Alarm clocks have become part of many people’s early mornings. But are these annoying noisemakers really a “necessary evil?”
According to the 2004 Lemelson-MIT Invention study, which surveyed adult Americans’ attitudes towards invention, the alarm clock is the second most hated invention, yet is one we cannot live without.
Maybe it’s because people nowadays are always on-the-go and can’t afford to be late for work, school and other appointments. But using noise is an unnatural way to wake up, especially from deep sleep.
When you sleep at night, you don’t just close your eyes and drift to unconsciousness. A person usually undergoes four to five sleep stages, with each stage lasting about 90 to 100 minutes. The first two stages are stages of “light” sleep while stages 3 and 4 constitute “deep” sleep. Stage 5 is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when you have dreams.
Waking up during light sleep makes you feel rested and rejuvenated but getting disturbed during deep sleep leaves you feeling groggy and wanting to go back to bed.
You could be in any stage of sleep when your alarm goes off. A rude awakening caused by a noisy alarm clock contributes to your daily stress load – first thing in the morning.
Natural health guru Joseph Mercola explains that the worst side effect of an alarm clock is that it stimulates the fight-or-flight human defense response in some people, which prompts the body to pump the appropriate chemicals into the bloodstream very early in the morning, when there is nothing to fight or run away from.
Since your body has no biological or chemical capacity to an audio stimulus for waking up, it must be repeated every morning. Using an alarm clock may help a few people get into a simple habit of awakening at a certain time of day, but most do not.
Paying more attention to your sleep habits could help you prevent cancer. Recent studies show that your sleep-wake cycles or circadian rhythms, can have an effect on your risk of cancer, when medical treatments are best administered, and for women, who will get pregnant and when.
For Dr. Mercola, waking up to light is the safest and most effective way to wake up. Early man didn’t need to use alarm clocks to wake up; they just used bright sunshine to tell them that it’s time to get up.
If you want to start the day right by waking up refreshed and energized, Mercola recommends the Sun Alarm™ SA-2002, which gently wakes you up by using a special built-in light to that gradually increases in intensity to simulate a natural sunrise.
Unlike waking up using an audio stimulus, retinal-visual awakening actually “programs” your biological clock for waking up. The time you wake up today, by light, is the same time your brain and body are set to awaken tomorrow. Once you establish a pattern with light-stimulated waking, you’ll be able to wake up at a regular time that has been set by retina-triggered serotonin – the neurotransmitter that regulates sleep – regardless of whether you use the Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 every morning.
If you’re a very sound sleeper, the Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 will flash and beep at the end of the alarm cycle to help you wake up. And, for children who have trouble sleeping, the Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 has sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time.
With the Sun Alarm™ SA-2002, you can say goodbye to grouchy mornings because it’s the healthy way to wake up! Rise and shine!