Let’s Get Up
I’m the type of girl who jumps up at the first hint of sound, because that’s just the way my anxiety is set up.
MisterE, on the other hand, has 3 alarm clocks set on Alexa: 05:55, 06:15, and 06:20. He has three additional alarms set on his cell phone: 05:30, 06:00 and 06:25. And let’s not forget the two additional vibrating alarms he has on his Fitbit.
As each alarm rings he either snoozes each one, or just plain sleeps through the racket. At around 06:25 every morning the alarms hit a crescendo and the whole room rocks and shakes in a valiant effort to get MisterE out of bed.
He invariably gets up between 640 and 7:00 a.m…
I’m learning to just let this cacophony play out – because that is his method – but it is quite possibly the most stressful part of my day. No, seriously.
Not a “morning person?”
It might be a user error.
There have been many studies in the last decade that shine a light on how alarm clocks can actually be bad for our health. Here’s a quick summary:
- Jarring noises spike cortisol in the morning. Compounded with the rush of getting somewhere on time, stress levels start high and stay high all day… every day. This leads to high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, and weight gain.
- Waking up in the middle of REM (dream) sleep can cause a feeling of “drunkenness,” lack of body awareness, and altered decision making skills. And guess what: alarm clocks don’t give a hoot where you are in your sleep cycle!
- Hormonal and emotional dysregulation means you’re not going to be pleasant to be around in the morning.
So what can we do? I mean, Lord knows we have to get to work on time, right? Something has to get get us up!
Here’s why I’m so in love with heart-centered home design: you can style your home as a tool to improve the quality of your sleep! Some ideas below.
The Wind Down
Our bodies have built-in wind-down-wind-up cues, and our modern advances are wreaking havoc on us at a cellular level. Better waking starts with better sleep.
Beds For Humans
Humans and pets, if you insist.
Include a slim console in your bedroom design. Place it close to the door and set up a charging station there. This is where all your devices sleep – far from your reach. Think about how you came to believe that you should sleep beside your phone. It was subtle, wasn’t it? Did the people who crafted that message have your best interests at heart?
But that’s a topic for another post.
The sun is setting, the house is getting dark, but you’re hours away from bedtime so you flip on all the house lights! Instant daylight! In an oversimplified nutshell, you’re stressing your brain out.
Use lamps instead, so that at sundown you can continue to be productive AND your body still recognizes that the light is fading and it’s time to prepare for sleep.
Adding dimmers to your overhead lights is also a great option. Bonus points if they’re smart dimmers that you can program to gradually fade to black over two, four, or six hours.
If you usually fall asleep to the sound of TikTok or the television, try instead to fall asleep to instrumental music, guided meditation or conversation. Install surround-sound speakers in your bedroom, or – if you feel like being reasonable – invest in good quality Bluetooth speakers.
Did you know that certain vibrations have healing effects? Vibrational Sound Therapy is a tenet of Eastern Medicine, and can work wonders for your stress levels.
The Wind Up
Two Words: Smart Blinds.
More Words: Outfit your bedroom windows with blinds that can be programmed to open at a certain time of day, letting in that gorgeous light that your body needs to wake up naturally.
A less expensive alternative would be a “sunrise clock” which imitates the rising of the sun right in your bedroom, allowing your body to honor its own internal clock.
Go Old School
Your cell phone is not an alarm clock. It has an alarm clock built in to it so that the first thing you touch in the morning is your phone.
And since you’re holding your phone, you might as well check those WhatsApp messages that came in at 3am. Oh look, there’s a news alert! Your favorite Kardashian sneezed in a red dress…better send the link to your Instagram bestie. Okay, time to read your bible… on the bible app of course, because who even knows where your physical bible is anymore. Great verse! Better screenshot it and post it to Facebook so everyone knows how much I love Jesus.
And just like that, your morning has been decided for you.
If you’re hooked on having an alarm clock, look for a vintage model that does one thing only – ring at a certain time! Remember that you’ll have to set a new alarm each night. Don’t come looking for me on the first day you miss work.
Go New School
Use those speakers you installed to wake up to music or guided meditation. No, not Lady Gaga or WizKid. Think more along the lines of piano, flute or orchestral sounds.
If you share a bed with someone, try waking up to conversation. Morning breath is a love language.
Would you be interested in joining a seven day Sleep Challenge with me? Let me know in the comments.
As always, have fun!
Hey there! I am...
A homebody with wanderlust striving to balance the thrill of travel with the comfort of home. On the road, I am a photographer and storyteller. At home, I am an interior designer and personal servant to my two kids. In all cases, I seek out good food and belly laughs.
If you're looking for ways to tap into your spirit of adventure - with or without a suitcase - you've come to the right place!