Alarms turn alarming when they’re missed, and a late wake-up call can wreak havoc on the rest of the day. As the world returns to work at the turn of the new year, here’s how you can ensure that your alarm gives you a more positive, timely start to the morning.
Although it would be nice to imagine rising with the sun and waking up to the morning bird’s call, wake-up alarms are the blaring reality of modern living. And through the most honest view, they’re a popular and convenient way to ensure waking up on time.
However, this convenience can quickly turn into chaos when an alarm is missed, when that ‘snooze’ button becomes a little too frequent and suddenly you’re an hour late to work! It’s happened to the best of us, but for some, adhering to morning alerts from the digital age can prove to be a real impossibility.
Snooze you lose
When set to the right time, alarms are a great way to set aside time and prepare for the busy day ahead. A prompt rise will leave you plenty of time to wash, get dressed, enjoy breakfast and tend to whatever else is on the morning to-do list. Humans aren’t machines with on and off buttons, and just like a good loaf of bread, everyone needs ample time to rise.
In this way, it’s clear to see how a missed alarm can cause panic, as an unwanted lie-in compresses the time available to complete all these tasks at leisure. Priorities also come into play when waking up late, and although it can be easy to choose to get to work on time over the first, and most important meal of the day, a rushed morning routine set off by a missed alarm will leave you feeling much more than just tired.
Foregoing the normal morning routine risks leaving the mind without nutrients and the body without time to correctly balance itself for the day ahead. Concentration, energy and positivity are all on the chopping block, which is why waking up when intended is the single most important decision of the morning.
If this is your morning experience every once in a blue moon, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. Missing the occasional alarm is a mistake that can happen, and could be a good indication of an oncoming illness or flu.
However, if you’re one of the many that find it near impossible to wake up on time, and set the alarm each night in the hope that you’ll meet it in the morning but just know that you won't, you’re probably more than familiar with the scenario we’ve just mentioned.
And missing the alarm morning after morning can have a much wider and much more detrimental impact. Not only do you risk constantly feeling tired, drained and out of both time and luck, but maintained tardiness could also sabotage your livelihood; and the alarm is to blame!
If constantly missed alarms are leaving you in despair, read on, because next, we delve into how you can make sure you never miss an alarm again.
How to make morning alarms more effective
For an alarm clock to truly work in waking you up, there are a few techniques you can use in conjunction with the familiar morning beep to stop you from snoozing over. Here are our favourites:
- Use light to your advantage - While the body reacts to the sound of the alarms by causing the eyes to open, it also reacts to light in a similar way. This is because when the eyes sense the presence of light, it sends a message to the brain causing it to produce melatonin; the hormone responsible for inducing wakefulness. So when that alarm sounds, make sure to accompany the moment with as much brightness as possible, either by turning on the lights around you, or by introducing the first rays of morning sunshine by opening the curtains. Discover more about this clever technique here.
- Sounds to silence - Although an alarm can be used to wake up at a convenient time, you’ll most likely be falling at the first hurdle if the alarm isn’t set to make a sound loud enough to wake you up; especially if you’re a naturally deep sleeper. The science recommends aiming for an alarm sound that’s between 10 to 15 decibels, which in layman's terms is around the 75 per cent volume mark on most smartphone settings. This zone will be just what you need to make your alarm noticeable but not shocking, as you’ll still be looking to wake up to an alarm without feeling alarmed.
- Distance between us - Perhaps the oldest trick in the book, but still one of the most effective techniques to date! This one involves placing your alarm out of reach of your sleeping place, leaving you no other option than to venture out from the warmth and comfort of your bed to silence it. Needing to stand on level ground to turn the alarm off should also help with the body’s waking-up processes as it increases blood pressure and requires focus to complete. The technique works even better if the alarm is placed in a new place every time in hard-to-reach and difficult places.
- In the freeze - Even with the alarm’s booming signal ringing on the other side of a room filled with sunlight, it can still be hard to depart your bed if temperature proves it to be the lesser of two evils. Temperature is everything when sleeping. This is confirmed by our previous research, which indicates that the perfect sleeping environment is somewhere between 16 and 18°C. Temperatures above the 20°C mark can cause sleep disruption and increase your chances of missing an alarm in the morning, while temperatures below 15°C can make getting out of a nice warm bed in the morning a very unattractive option. Follow our recommendations to ensure that the alarm going off is followed by your body turning on.
- Rise and repeat - Above all, the trick to creating a more efficient alarm system is to try and follow it day in and day out. Not only will this pattern better accommodate the processes of the circadian rhythm, but over time, it’ll begin to train the body into awakening without being dependent on an alarm at all. For this to be achieved, it’s also important to note that the time of bedtime needs to be equally as consistent, and this should be set to allow the body to secure the maximum eight hours of sleep it needs to function properly.
Discover a new side to sleep
The end goal here is not to better abide by the call of a digital alarm but to create and practice techniques that take your sleeping abilities beyond the need to set an alarm at all. With this, there’s no doubt that the entire sleeping routine, and indeed life in general, will continue to rise to the next level as it relishes in the many extraordinary benefits of great sleep.
To discover more sleep techniques from the new age of dreamers, fly on over to our full collection here.
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