After scouring the internet for good Monday morning articles, I stumbled upon one written by Lucas Reilly on Mental Floss entitled, “Why Do I Always Wake Up 5 Minutes Before My Alarm Goes off?” In short, the answer is that your body hates your alarm.
I can relate. No matter what ringtone or happy tune or radio station I set my alarm to, I want to throw my phone across the room, regardless of the time. It could be 5 am, 7 am, or an afternoon nap at 1:30 pm, and no matter what, I always feel jarred to wakefulness and irritated.
Apparently, there is a lot of science behind this, as Lucas explains in his article:
“Your sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a protein called PER. The protein level rises and falls each day, peaking in the evening and plummeting at night. When PER levels are low, your blood pressure drops, heart rate slows, and thinking becomes foggier. You get sleepy.
If you follow a diligent sleep routine—waking up the same time every day—your body learns to increase your PER levels in time for your alarm. About an hour before you’re supposed to wake up, PER levels rise (along with your body temperature and blood pressure). To prepare for the stress of waking, your body releases a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol. Gradually, your sleep becomes lighter and lighter.
And that’s why you wake up before your alarm. Your body hates your alarm clock. It’s jarring. It’s stressful. And it ruins all that hard work. It defeats the purpose of gradually waking up. So, to avoid being interrupted, your body does something amazing: It starts increasing PER and stress hormones earlier in the night. Your body gets a head start so the waking process isn’t cut short. It’s so precise that your eyelids open minutes—maybe even seconds—before the alarm goes off.”
It is so interesting and exciting to think that by simply adhering to a regular sleep schedule and setting an intention for when to wake, my body will take care of things, and I can put my alarm to rest…for good.
You can read the original article here, and I highly recommend it! Let’s resolve to give our bodies a break and try out our body’s natural alarm clock.
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