Why You Shouldn’t Be Relying On Your Alarm Clock To Wake Up

Why You Shouldn’t Be Relying On Your Alarm Clock To Wake Up

There are lots of tricks we can use to make our alarms less horrific, but, ideally, we shouldn’t need shrieking or even pleasant alarm clocks at all to wake up on time, bright and refreshed. Mental Floss explains why.

Photo by hang_in_there

If you’re one of the elite who regularly wake up five minutes (or so) before the alarm, here’s the science behind it:

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 [the protein that regulates our sleep-wake cycle] 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.

If you’re not waking up before your alarm clock, the article says, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. (It could also be a sign that you need to have a more regular, predictable sleep routine.)

You can mentally train yourself to wake up on time too; researchers have found that our stress hormones adjust at night to the time we think we’re going to wake up.

Whatever you do, don’t touch that snooze button.

Why Do I Always Wake Up 5 Minutes Before My Alarm Goes Off? [Mental Floss]


  • I don’t have an alarm clock…..I have thin bedroom curtains so the sun wakes me up every morning. Though I have a very relaxed life so if I accidentally sleep in once in a while it’s no big deal.

    • Never mind babies, this is what 3 year olds are for. Babies at least only make noise. 3 year olds make noise AND run into the bedroom and jump on you.

      • never mind 3 year olds. 6 year olds will sneak into your room and tap you on the forehead till you’re awake to tell you that they can’t sleep and that they was wondering if you were having a problem sleeping too.

  • I’ve always wondered how that works (waking up just before your alarm).

    My alarm is set for 6:30am. Generally, unless I’m super tired (or hungover), I wake up just after 6am, but then I watch the news or read or check emails until my alarm goes off to tell me to get out of bed.

  • I love the snooze button, but I don’t go back to sleep once it’s gone off – I just like to wake up earlier than I need to. Especially when boyfriend is in bed next to me. Nothing nicer than fifteen minutes of dedicated hug time before the day kicks off.

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