Scientists don’t fully understand how exactly we fall asleep and wake up, but there are scientific ways to stop yourself from hitting the snooze button.
Make Waking Up Easy Again
Needing to sleep may sometimes seem like a hindrance to getting things done. After all, that’s an entire seven- to nine-hour chunk of your day gone. Imagine how much you can do in that time! However, for better or for worse, getting enough sleep is essential not only to our physical health, but to our mental health as well.
Other than getting enough sleep, waking up in the morning may be a problem in itself. There may be days when we wake up groggy and tired, and we may have already normalized starting our days this way. However, we don’t need to wake up like this every morning. All it takes is a few small lifestyle adjustments to make waking up in the morning a piece of cake.
What scientists do know about sleep is that it cycles through lighter and deeper stages. However, all of these stages are equally important to waking up energized. This means that sleep has to be undisrupted. If you wake up at any point in your sleep cycle, there’s a big chance that you’ll be hitting that snooze button when your alarm goes off.
Let the light in.
If natural morning light pours into your room in the morning, there’s a better chance that your body clock will reset itself. Basically, morning light is like a wake-up call. If you sleep in a room that doesn’t let much natural light in, you might find it more difficult to wake up in the morning. After all, if your bedroom is kept dark even in the morning, your body clock may think that it’s still time for sleep.
Meanwhile, artificial light at night may disrupt sleep or keep you awake for too long. This is why it’s best to keep electronics away when it’s time for bed.
When we just had a big, greasy, hearty dinner, we may feel an overwhelming urge to lie down and sleep that big meal off. However, this isn’t the best idea, at least not if you want a full, undisturbed night’s sleep. Sleeping with a full stomach may mess with your esophageal sphincter, or the muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back up. Thus, sleeping with a full stomach may cause heartburn, which in turn may disrupt your sleep. It’s best if you eat dinner two to three hours before going to bed.
You may also want to refrain from drinking too many fluids a few hours before bedtime so you won’t need to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Alcohol, in particular, can make you sleepy, but it may not make for a good night’s sleep. In fact, alcohol may cause disruptions like nightmares, night sweats, and a bad quality of sleep overall.
Take a relaxing bath before you go to sleep.
You may like watching an episode or two of your favorite TV show right before you go to sleep, but this may not be a good idea. Playing computer games, spending an hour on the treadmill, looking over your bills, or engaging in other stimulating or stressful activities should also be avoided. This is because stress can reduce the quality of sleep, so it may be better to find ways to relax and keep your mind free of worrying things. So instead of going on Netflix, get into a relaxing bath or read a good old-fashioned book.
Get weekly science updates in your inbox!