For so long, I thought that there was something wrong with me. If I wake up to an alarm clock, I have the most crappy day. I can’t concentrate. I feel more depressed. Generally out of sorts, and later seedy.
This morning, I was rudely awoken by the intercom alarm to let me know that Australia Post was delivering my spiffy new slippers 🙂
I did not sleep until I naturally woke up, and I have felt worse and worse as the day progresses. I did some research on this, because I am worried about getting up earlier for an exam or classes next semester. It seems to make such a mess of my day. I can’t function.
I found that it is perfectly normal. Alarm clocks are actually quite bad for your health. They can be not as bad if you set them regularly. Because you get into the habit of waking up at a particular time and your sleep cycles adjust to this schedule. But alarms can affect the quality of your day.
Studies have shown that people who are told that they are going to be woken up at a certain hour, start to release stress hormones in the hours before this time to prepare them for waking. Whereas people who are not expecting to wake do not release these preparatory hormones.
Sleep cycles and optimum waking times
My research indicated that we have different sleep cycles, deep sleep, REM sleep and light sleep. If we are woken by an alarm in the deep sleep or REM sleep, it is stressful. It causes adrenaline to be pumped into our systems. Our blood pressure may rise and it is actually quite bad for our hearts to be rudely awoken by an alarm in a deep sleep cycle.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this. Or at least, I hope there is. I am yet to try it. I have found an app called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. It monitors your movement and noise while you are sleeping and can plot where you are in your sleep cycle. Then, apparently, it gently wakes you up when you are in a light sleep phase. This makes you feel better for the rest of the day and is better for your health.
I am hoping that it will work, because I need a solution. I want to get up on time, but I want to have a productive day too.
Environmental alarm clock
Of course this app would not work if you have a screaming baby or construction work going on outside. It doesn’t work for that unexpected alarm clock that can jolt you out of deep sleep and make a mess of your day!