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Waking up is the worst, sleeping is the best, right?
Why do we hate waking up so much and what can we do to make mornings easier?
Difficulty waking up actually has a scientific term – it’s called sleep inertia. It is a period of time right after you wake up during which your alertness is reduced and your performance is impaired. This is the time when we hate the morning most.
But to understand why waking up is so hard we should first have a look at the 4 stages of sleep.
4 stages of sleep:
- First there is a 10 minute transition from being awake to a light sleep.
- Stage two takes about 20 minutes. During this time the body temperature dips and the heart rate slows down
- Stage three is the slow-wave sleep, also called delta sleep or deep sleep. Stage three last for about 60 minutes.
- Stage four is the REM sleep. This is when dreams happen.
You go through the stage two, three, four and then go back to stage two. Then go through stage three and four again, and back to stage two. This cycle repeats 4 or 5 times in a night of sleep.
And waking up is the most difficult when you are in the third sleep stage.
If your alarm goes off when you are in stage three (the deepest sleep) you will be jolted awake but actually waking up will be super hard. This is because the hormones that keep you in deep sleep will still be present in your body, even though it is supposed to be awake. This will pass in around 10-20 minutes though.
Here are the best ways to speed up your awakening and make it easier:
- The best way to speed up your awakening is (no, not get some coffee, and here’s why) but to get some sunlight, or at least turn on the lights in your bedroom. You can also try using a light-up alarm which will gradually light up the room to help you wake up. You can read about the benefits of a wake-up light here.
- Another important thing is to avoid pressing that snooze button. If you do, you’re going to start the whole sleep cycle again, causing yourself to feel even worse. Just remember that resetting your alarm is not helping you to slowly wake up, it just restarts your sleep cycle.
- And you can actually train your body to wake up more easily. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body will adjust to the routine making waking up easier. Try to do this even on weekends so as not to throw yourself off the sleep schedule.
Do you think you know all you need to know about sleep? Then test your sleep smarts with this simple quiz.