You woke up 7 am but WOKE UP at 8 am.
Know what that means? Boy, your sleep cycle’s ruined and you probably didn’t know. Switch to biological alarms and focus on building rhythms! With minor changes that turn into big impactful practices, expect more alertness and an increase in productivity through the day. Little know-hows that’ll come in handy!
First and foremost, indulge yourself in defining your sleep pattern.
Circadian rhythms (24 hour cycles that influence our physical and mental behaviour) define your sleeping pattern. Feeling fuddled while waking up or too lethargic through the day? You’ve simply distorted your natural circadian pattern! Since it’s supervised by the suprachiasmatic nucleus located in the hypothalamus of your brain, maintain a minuscule diary to note down the time you sleep or wake up at. Agreed that during stressful work days you might end up hitting your bed late, but aim to correct this by sticking to a sleep schedule. Since your circadian rhythm is also influenced by light and darkness, do step out of your house/office every now and then.
LITTLE TRICK: 7-8 hours of total sleep should be documented in your daily sleep diary. And if you’re indoors before sunrise and until the sun sets, take a little break through the day and go for a walk to expose yourself to daylight.
Now, lets talk about the alarm.
You must be in a habit but it needs to go away. If you don’t want to risk it by waking up without assistance (you might end up not waking up at all), try waking up on time on the weekends (but without an alarm)! You might get to sleep less on the weekend this time around, but it’s practically the only time to induce change in your sleep cycle, so it’s faine. For a change, even try switching to milder and more soothing alarm tones (loud and loud is plain noise). Replace your phone alarm with a good-old alarm clock! Besides saving yourself from harmful rays off the phone (which release melatonin, delaying your circadian rhythm), you won’t be waking up in the middle of the night with a buzzy text.
WHAT TO DO: Refrain from using the snooze button at all- its fragmenting your circadian cycle and making it going bonkers. In addition, set your favourite songs as your morning alarm tones, they’d get you grooving right once you’re up!
Once you’re off the alarm, it’s time for systems.
Set your sleeping environment to what makes you feel the happiest! And arrange everything to your circadian pattern. Don’t keep the curtains completely drawn, maintain a little vent for the sun to enter from (for once you wake up in the morning). Put yourself to sleep in the direction the sun rises from, or use timer lighting so that the bright light wakes you up. Contrary to your habit almost every day, don’t devoid your room of outdoor noise levels. Keep the window open and enjoy the chaotic traffic for a change! And if you love the AC, set the temperature to one that’s comfortable and get yourself cosy. You don’t want discomfort waking you up in the middle of the night!
LITTLE TRICK: Avoid black-out curtains! You need enough light and darkness to maintain your circadian cycle alive.
Lastly, eat right and exercise well.
Regular fitness sessions will improve the quality of your sleep! Aim for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise and at least every alternate day of the week. Go jogging, run up the stairs, indulge in your favourite sport or go outdoors for a quick hiking lesson. Simply venture out, we say. And while at it, to keep yourself up and running, avoid foods high in fats and sugar. Opt for a diet with proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and avoid eating a hefty meal right before sleeping. Milk, eggs, bananas or nuts will help you sleep faster!
WHAT TO AVOID: Caffeine. One independent ingredient responsible for delayed and hampered sleep! A lot of medicines also contain caffeine and can facilitate conditions of sleep deprivation. Check before you wreck yourself! Pop with caution.
Isn’t waking up without an alarm as easy as 1-2-3 then?