It’s your least favorite noise in the world: your morning alarm. It could be a soft melody from your phone, a repetitive beep from your digital clock, or even the coos from your cuckoo clock. Either way, you’re pretty sure you could go your whole life without hearing the horrific noise that cuts through your relaxing slumber and startles you awake. What a way to start to the morning!
It is no surprise that waking in this manner may be harmful to your well-being. Research from the National Institute of Industrial Health in Japan has found alarm clocks to be damaging to heart health, as individuals are shocked awake. Their levels of stress and adrenaline skyrocket, as the shrill sound of their alarm cuts through their deep, relaxed state of slumber and jolts them out of bed. No one likes to be startled out of a deep sleep, so why do we do it to ourselves? How can you avoid this daily disruption and find an alternative to shrill alarms?
The good news is you don’t need an alarm clock to wake up the same time every morning! You can silence your alarm for good, simply by focusing on your body and your sleep schedule. Your body’s natural circadian rhythm is what tells you when you're tired and sleepy or energetic and awake. It’s why you find yourself getting tired around the same time every night or waking up a similar time in the morning, even when you forget to set your alarm.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests focusing on your body’s natural circadian rhythm in order to ditch that loud alarm clock for good. By going to sleep and waking up the same times every day, you can train and manipulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm so that you can naturally get tired or wake up around these times. Your body gets in a sleep rhythm and follows it subconsciously. The key is picking times and strictly following your plan. Even if it’s the weekend, try not to deviate from your schedule, as this will confuse your body. If you find yourself getting too much or too little sleep, adjust your sleep cycle slowly. For example, if you would like to start waking up an hour earlier, start by increments of 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour. Your body needs time to adjust, so if you make changes to your sleep cycle too quickly, you will be left struggling to fall asleep or wake up. It might be a good idea to set an alarm while you are making changes, to ensure you don’t miss important events. Only after your body has fully adjusted to the changes, can you finally leave your alarm off. The Foundation also notes the importance of going to sleep relaxed, turning off electronics and waking up to some sunlight.
So, if you can’t stand how your heart jumps out of your chest every time your alarm goes off, end the self-torture once and for all. Get in a sleep routine and start your mornings off relaxed and rejuvenated, instead of panicked and shaken. And finally, if you need some help getting into a rhythm, try Som Sleep to help you fall asleep at night!