Whether it consistently sits by your bed, or you keep it on your phone, I bet you have one. If you haven’t yet retired, you probably use one about five times a week. Maybe you want to throw it out the window and never use it again, and you just might do that...okay, you probably wouldn’t do that, but it might be a recurring fantasy. An alarm clock. We use them to wake up so that we can get to work, to school, or to appointments on time, alarm clocks have become a modern-day necessity.
As much as we might dislike them, there are many pros to using alarm clocks to wake up:
- Alarm clocks are beneficial to see that you are awake by a specified time.
- Relying on an alarm clock instead of your internal clock to wake you can keep you from being late.
- When you know you need to be awake by a certain time, it can lessen the anxiety you might otherwise feel since you know that you have something to wake you by that time.
Like many other things in life, in addition to the pros of alarm clocks, there are those pesky and inevitable cons that tag along for the ride:
- Instead of waking up naturally when your body is ready, an alarm clock will wake you at a distinct time, which might interfere with your circadian rhythm.
- Whether you have gotten enough sleep or not to meet your needs, the alarm clock will go off at a specified time, which can mean waking you in the middle of a sleep cycle.
- The jolting sound that typical alarm clocks make can cause stress, higher blood pressure, and an elevated heart rate.
There have to be some tips and tricks that can help us balance the scales, making the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to using an alarm clock, right? Yes, there are!
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. After doing this repeatedly, your body should begin waking on its own before the alarm begins to ring. If you consistently wake up still feeling as if you are needing sleep, you may need to adjust the times that you go to bed or wake up until you find the proper combination for you.
- If you do have a clock by your bed, make sure it’s not too bright. I turn my clock away from the bed when I am sleeping. This helps me to not worry about what time it is if I wake in the middle of the night, and it can help minimize the negative effects the light can cause. I also keep the clock at close to it’s dimmest setting so that the light doesn’t impede on my sleep.
- Try to use the lowest sounding alarm possible to avoid the jolting effects that a loud alarm can have on you.
We are fortunate to live in a time where there are a slew of alternatives to traditional, loud, jarring alarm clocks:
- Instead of a traditional alarm, trying using one that simulates the sun rising. This can be less grating than typical, loud alarms.
- They now sell vibrating alarm clocks that you can place under your pillow. Some fitness trackers even have this option built into them.
- Whenever possible, let your body wake you naturally. On the weekend or a day when you don’t have someplace to be, still try to go to bed at the same time you do on most other days and get out of bed when your body wakes you.