We all start the New Year with the best intentions for self-improvement. If your resolution is to bounce out of bed every morning to embrace the day, all you need to do is ditch the alarm clock. By learning to use the body’s natural circadian rhythm, or body clock, which tells the body when to wake, eat or sleep using environmental cues like sunlight and temperature, you can train yourself to wake up every day without the intrusive screech of an alarm.
Depending where in your sleep cycle you are when you wake, will determine how you feel. If you are woken during a deep sleep phase, the disturbance will leave you feeling slow and bleary eyed. When you wake naturally without your alarm, your body has recognised you are fully rested and ready to take on the day. Training yourself to wake refreshed without the interference of your alarm each morning is simple. Initially, you will need to determine your sleep requirements. Adults generally need 7-9 hours sleep each night, and an exhausted body will not respond to training. Then you will need to develop a regular daily sleep habit.
Consistency of sleep and wake times, as well as a good bedtime routine is important. If you need to wake by 7 am and need 9 hours sleep, its lights out by 10pm for you! Prepare for bed each night with a relaxing routine. Turning down lights and avoiding the blue light emitted by electronic screens an hour or so before bed will switch your body clock to sleep mode. A warm bath, a warm drink and a good book are all great ways to unwind before nodding off and ensure your bed is comfy. Natural bedding products like wool and cotton help regulate body temperature throughout the night for a deep and restorative sleep. As soon as you wake, fling open the curtains and let in the sunlight. The bright morning light will help set the next stage of your body’s daily rhythm.
You may not want to ditch your alarm clock until you have established your new sleep pattern, but try setting it a few minutes after your desired wake up time. Give yourself the chance to wake up naturally and embrace the New Year with your new found energy.