Let’s admit it; we all need help, and sometimes a little coaxing, to wake up every morning. Well, for some, it’s the rather annoying sound of an alarm, while others; it’s the undesirable coercion by a loved one. Either way, there are just those weird times when you instinctively wake up right before the alarm. Often, we pass off this phenomenon as sheer coincidence, but no, it’s way more than just a strange coincidence. It all lies in our internal alarm clocks, and believe me, they exist!
In-depth research, done by Lubeck University in Germany, proves the existence of the curious, and somewhat programmed, ability to arise at will. The anticipation of the desired wake up time triggers the release of a stress hormone, adrenocorticotropin, an hour or two before the alarm sounds. This stress hormone prepares and gets us ready to accommodate the stress that accompanies waking up.
In the above research, based on a three-night study, there were fifteen volunteers. On the first night, precisely at midnight, these volunteers were summoned to sleep, and they were informed that they would be woken up at 6:00 am the first morning, and at 9:00 the subsequent mornings. The volunteers who anticipated to be awakened at six had high levels of adrenocorticotropin one and a half hours before six. However, the volunteers who anticipated to be woken up at 9:00 am, but were unexpectedly woken up at six, had no stress hormonal surge.
The above research proves that our bodies feel and note our anticipations of the times we wish to arise the subsequent morning, and certainly, they prep us for the stress of waking and consciousness, so much unlike an alarm. Our bodies love routine and predictability, so when you consistently set the alarm for a certain time every day, then they adapt and are able to prep you for waking just before the alarm.
As a matter of fact, our bodies possess an exceedingly accurate natural clock, which of course, is developed with a set sleeping and waking routine. This natural clock syncs sleep to become lighter, the body temperature to become higher and natural stress hormones to be released. This happens in an attempt to prep and prepare your body and mind for waking up. This preparation, however, only happens when you have established a stringent sleeping routine, and your body gets used to the rhythm.
What if your body and natural alarm are out of sync? Well, it’s quite easy and straightforward to re-jig your natural, internal clock. It’s all just a matter of synchronizing and setting your alarm for a specific time every day, regardless of the occasion. In a matter of days or weeks, your body will grasp the rhythm and start prepping you for the waking stress. It’s intriguing, it’s natural, it’s amazing, and yes, you can always employ your internal alarm clock to avert the annoying and rather stressful “beep beep” every morning.