ZenBev – Waking Up Without an Alarm Clock AND Feeling Rested
Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | April 20, 2017
Have you ever noticed how the nagging screech of an alarm clock in the morning can make you feel… well… alarmed?
Oftentimes, when you are jolted out of a sound sleep by that alarm, the result is that you go through your day feeling groggy. What if there were a better way? What if you could emerge gently from your slumber feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day? The good news is that with a little training, you can awake without an alarm and feel even more awake and refreshed than you did with it.
In this article, we outline three strategies to help you arise without an alarm, but feel free to incorporate a clock as a back up into any of these strategies in the early stages if you feel that you need to – after all, you will not feel rested if you are full of anxiety about waking up on time for work!
It is all in the timing
Your sleep cycle consists of five stages and each cycle lasts approximately 90-110 minutes. If you awake during stage one or two (the lightest stages), you will naturally feel more refreshed than if you are jolted out of one of the deeper stages.
One strategy for waking up naturally is to figure out exactly how much sleep your body really needs by gradually moving up your bedtime in 15 minute increments.
Arise with the sun
Another option, provided that you do not have to be up before dawn, is to allow the sun to help you rise in the morning. Our circadian rhythm naturally synchs with sunlight which travels through the optic nerve to the brain to let us know that it is time to wake up.
If you sleep in a pitch black room, it is not ideal for waking up easily. Instead, experiment with leaving the curtains slightly open or arranging your bedroom furniture in such a way that the morning light hits your bed.
Technology can help too (yep, we said it)
If you still do not trust yourself to wake up naturally without an alarm, there are some gadgets and apps that are still able to replace your alarm clock so that you can wake up feeling more alert in the morning.
Some devices such as the Zen Timepiece use more subtle sounds such as gentle chimes or ocean waves in order to rouse you out of your sleep. Others such as the Peaceful Progression Wake Up Clock combine both light, sound and even aromatherapy to get you moving.
Another device called the SleepTracker Watch will monitor your EEG and will sound a soft alarm when you are in an optimal stage for waking up within a half hour of your desired wake up time.
Finally, there are a number of apps you can download to your smartphone such as SleepBot or SleepCycle which can help you track your sleep patterns and gently wake you up at the appropriate time.
Learning to wake up naturally in the morning without the use of an alarm clock will not happen overnight (no pun intended!) but with a little bit of experimentation and training it can be done. And you will feel more alert and rested for it.