The Surprise Benefit of Switching Off the Alarm
On Friday I had a random day off. One of those days where there are things you want to do, but nothing that you have to do. Those are some of my favourite days.
My sleep this week hasn’t been great. Not appalling, but the sort of sleep that when the alarm goes off you know that more sleep would have a greater benefit than extra time before the day gets going. So on Thursday night I turned off the alarm and set my Lumie clock to come on for 8 in light only mode. And I went to bed.
I woke in the dark on Friday morning feeling like I’d had a full night’s sleep and frustrated that yet again I was awake and alert at 3 am when I knew that later I would wake feeling groggy. I lay there for a minute or two and then heard the sound of the hot water heater turning on. Which meant that it wasn’t actually 3 am but instead was 6.15, 10 minutes before my alarm would usually go off.
And here you might assume that I would be annoyed that despite allowing myself a lie-in, I was awake at my normal time; far from it. I was absolutely delighted to have slept through the night and to wake up feeling refreshed at the time I would ideally get up. So I lay in bed for a few minutes revelling in this miraculous start to the day and then I got out of bed and, after my morning meditation, started writing this article!
What’s the point of all of this? I’ve read and listened to so many experts that says a consistent wake up time is best for setting your circadian rhythms. Which makes me feel like I should have the alarm on at the same time each day. Therefore if I’d have followed this advice I would have kept my alarm on for Friday morning. But actually removing the alarm and knowing I could have as much sleep as I needed I allowed me to have a more relaxed night’s sleep and as a result I woke naturally at the time I am normally woken every day.
As a result I started the day feeling happy and refreshed and had that positive energy to take me through my random day off so that I could spend it exactly how I wanted.