For more than 20 years we have done it every morning! Usually in our own bedroom, but we have done it when we stay in a hotel and on occasion we’ve done it at a friend’s house. We have even done it when my in-laws were visiting. It’s just become part of our morning routine.
Until just recently, I had no idea how it was effecting our health. According to an online article from Dailymail.com, there are some pretty serious side effects.
The article was somewhat dated, but I can’t imagine the side effects are much different today.
Although I could not find any research to support what side effect may occur from doing it at night, I have to believe the side effects are better than doing it in the morning.
So my wife and I have decided try something different. Instead of setting an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, we’re going to set an alarm clock to tell us to go to bed.
Let’s be honest, waking up abruptly to a loud buzzer or blaring music is a horrible idea. Who came up with this idea and why did they think it was good way to start your day?
Why not just tell your spouse to beat you in the head with a club? I am sure it would be more enjoyable for them than listening to your alarm for 20 minutes before you finally shut it off and get your butt out of bed.
It all starts with getting proper rest
Imagine, how much better your day would be if you woke up naturally, feeling completely rested? It is possible, but it starts by going to bed on time.
Your body needs to recharge. According to those in the know, we function at our best when we get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night.
I know what you’re thinking: I have way too much to do and the only thing I can cut out of my busy schedule is sleep. That is probably not the case, but we will leave that discussion for another day.
While you are sleeping, your body cycles through the 5 stages of sleep. A complete sleep cycle can last anywhere from 90-110 minutes.
When you interrupt that cycle by the loud annoying sound of an alarm clock (or the sound of your annoyed spouse yelling at you), it can cause stress, high blood pressure, or depression. It can also affect your ability to think clearly, similar to that of being under the influence of alcohol.
Hitting the snooze can make it worse
Have you ever hit the snooze button and nine minutes later woke up totally refreshed? Have you ever said that extra nine minutes really made a difference?
According to the Huffington Post , Rafael Pelayo, MD, a sleep specialist at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center, the body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, “False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything.”
When that buzzer goes off a second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get.
A scheduled bedtime isn’t just for the kids
As adults, we tend to believe we don’t have a bedtime. We have earned the right to stay up and sometimes we exercise that right even when it does not make sense.
Try ditching the morning alarm and make it a point to get to bed on time. If you need to set an alarm to remind you it’s bedtime, that’s ok.
Get your internal clock tuned up by getting a good night’s sleep every night and waking up at the same time every day. I know you will be tempted to stay up late on the weekends and sleep in, but don’t do it.
For those of you that really enjoy hitting the snooze button, go ahead. This will allow you an extra few minutes to brush your teeth, wash your face, pray or whatever nightly routine you have.
Of course, in the beginning, set a back-up alarm so that you are not late for work. After about 30 days of a consistent schedule, you should be waking up refreshed without the alarm.
Remember what your mom use to say? “Early to bed and early rise makes __________ healthy, wealthy and wise.” Maybe mom was right.