Humans were not born to be woken up by alarm clocks at times they wouldn’t normally rise. Yet the majority of us do just that on a daily basis. Looking at the times most American’s wake up 8% wake up at 5:00 am, by 5:30 am 1 out of 5 are now awake, the peak time for waking up is 6:00 am to 6:30 am and another 26% rise between 6:30 and 7:30. The lucky 1% wakes 8:00 am or later.
This is courtesy of an online survey of 15,500 ages 18-60 in January 2018.
The majority of people experience their deepest best sleep – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep between the hours of 3 am to 6 am. That means that a good amount of us are being rudely awakened just as our bodies are really getting the rest and repair we need right smack dab in the middle of it by alarms.
Alarms startle the body and begin producing stress hormones like cortisol. If you are in the middle of a dream it may even stimulate adrenalin. This is not the ideal way to wake up. Once those hormones wear off (quickly) you feel tired and drained. Not at all refreshed the way you should after a good night’s sleep.
This is a frustrating conundrum. It’s unreasonable to quit your job and find one that starts later in the day as most professions, no matter what company, begin about the same hour.
Alarm choice may play a part. Choose an alarm that is not abrupt or startling. Some clocks and even phone alarms allow you to grow the sound. Let it start very softly and build to a loud noise only if you don’t turn it off to get up.
Let the sun do its job. So many of us close off our rooms like caves. That is great for sleep. It’s not so great for waking up. Sheer curtains that let the light in will help you wake more gradually as it gets lighter. There are also lamps that will rise like the sun if you happen to live in an area where you simply don’t want visibility.
Soothe yourself awake. Make sure you have everything you need for the next day ready the night before. Getting up and being in a rush and stressed is horrible for you. Lay out your clothes, prepare your food, make sure your phone and keys and everything you need is already there. Have a hot cup of tea or coffee and your favorite breakfast.
Reset your body’s circadian rhythm. You can actually train your body to wake up at a certain time without an alarm clock. You need to be getting enough sleep to do this. No amount of retraining will work or help if you are short on actual sleep hours.
Most people require 8 to 9 hours. Choose your sleep time.
Count backward from the time you need to wake up to find out when, exactly, you should be asleep.
Example: You should be going to sleep at 9:00 pm, rather than 10:00 pm, try moving back your bedtime gradually in 15-minute increments—9:45 pm during the first week, 9:30 pm during the second week, and 9:15 pm during the third week. Transitioning slowly gives your body more time to adjust to the new routine.
An hour prior to the new bedtime, start a bedtime ritual to get ready for sleep. Lower the lights, turn off all electronics (your phone too), relax by taking a hot bath, reading a book, meditating, or stretching.
In the morning, open the shades immediately for natural sunlight. Do not flip on bright lights in the house as that is also jarring to the body. All of this will help to reset the natural circadian rhythm – changing the hours you get the needed REM sleep.
When first starting – err on the safe side. Set an alarm just in case. Only set it 10 minutes later than you would normally want to get up so your body has a chance to try and awaken without it. Once you are used to it. Ditch the alarm and hopefully, you will wake up naturally and with less grogginess.
At the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. we help our patients will all kinds of issues including sleep problems. Schedule an appointment to come in today and see how we can help make your life better.
Chiropractor | Nutritionist in Ft Myers, FL
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Add to that, nutritional recommendations that can help your body heal itself. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.