Do you have morning sunlight streaming into your room when you wake up? Isn’t it lovely to hear birdsong?
Or maybe you’re one of the 85 percent of individuals who wake up to the loud electronic sound of their phones?
Mornings for most of us begin with a battle against our snooze buttons.
What can you do without your startling alarm clocks to wake up naturally? Is such a thing even possible?
Here’s what one expert recommends.
Natural ways to wake up
Let natural light in
Tyler Woodard of Eden’s Gate Wellness believes we have to seek more natural and peaceful methods to wake up every morning.
“Going to bed the night before and leaving the curtains or blinds open will allow much more natural light into your bedroom come the morning time and allow yourself to slowly wake up according to the sunlight,” explains the wellness expert.
“Obviously, sunlight changes throughout the year, which is something to consider. However, natural light beaming through the window can be a much calmer way to start your day.”
According to experts, natural light suppresses melatonin production, the sleep hormone, making you feel more awake.
“When you’re exposed to bright sunlight, it shuts [melatonin production] off, sort of telling the body, ‘Hey, it’s time to be awake,'” says Dr. Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, an associate professor at the University of Michigan.
This may be less practicable in the summer, when it is light before 5 a.m. During the summer, if you have blackout blinds or curtains, make sure to open them as soon as you wake up.
Alternately, you might use a sunrise-simulating alarm clock to wake up in a more natural manner. They use artificial light to simulate sunrise.
Take care of your sleep hygiene and stay stress-free
To prevent distractions that may keep you awake at night, the expert recommends avoiding coffee after lunchtime and putting laptops and phones away a few hours before bedtime. He also recommends that people keep their bedrooms at a cool temperature.
To relax your body and mind, consider drinking warm beverages like herbal tea and reading before bed.
Follow a schedule
If you want to get rid of your alarm, you’ll need to stick to a regimen.
“Having a routine will train your brain to naturally wake up at certain times in the morning,” adds Tyler. “The timescale is something you will find will come to you naturally as you discover which times of the day you feel more focused and when you feel more tired.”
Tyler suggests keeping track of the times you sleep to help you figure out your pattern.
“Keeping notes of your sleep schedule will help you understand your sleep patterns, and therefore you will know how much time your body needs to sleep,” according to the expert. “That will help you calculate the right time to go to sleep in the evening.”
Whatever you do, Shamim-Uzzaman also agrees that maintaining a consistent sleep routine is critical. It can even make a difference if you eat around the same time as you go to bed.
Tyler says that working out in the morning can help us sleep better. Not only that, but exercise is also beneficial to our mental health.
Naps are an excellent method to get some extra rest. (Sleep studies have shown that even 10-minute naps can make a difference!) Try to keep naps under an hour long and around the middle of the day or early afternoon.
“If we nap too late, too close to bedtime, then it’ll make it hard for us to go to sleep at night,” adds Shamim-Uzzaman.
It will take weeks, if not months, to train your body clock, and you may not be ready to drop the alarm clock until then.
Set your alarm at the latest time possible every morning, just in case your body doesn’t wake up naturally, and avoid using the snooze button as often as possible until then.
Image Credit: Getty
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