Waking up to the blaring noise that is our alarm clock is admittedly the worse. Even if you choose your favourite song as your alarm tone for a bright and cheerful morning, you’ll just despise that song.
Alarms weren’t made to be our friend. It’s a tool that ensures that we hit our wake-up time, but it also makes us want to hit other things besides the snooze button since it can disrupt our sleep at its most crucial phase, leaving us feeling groggy and, ironically, tired and sleepy.
Basically, an alarm is good for a morning person, but if you’re a night owl that’s often awake in the middle of the night, you might want to choose another way to wake up instead of blaring alarm sounds.
Waking up early with enough sleep more naturally could have us feeling more alert, energised, and focused because these are the times when our bodies are in sync with their circadian rhythm, the natural sleep/wake cycle more commonly known as the body clock.
If you want to be able to wake up naturally and reap its excellent benefits, here are a few tips and tricks that you can follow:
Follow a Sleep Schedule
Consistency is vital when waking up without an alarm, so a sleep schedule is necessary! You can begin by determining how many hours of sleep you need. A healthy amount for the average adult ranges between seven to nine hours.
If you notice from past experiences that you still feel unproductive and continue to depend on caffeine for just seven hours, this might hint that you need to add more hours of sleep to your schedule.
From there, you can either determine when you need to be awake and work backwards or know when you want to sleep and compute forwards. To make things easier, use a sleep calculatorto determine how much sleep you get and when to wake up.
Once you’ve determined your ideal sleep schedule, you must transition toward it slowly—emphasis on slowly. Making a rapid and substantial change would be more challenging for your body, so there’s no need to rush the process.
For example, you usually hit the hay at around 10 pm, but your sleep schedule says that 9 pm would give you the amount of sleep you need. To sync your sleep pattern, you can start by moving your snooze time in small increments (around 15 minutes) every week until it perfectly aligns with your preferred schedule.
We can’t let go of alarms just yet. To wake up in line with your sleep schedule, you might need help from your alarm clock for a few days or weeks during the transition phase. Once the body clock has been trained, waking up at the right time should happen naturally.
Create a Conducive Sleeping (And Waking) Environment
Make sure that the area surrounding you is as comfortable as possible before you sleep. Set the right temperature. Dim the lights. By doing all these, you help your biological clock improve your morning routine without the blaring sound of an alarm.
If you share the bed, pick a mattress that isolates motion. Doing all of these steps and precautions will ensure that nothing will disrupt your sleep because these inconveniences will affect your sleep quality and the difficulty of waking up the next day.
As for getting up, having a window or two that allows natural light to enter the room could be helpful in waking up without an alarm. Morning light, along with your circadian rhythm, could collaborate to nudge you to a waking state.
You can also improve the breathability of your bed to improve your sleep hygiene and put your internal clock in sync. That means picking sheets and pillows that not only gives you a good night’s sleep but can also help regulate your body temperature.
Have a Nighttime Ritual
Hearing the word ritual might scare some people off, thinking that it has to be an elaborate activity when it doesn’t have to be. You can choose to read, stretch, or meditate, but it could be as simple as dimming your lights and turning off your electronics and social media notifications.
Having a digital curfew is a helpful step in the ritual because the use of electronics inhibits the release of melatonin. This hormone makes you feel sleepy and can help turn you into an early bird!
Sleep medicine experts also believe using gadgets before bed delays the start of REM sleep, shortening its total duration during our rest. This is significant because messing with REM sleep compromises our alertness once we’re awake.
All of these, big or small, are impactful because when you repeatedly do something before you sleep, those habitual actions will serve as a signal to the body to prepare for your slumber ahead.
From its alertness benefits alone, getting out of bed without an alarm is a must-try. Although it takes commitment, it creates good habits that are helpful to our overall health and productivity.