External alarm clocks are used by the vast majority of people in order to wake them up in the mornings. A poll indicated that 68.2 percent of adults use an alarm clock, a clock radio, or a phone setting to get up in the morning. Even if you remember to set your alarm the night before, relying on an alarm clock can generate unnecessary stress.
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Using your phone as an alarm clock can lead to a lot of useless scrolling, too. The rest of your day can be severely impacted if you start your day with a rapid flood of stimulus from social media and the internet.
Rather than relying on an alarm clock to wake them up in the morning, many sleepers are opting for a new habit and abandoning the alarm altogether.
How Do Brains Tell Time?
The phrases circadian rhythm and internal clock are frequently used interchangeably in the context of the human body. Clock-dependent patterns of physical and mental activity are known as the circadian rhythm. The suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, is a cluster of around 20,000 nerve cells in the hypothalamus that regulates human sleep-wake cycles. The SCN receives information directly from the eyes as well as from other sources. The SCN sends messages to the brain, causing melatonin to be released and sleep to be induced.
Sleepiness and wakefulness are both encouraged or discouraged by a variety of hormones and proteins within our cells, which are regulated by the SCN. You can stop using an alarm clock if you learn about and map out your circadian rhythms.
How Do You Know Your Circadian Rhythm?
The way you go about your daily routine probably gives you a very good indication of your circadian rhythm. You can learn more about your sleep-wake cycle by keeping a journal of your sleep and waking patterns.
What Can Disrupt your Circadian Rhythm?
Nowadays, with cellphones and working from home, it’s not surprising that our normal circadian rhythms can be interrupted. Bedtime procrastination, which has been renamed payback bedtime procrastination in recent years, occurs when people reject their bodies’ signals and remain up later to feel more in control of their free time. The following other habits or lifestyle choices can have an adverse effect on your internal clock:
- Working shifts interrupts your natural sleep-wake cycle, even if you’re sleeping at regular times during the day. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you’re awake because your rest is constantly being disrupted and broken up. As your circadian cycle is thrown off, you’re more likely to suffer from conditions like high blood pressure and obesity.
- Jet lag is the condition in which you move forward in time while still responding to your prior sleep-wake cycle as a result of traveling. Over the course of a few days, the body will usually adjust on its own. If you travel frequently or for vast distances in short periods of time, your body may not fully adapt to the new environment and you may have difficulty sleeping well at night.
- The inability to fall asleep at a time that would allow for adequate rest is known as Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD). No matter how hard a person tries, those who suffer from DSWPD are unable to get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning. The body’s inability to get a full night’s rest during normal sleeping hours can lead to sleep deprivation and mental anguish.
- Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD) is more common in the elderly and is characterized by an earlier bedtime and an earlier wake time than normal, with no capacity to return to sleep afterwards. If you’re over the age of 60, you’re more likely to suffer from this disorder, which causes you to fall asleep at 4pm, wake up at 2am, and be unable to go back to sleep after waking up.
- An irregular sleep-wake pattern is characterized by sporadic periods of sleep during the day and fragmented sleep at night and is known as Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm Disorder (ISWRD). Those who have ISWRD appear to have a completely erratic circadian rhythm. Their sleep is scattered, but they normally obtain the quantity of sleep they need per 24-hour period People with Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, and developmental impairments are more likely to suffer from ISWRD than the general population.
Ways to Wake Up Naturally Without an Alarm
Having a comfortable bed or sofa nearby can help you sleep better if you choose to stay in. Outside in the morning can help you get your body’s circadian cycle back on track. Natural light is the most powerful stimulus for this internal clock. At night the body creates more melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy, but sunlight signals to your body that it’s time to get up and begin moving. Morning light exposure and fresh air are also invigorating, making you more enthusiastic about the day ahead.
Getting up and getting some fresh air is a great way to start the day. An exhilarating and blood-pump-inducing workout at home doesn’t require going to the gym or jogging.
Stimulate Your Brain
A quick and easy method to feel more awake is to perform something that requires your brain’s active participation. Reading a book or solving a crossword puzzle are two examples of activities that can help you recharge your mental batteries.
Use Cold Water
Alternatively, you might try rinsing your face with cold water to help you wake up. As a result, the cold water stimulates the flow of blood to your head, resulting in a short-term energy boost.
Eat a good, nutrient-dense meal in the morning to help you get out of bed more easily. A nutritious morning smoothie or protein- and whole-grain-rich dishes are two options Harvard Health recommends if you’re stuck for inspiration.
When you wake up, the first and most obvious thing you should do is get out of bed and get moving.
Use Essential Oils
Invigorating smells like peppermint or citrus can be found in scented lotions and essential oils. Avoid the scent of lavender because it can cause you to become drowsy.
Play a song that inspires you in the morning to get your day off to a positive start.
Call a Friend or Relative
Having a cup of coffee with a loved one or friend in the morning can help you get going. Ask a close friend or family member for a pep talk or some energizing advice when you’re feeling down.
How to use light to shift your circadian clock?
As for shift workers and those with circadian rhythm abnormalities, utilizing light to educate their circadian clocks on a better schedule may not be possible, but Juda has some suggestions for the rest of us
- Even if it’s overcast outside, try to obtain two hours of light exposure every day. An interior space’s light is only a fraction of the intensity of what you’ll find outside.
- Light in the morning is preferable. Juda advocates going outside one or two hours before your normal wake-up time and claims that 10 minutes of morning light is equivalent to four, five, or six hours of afternoon light when it comes to resetting your circadian clock. She recommends obtaining as much early morning light exposure as possible if you don’t get enough sleep during the work week. As a daily habit, having a cup of coffee on the balcony can have a big influence, even for just 5 to 10 minutes. Night owls, who often lose out on the benefits of morning light by sleeping in, benefit significantly from the light provided by the early hours. “It’s a self-perpetuating loop,” adds Juda, because it delays their circadian clock further more. This is why learning to sleep in rather than rise early is a much simpler process. According to a study, those who reside in the western portion of a time zone, where the sun rises at a lower hour and sets at a higher hour, are more likely to suffer from a sleep deprivation and obtain an average of just 19 minutes less sleep per night.
- Juda recommends using a sunshine lamp if it’s still dark outside when you wake up. To help you wake up earlier, as well as get ready for bed earlier, do this.
- Three hours before you want to go to bed, start dimming the lights in your home to a warm color temperature. We get habituated to bright white or blue light in the day and warm light at night, according to Juda. Our bodies produce melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, when it’s dark, and exposure to light in the evening disrupts this process. A smart light’s color temperature and dimming mode are both programmable. LED bulbs are also available in a wide range of light outputs.
- Juda, on the other hand, relies on a night light in the bathroom, where the lighting is typically bright and white. If you want to avoid light exposure at night, this is a smart pre-bed ritual.
- Think about how you’ll use your window treatments, such as blinds and curtains. She closes the blinds in the evening to keep the light out while her kids are in bed, but she raises them again in the morning to let in more natural sunlight for her coffee. Find out what works best for you by experimenting. For those who don’t have timers on their motorized blinds, research shows that a sunrise-simulating alarm clock can assist regulate your circadian rhythm.
- From March through November, daylight savings time changes our time zones by an hour, allowing us to see the sun set later in the evening.
For those who work from home, now might be a good moment to experiment with using light to help us better synchronize our biological and social calendars.
What to Do at Night to Get Up Easier in the Morning
Find Out How Much Sleep You Need
Healthful individuals, according to the AASM, require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. There are no hard and fast rules on how many hours of sleep a night you require. During the course of a night’s sleep, the body cycles through three stages of non-REM sleep before entering REM sleep. As a result, once the REM cycle is complete, you’re back in non-REM sleep, often known as light sleep.
The optimal moment to get out of bed is while you’re in the midst of a light sleep cycle. This is the time of day when you’re most alert and less prone to experience drowsiness.
Consistent Sleep-Wake Schedule
Make plans for the amount of sleep you need after determining your ideal sleep time. If you need to be up at 6:00 a.m., then your bedtime should be 10:00 p.m. if you need 8 hours of sleep to feel rested. The most important thing to remember is to keep to your daily routine. You are preparing your body and mind to go asleep and wake up on their own. Maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up time on the weekends may be more difficult, but it’s still crucial to do so.
Establish a Bedtime Ritual
If you’re trying to get to sleep earlier, you may have a hard time getting to sleep during the beginning of your new sleep routine. Relaxation can be achieved, though, with a regular bedtime ritual. Healthy bedtime rituals include drinking chamomile tea, taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading a book.
Dim the Lights
The melatonin production that is halted by constant exposure to light and screens might postpone the onset of sleep, causing you to become more alert. Dim your home lights instead, and don’t look at your television, smartphone, or computer right before you go to bed.
Is it better to wake up naturally or with an alarm?
Many individuals rely on alarm clocks to wake them up in the morning. Without an alarm clock, most people would go to bed later than they intended. To be honest, it’s easier to get up without one. Aside from the obvious benefits, this means that your body, rather than external factors, dictates when you should wake up each morning.
How to wake up without an alarm?
It’s important to obtain enough sleep each night in order for your body to be relaxed and capable of waking up on its own. You should be able to wake up more easily if you plan your sleep-wake pattern and practice proper sleep hygiene.
Do wake-up lights work?
Another option is to use wake-up lights, which mimic the rays of a sunrise to help you wake up naturally. Between 30 minutes and two hours before the time you’d like to wake up, the lights will begin to work. When it’s time to get out of bed, you should be fully awake and ready to tackle the day’s challenges.
How to wake up early and not feel tired?
The large list of responsibilities you have the following day can keep you up at night. Then you start thinking about probable disputes and difficulties. You may be more weary in the morning because of all these problems. To avoid this and get a better night’s sleep, plan your day ahead of time. Put your clothes on before going to bed, pack your bags for school or work, and have your breakfast or lunch ready to go. In addition, you can plan your day and jot down any chores you need to complete. ‘
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