail for every half hour from 6 to 9. If you wanted to be woken up but not forced up you could put your bunk number's black tag on a certain time (perhaps 6:30) and a red tag on a different time (7:00). The guy on wakeup duty would come shake you every 5 minutes, 15 minutes prior to the tag time. At 5 minutes past, he was allowed to do anything (punching, ice water) until you got out of your bunk and put your red tag bag on its own nail.

All this to say - yes. Fantastic fucking sleep. The cranked AC in the summer the open windows even in the depths of winter helped too. Deepest sleep I've ever gotten.


That seems overly complicated


In days of yore (and as immortalized in O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series) the bosun and his mates would come through and wake the sleeping watch. "Out or down! Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!"

The meaning was that if you didn't get out of your hammock it would be cut down with you in it. An abrupt and rude awakening and potentially leaving you with a chore to fix your hammock before you could sleep again.




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