The Truth Behind Alarm Clocks
By Sophie Hecht from the Space FoamTM team
We have all had that feeling; the feeling of being in the middle of a comfortable, heavy, deep sleep, only for it to be interrupted by a jarring beeping loud enough to wake up the entire city. But hey, you think to yourself, how else am I going to get up in the morning? What if that alarm is detrimental to your days' work and there is, in fact, an easier, healthier way to wake up in the morning?
Our daily lives are controlled by two naturally occurring phenomena: our internal circadian clocks and the rotation of the earth. This central clock acts as a pacemaker and controls a variety of functions, including body temperature, hormone secretion, and blood pressure. It also regulates the daily functions of organs. The circadian clock must be rewound every twenty four hours. It is reset by daylight and darkness, where the signals travel through the optic nerve into the brain. But in 1787, the alarm clock burst into this finely turned natural system.
Space FoamTM loves sleep technology, but we believe the alarm clock actually brought us one giant leap backwards in terms of sleep health. The alarm clock allows man to ignore the times of day and go to sleep and wake up whenever they please. Though this seems to be beneficial to society, it has its downsides as well. Firstly, waking up abruptly to a jolting noise can spike your blood pressure and increase your heart rate. It also can add too your stress levels by getting your adrenaline high. This is not a good way to start your day because it puts unnecessary pressure on your heart and body.
“If I can’t use an alarm clock, then how am I supposed to wake up in the morning?” you might ask. In a number of ways. The key is to use your body's natural circadian rhythm to your benefit. Go to bed at a similar time every night, a time where your body is telling you that you are tired, and when you are in bed, tell yourself when to wake up in the morning. You can actually train your brain and body to come to at the right time. But none of this will work if you are exhausted. No amount of circadian rhythm training will work if you are not getting the amount of sleep your body needs.
The pathway to success is a very slow process. First, figure out how much sleep your body needs (hint: most people need between seven to nine hours). Then, count backwards from when you need to wake up and start your day. If you find that you should be going to sleep at 10:00pm, but you are usually going in around 11:00pm, gradually move back your bedtime in 15-minute increments so you can allow your body to adjust to the new sleep pattern. An hour before your bedtime, start a ritual to get you ready for sleep. Dim the lights, turn off all screens, and try to relax by reading, taking a warm bath, or meditating. It can also help to leave the shades or curtains open so you wake up to natural sunlight to help get your body back on track. Lastly, sleeping with the perfect, comfortable pillow can help you sleep through the night and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. Try out our new Space FoamTM pillows for ultimate comfort and an out of this world slumber.
Lastly, just to be on the safe side, set an alarm the first few times. After all, you don’t want the anxiety that you’ll oversleep to get in the way of dozing off.