Most of us probably use what's called a "sound based" alarm — you may not have even known that there is a more relaxing alarm out there…But did you know that your noisy alarm may be making you tired and even affecting your health??
None of us like to wake up early in the morning (well, some of you do, I guess…No judgment! :P), but it's just something we have to do. And that's exactly how we think of it… Something we HAVE to do and something that is painful but mandatory. Something that makes us feel weak and groggy.
But have you ever thought to question…especially if you got eight hours of sleep, and are exercising and eating healthy…"Why exactly am I feeling so bad and groggy in the morning?" The answer is, probably, your alarm!
It probably isn’t the MOST relaxing alarm, is it?
Let me tell you about a study from the National Institute of Industrial Health, that showed that if you were jolted awake all of a sudden…your blood pressure and heart rate SPIKE! The lead researcher, Dr. Idzikowski, talked about how fragile you are while you're sleeping, and why being jolted awake spikes your blood pressure and cortisol.
As you can imagine, the reason our body does this is because, when we're jolted awake, we assume that something bad is happening and we go into "fight or flight" mode. Just like our cavepeople ancestors would have! So what you're doing is, you're putting your body through "fight or flight" anxiety when you don't really need to. Imagine how, if you do this day after day after DAY, you could build up chronic stress and blood pressure issues!
There are a couple of different solutions/alternatives to this that I'll talk about now! These are a couple examples of a more relaxing alarm.
Gradual increase in volume
There's no reason your morning alarm has to sound like the shot clock going off at a basketball game!
Instead, there are many alarm clocks you can buy — but also apps on your phone — that wake you up extremely gently, by slowly increasing volume over several minutes.
Not only does this permit noradrenaline, cortisol, and blood pressure from spiking, but it also mimics how you would wake up naturally…the body tends to naturally wake itself up gradually.
There are apps for this, too!
I see the light!
Another alarm clock type that is in harmony with what your body does naturally is a light based alarm clock.
Instead of being jolted awake, you will naturally wake up with a light alarm clock, because wakefulness hormones will be released in your body until you fully wake up as the light increases in intensity. Also, those wakefulness hormones being released in your body may help people who tend to be groggy and feel constantly sleep deprived. So not only are you more alert, but you're happier too! Yay hormones! (Well, in THIS case at least, yay hormones.)