‘Everything you do, you’ll do better with a good night’s sleep.’ – Ariana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post.
Do you dream of waking up naturally in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, without an alarm clock?
But instead the reality goes something like this: you wake with a jolt to the harsh sound of your alarm, before rolling over reluctantly and hitting the snooze button multiple times? Whilst trying to somehow wipe away that groggy feeling, and open your tired eyes?
Rest assured. It is possible for you to wake up from sleep every morning without the help of an alarm clock. All you need to do is train your body clock to do it naturally.
We all have a built-in body clock, otherwise known as our circadian rhythm. This rhythm regulates the different functions of the body including your heart rate, hormone release, and body temperature. All these factors allow the body to wake up naturally and fall asleep at the right time within one 24-hour cycle.
As humans, we’re designed for this rhythm to fall in sync with the daylight – in other words, waking up with the sun, and falling asleep with the setting of the sun. But the busy demands of life, plus other lifestyle factors, mean our body clocks get thrown out of rhythm.
However, it is possible to re-train your circadian rhythm to operate on it’s natural cycle. Here are our tips on how to wake up without an alarm clock.
Wake up at the same time each day
If you can keep your bedtime regular, you will be able to create a natural rhythm and train your body clock to feel sleepy at the same time every night. This will also help you wake up naturally at the same time each morning. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night, even on weekends and – and slowly, your circadian rhythm will sync to the 24-hour cycle it was designed for.
However, if you’re waking up feeling tired every morning, no amount of body clock training will help you wake up. For this to work, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Finding a set bedtime and sticking to it is the best way to do it.
Find your ideal bedtime by counting back from your ideal wake up time
To determine your ideal bedtime, figure out what time you need to be awake, and how many hours of sleep you need, and count back from there.
It is recommended that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to remain healthy and function at their best. 7 to 8 hours allows approximately five sleep cycles to take place (the optimum amount you need to wake feeling rested and rejuvenated).
So after you determine the time you need to wake up, count back from there to find your bedtime. If you can stick to this new bedtime, you will train your circadian rhythm to know when to wake up in the morning (no alarm clock needed!).
Prepare for bedtime
If you can help your body adjust to this new rhythm, you’re giving yourself a head start. Try to prepare your body and mind for sleep as your new bedtime approaches. If you can establish a bedtime ritual, this will help you to feel sleepy naturally at the same time every evening. Some people like to have an evening bath to relax. If you’re struggling to disconnect mentally from the stress of the day, you may benefit from some breathing exercises or meditation in the evening.
Growing research shows that artificial light from technology keeps us awake at night (1) – so we recommend removing smartphone devices from the bedroom. The blue light emitted from smartphones stimulates the brain, and suppresses the production of melatonin, the brain’s sleep chemical. Try to eliminate blue light before bed, put down your smartphone away from the bedroom, and reach for a book instead.
We also recommend not consuming any caffeine after midday, as this will make it harder for you to fall asleep naturally (even if you don’t know it).
Rise and shine with the daylight
As humans, we are designed to with daylight. If you still find yourself feeling groggy and tired when you wake up, rest assured – it can take a while for your body to get used to the rhythm you’re retraining it for. When you wake up, reach over to draw your curtains or blinds, to let some sunshine in to help you wake up naturally. Letting in some natural light in the morning can also help prevent oversleeping.
If you can stick to these above 4 points, you’ll have better chance of being able to train your body to wake up naturally.
Creating a peaceful, restful sleeping environment can also help you fall asleep faster and promote the regulation of your body clock. A.H. Beard offers a range of comfortable and supportive along with other to help you get your best night’s sleep yet.