Waking up is the hardest part.


| 5 Comments

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Snooze. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Snooze. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP... Snooze.  BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. On the 5th snooze, you groggily swing your feet out of bed. Tired and miserable, you just want to go back to your cozy bed and your dream that was so rudely interrupted. For most people, this is the worst part of the day. It is for me- bar none. Sometimes the soul thing that gets me through the day is knowing I'll be able to go back to bed. Even as I sit here writing this on this dreary, my eyes are drooping and I'm drinking what is my third cup of coffee, anticipating going to bed and dreading Monday morning.

But why do we hate to get up? Can't we just hear our alarm and wake up refreshed from the joyous sleep we just got? While it's possible, it's not probable. This is because our biological clock- the part of our brain that tells us when to go to sleep and when to wake up (located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus)-  is mismatched with the demands of our lives. It may tell you to go to sleep late and sleep late, when in reality we have to wake up to go to class or work. Due to research at the University of California,  we now know that our internal clock is regulated by a single amino acid. Hopefully, there will one day be a drug to regulate it.

Few people also from inherited sleep disorders, including delayed sleep phase syndrome, which causes bedtimes of between 1 and 4 AM.

Now when we do fall asleep, the body goes through 4-6 cycles, ranging for light (stage 1) to deep sleep (stage 4). Waking up from a stage 4 sleep is the most difficult and people generally hit it around 6 AM, making it all the harder to put your feet on the floor.  

What can you do to make getting out of bed easier?

·        - Get 7.5 hours. Some people need six, some need 9, but get around 7.5 to allow your body to go through each sleep cycle.

·      -  Shut off electronic media or bright lights. Exposure to light makes you feel less rested.

·       -  Exercise

·         -No sleeping in on weekends! This throws off your body's sleep schedule and makes it all the harder to get up on Monday. Stick to a schedule. 


Click here for some more tips from Oprah.


5 Comments

Interesting article, I've heard about our body's internal clock and sleep schedule so it's informative to here it applied to a technique I can use in the future! I have late classes so I'm always tempted to sleep in, yet I have so much work to get done. Hopefully by following your tips I will be able to wake up earlier and feel more rested!

So true! Monday mornings are my earliest class (an by early I actually mean 11:15,) but either way I always dread trying to wake up..some days it's easy and some days it is the hardest thing about my day. I always knew you needed a certain amount of sleep per night, but I never knew that had to do with your body being able to wake up easier. Neat post

I sleep a good amount, but I feel like I cant wake up if its before 7. From anytime to 7 however, I feel like I can wake up easily. Its just earlier and I'm screwed. I guess I have to get a more consistent sleep schedule because I guess that's the only way to solve and get used to getting up earlier.

How to improve sleep

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips

Sleep is such an interesting topic to research. There is so much to learn about it! When I took Psych last year I learned about the different sleep stages and the one I found most interesting was Stage 1, because you are both asleep and awake! In stage 1, you feel your mind wandering to random things and you can feel yourself drifting into sleep but you are pretty much still awake. It only lasts for 5-10 minutes but its the closest we will ever be to consciously experiencing what sleep is like.
Take a look at this link to learn more!
http://web.mst.edu/~psyworld/sleep_stages.htm

I had actually heard about this multiple times in some of my classes, specifically about our internal clock not matching our daily routines and time consuming life styles. Also, for reasons beyond my comprehension, this fall semester I am finding it a lot harder to wake up in the mornings. The steps I have taken to remedy the problem include: going to bed earlier, and increasing my exercise hours. After reading your post I might actually try to wake up at the same time every day(even weekends), and resisting the urge to use technology right before going to bed. I have hopes that this may alleviate the problem for me.

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