Is the sound of your morning alarm the most evil thing you hear all day? Being pulled out of a blissful slumber by any sound can be a rough way to wake up, but it’s a necessary part of life for many of us. But it’s possible to wake up on your own without an alarm and research shows it has benefits, those who ditch the alarm tend to be in a more positive mood and feel more rested, focused, productive and clear-headed during the day.
Want to become one of them? Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a neurologist board-certified in sleep medicine says anyone should be able to wake up naturally without an alarm as long as they get the proper amount of quality sleep every single day, which is between seven and nine hours. These expert tips can help you train yourself to wake up on your own.
- Learn more about your internal clock – The idea is to work with your internal clock, not against it, and the best way to figure out how much sleep your body needs is to wait for a long weekend when you don’t have morning plans, according to Dr. Abhinav Singh, a board-certified sleep physician. Then go to bed when you’re tired, rise when you’re fully rested and get used to your internal clock.
- Stick to a consistent routine – Experts say this is the most important factor in programming yourself to wake up naturally. Once you figure out your natural sleep-wake cycle and how much sleep you need, start going to bed at the same time every day so your body gets into a sleep rhythm.
- Minimize stress at bedtime – Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, triggers your brain to rise and shine in the morning, when levels are high. Cortisol levels fall at night and Dr. Allison Brager, a neuroscientist who studies sleep physiology, says it’s crucial to avoid activities that trigger stress or anxiety at night so you sleep better.
- Practice good sleep hygiene – These sleep experts advise using “cues” to tell your body it’s time to wind down, that way you get to sleep at the right time and you’re able to wake up naturally when you need to. Dr. Singh recommends creating a wind-down routine that includes showering, reading and breathing exercises to train your body to know when it’s time for sleep.