The Problem with Alarm Clocks

Beep-Beep. Beep-Beep. Beep-BEEP. BEEP-BEEP. BEEEP-BEEEEP!

Using the alarm clock each morning to wake up is common for many Americans. It’s a practice that is hard on sleep, and a practice I’d like to do away with for everyone. Here’s some of the problems.

– If you are waking to the alarm, you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Most adults need a solid 8-9 hours of sleep nightly, and there are many negative consequences of being sleep deprived (see the video mentioned in the last post). Allowing yourself to wake on your own helps ensure that you are getting enough sleep.
– If you wake to the alarm, you may be woken out of deep sleep, or “slow-wave” sleep. This can leave you feeling groggy and take some time to “get with it” mentally.
– A feature many people use is the snooze button, giving themselves another 8-10 minutes of rest before the alarm goes off. Really it is disrupting your sleep for 10-20-30-40 minutes before you have to get up, making that sleep much less restorative.

So here’s my recommendations:
– If you’re waking to an alarm, move your bedtime earlier by 15 minutes every 4-5 days until you are waking up on your own at the time you need to. Alternatively, you can shift your committments later so that you can sleep later in the morning.
– Set the clock for the time you truly need to get out of bed. Then place it across the room so you have to be out of bed to turn it off. This will help you avoid the snooze button, and really get quality sleep until it’s time to get up.

Think about this for yourself, and for your kids too. If you are waking your children up for school they’re not getting enough sleep either.

3 thoughts on “The Problem with Alarm Clocks

  1. Graciela

    I am one of those people who sets about 15 alarms before bed for fear of not waking up. I’d never really considered the problem with alarms being so reliant on one myself. I’m going to follow your suggestion and go to sleep earlier every night until I don’t need it! Wish me luck…

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  2. Conorou

    Long back(before I become hypertensive) I used to keep alarm, then snooze and stop and go deep sleep?! Now a days my wife keeps (she is still not hypertensive!!) alarm and I wake up before it beeps and see my wife snooze, stops and continue to sleep! But I start walking and I have no idea when she joins me for walking!!

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