how to do you wake up without an alarm clock
Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Peter

How To Wake Up Without An Alarm?

Waking up at a set time without an alarm clock is quite possibly the hardest thing to do in the world. Personal experience reveals two ways of waking up without the annoying sound of a reversing truck emanating from your trusted, but often so hated, timepiece. The first is waking up 1 minute before the alarm goes off, leaving you without enough time for a lie in and feeling unsatisfied. The second is waking up long after your alarm was set, either it didn’t go off or you ignored it for too long, letting frustration into your morning routine.

What if you found out that you can actually train yourself to have a lot more mornings where you wake up without the jarring interruption of an alarm? The key is understanding how to use your body’s natural circadian rhythm to your benefit. Your circadian rhythm is what makes you feel alert or sleepy, depending on the time of day. When you let the rhythm wake you up naturally, you feel alert because you were ready to stop sleeping. When an alarm forces you to wake up before your body is ready, you feel groggy, as you may have interrupted a deep stage of sleep.

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    How much sleep is needed?

    This depends very much on the type of person you are. There’s no one size fits all, and factors include the amount of exercise you get during the day, what time you go to bed and how healthy you are generally. Most adults need to get between 7 and 9 hours sleep every night. If that’s a struggle, you could try supplementing the lost hours with a daytime nap.

    To determine how much sleep you need yourself, spend a week timing yourself sleeping and waking up without an alarm. If you settle down in bed at the same time every night, you will broadly get the same amount of shut eye. This should give you the confidence to leave your alarm aside when you would normally need it. If you need to adjust your sleeping pattern, we recommend changing it by small amounts of 15 minutes. So if you usually sleep 11pm to 7am  and you need to wake up earlier, first adjust it to 10.45pm to 6.45am and so on.

    an image of a woman waking up easily

    Establish rituals

    To help you stick to a sleep-wake routine, we suggest creating a bedtime ritual that gets you ready for sleep and forming morning habits that get you excited about waking up. Your pre-bed routine should promote good sleep hygiene. About an hour before bed, dim the lights and switch your phone to night mode. You can also practice relaxation techniques like meditation or a warm bath to de-stress and wind down.

    Since we’re talking about waking up, the morning routine is most important. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to wake up on the morning of a vacation or big event you’re looking forward to? This is because your brain knows that you need to be energized. The best way to trick your brain into thinking this all the time, is to schedule exciting things to do in the morning. Go for a run, sign up for your favorite yoga class, or make a delicious smoothie. If you do something fun or active every morning, you’ll start to get used to waking up early.

    Understand what makes a good night's sleep

    It’s not just relaxing that’ll do the trick. A big part of getting some decent shut-eye is knowing what contributes to a bad sleep. Electronics that emit blue light, particularly flat screen televisions, smartphones and tablets, prevent the production of a hormone called melatonin. This is the chemical responsible for getting your body to sleep at night. Typically, the body starts producing this hormone around 9pm, so avoid light screens after that time. If you need to be in front of a screen, make sure you use a blue light filter to avoid disturbing your circadian rhythm. Coffee also disturbs your sleep. Caffeine has a half life of around 8 hours, that’s how long it stays in your bloodstream, keeping you energized and stopping you from dozing off comfortably until it’s out your system. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid caffeine beyond 2pm. The same goes for for alcohol. Although it won’t interrupt you like caffeine, alcohol prevents your body falling into ‘REM’ sleep which is crucial for your body to reset itself for a new day.

    Set one just in case

    If you’re afraid of sleeping in, set an alarm as a backup. It’s always better to be safe than sorry (or in this case – late). Our favorite type of alarm to use is a smart alarm because it wakes you up in your lightest stage of sleep. If you set your alarm at 7 AM, it may go off up to 30 minutes earlier depending on your sleep cycle. You’ll feel better waking up with the smart alarm because you won’t feel groggy. This way, you’ll have more energy to go about your day.
    an image of a man setting an alarm clock

    Conclusion

    Waking up on time without an alarm is one of the hardest things to do. If you are not well trained and you wake up without it, we suggest you get yourself an alarm clock. However there are ways to wake yourself up even without alarm. First is to estimate how much sleep you actually need, then you can establish a rhythm of sleeping, or a ritual around going to sleep or waking up. You should know what to avoid to have a good sleep session, like blue lights or caffeine. And if you’re afraid of sleeping in, you can always set an alarm, just in case, just a bit earlier than your planned get-up time.   

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