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BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!! If that’s the sound you wake up to every morning and you spend most of your day half asleep, then this article is for you! Here’s a few ways to let you wake up naturally and feel refreshed.

Get Enough Sleep

This is probably the most important one. Your body naturally wakes up at some point, so if that point happens before you’re “supposed” to get up, then there’s no problem! If you know you need to get up at 8 am, and know that you need 7 hours of sleep, then you just need to make sure you sleep before 12:50 am every day (giving yourself a few minutes to fall asleep). That way, you’ll wake up every day at around 7:55 am, give or take a few minutes, right before the alarm clock rings! Good timing right? :)

Of course, the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. Therefore, if you’re not sure, just try sleeping earlier each day until you wake up without an alarm clock. Try this for a while, and you’ll eventually figure out what a good sleeping time for you would be, and you can then simply subtract to figure out the number of hours you sleep (plus or minutes a few minutes to fall asleep).

Get Up When You Wake Up

As an addendum to the above, when you wake up – get up! If you wake up at 7:30 am and think, “Hmmmm, I still have 30 minutes”, and go back to sleep, then you’ll probably wake up getting blasted by your alarm clock. After all, you’re trying to somehow create a sleep cycle that is exactly 29 minutes and 59 seconds long – kind of a hard task!

Furthermore, that extra time in bed really isn’t that restful! You woke up at 7:30 am wide awake, but you’re trying to return to a sleepy state. Well, that process takes a while – say 10-15 minutes. Then, you get 15-20 minutes of sleep, but get knocked out of it by your alarm clock. It might take you another half hour or more to recover from that and be wide awake again. In total, you’ve spent about an hour, but only got 15-20 minutes of very light sleep!

Compare that to just getting up! You feel wide awake and you get an extra 30 minutes to spend on something productive!

Know Your Sleep Cycle

While the sleeping earlier method works for finding out how much sleep you need, it’s not too useful if you accidentally passed your “bed time”. Let’s say you were talking with someone or something, and you slept at 1:15 am instead – what do you do? Well, if it’s possible, you can just set your alarm clock to 8:25am. That way, you can wake up at 8:15 am and still be okay. However, what if you need to catch that train in the morning and have to wake up by 8:00 am?

Well, this is where it helps to know your sleep cycle. In general, sleep has 4 stages:

Stage 1: Drowsiness
Stage 2: Light Sleep
Stage 3: Deep Sleep
Stage 4: REM Sleep

This comprises the average 90 minute sleep cycle. Note that as the night progresses, REM sleep becomes longer while light/deep sleep gets shorter. If you wake up during deep sleep, you get that feeling of “OH MY GOD!! WHY AM I AWAKE?” It might take you the rest of the day to get out of that sleepy mode. Therefore, it’s actually better to avoid that entire sleep cycle!

So how do you find out your sleep cycle?

One way would be to keep track of your sleeping times, and note it down if you naturally wake up during the night. Or on those nights where you pass your sleep time, set your alarm clock in 15 minute increments and see how you feel in the morning. For example, if you slept at 1:15 am, you can try setting your alarm clock to 8:00 am, 7:45 am, 7:30 am, etc. to see how you feel when you wake up. It’s actually relatively flexible, as you just need to make sure you don’t wake up during deep sleep.

For me, I know that if I wake up in 2 hours, 4 hours, 5.5 hours, or 7 hours, I would feel very awake. So if you wake me up in just one hour, be prepared for the wrath of Warren! Therefore, if I was supposed to sleep at 1:00 am and wake up at 8:00 am, but it’s now 1:15 am, I would just go to sleep at 2:30 am instead. It’s extra time for me and it yields about the same amount of rest!

Figure Out Why When You Wake Up At Weird Times

If you’re waking up in the middle of the night, try to figure out why before going back to sleep. Your body likes to sleep the whole night, so it’s probably complaining about something. “I can’t rest like this”, it’s telling you. Here are a few common ones I’ve experienced:

The mattress is uncomfortable – Maybe you’re always tossing and turning on your mattress. If you’re sleeping 6-8 hours /day, that’s a quarter to a third of your day you’re spending in bed. The quality of that time directly affects the other 66-75%, so why not make a good investment into a mattress? If you’ve ever been sleepy while doing work, you know how unproductive that can be! You can sit in front of the computer for hours, and not get anything done. Whereas, if you’re awake and alert, that same amount of work might be completed in only a few minutes with some good creativity and intuition.

Personally, my mattress is about $1000, king sized, a foam mattress, and quite soft. However, I do feel some muscle tension in my back, so it’s actually a bit too soft. Ironically, it doesn’t seem to be as good as a spring mattress with foam padding for me. I’d suggest if you’re buying a mattress, by all means use their 90 day money back guarantee trials.

You feel numb or cramped when you wake up – This probably is due to the mattress, so getting a new one or a foam layer would probably solve it. However, it could also be due to your sleeping position. If you’re sleeping on your side, then all your weight is along a smaller surface area, increasing the tension on each part of your body. To maximize surface area, sleeping on your back works very well, with your arms and hands laying flat. If it doesn’t feel too weird, you can even flatten your feet out. In this position, your neck is quite unsupported, so getting a pillow with neck support (or just folding the pillow a little so that there’s something under your neck) helps tremendously with that.

You need to go pee – Well, by all means, go pee!! Next time, pee before you go to sleep, and make sure you don’t drink too much water an hour or two before bed.

Something is in your mind or you wake up with a strong emotion – So in short, you wake up from the stress of thinking about something. Unfortunately, this is probably the hardest one to solve. You’ll have to work on a long term solution of trying to decrease the amount of stress in your life. For example, if you’re in love, worried about a big event tomorrow, excited about a vacation, etc., those things are very hard to change. You might have to resolve these issues first before you can get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep At The Same Time Every Night

Your body adapts naturally to your habits. If you slept every day at 1 pm for a year, then you would start getting drowsy at 1 pm, even if you didn’t plan on sleeping! By the same token, if you wake up every day at 8 am (and sleep at the same time so that it’s a sleep cycle of the same length), then you would naturally wake up at 8 am. You’ve probably have experienced this effect at one point or another when you “sleep in” on Sundays. You know how you wake up at your normal work hours and then decide to go back to sleep? Yeah… that’s just your normal pattern.

Since most of us already are trained to wake up at a particular time (if you have a fixed work schedule), it’s just a matter of making sure that you get the same amount of sleep cycles in. That way, you send a clear message to your body – I’m sleeping now! Otherwise, your body might be like, “Uh.. what time do you want me to wake up? Ahhhh!!”

The Road To Waking Up Without An Alarm Clock

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to wake up without your alarm clock soon! It might take a few weeks, or a few months, but think of all the extra time you would save and the happier days you would have with a good night’s sleep!

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2 Responses to “How To Wake Up Without An Alarm Clock”

  1. fcgvbhjmkl on April 18th, 2010 12:30 pm

    hitler has only twelve hairs on his moustache

  2. Magazine on November 3rd, 2010 4:43 am

    ”For me, I know that if I wake up in 2 hours, 4 hours, 5.5 hours, or 7 hours, I would feel very awake.”

    How did you get these numbers?
    And do you mean if you sleep at 1.15 you have to set your alarm clock at 7.45? And the next day at 8.00?

    Thank you for the text, I think it’s helpful!