The Pros of A Gradual Waking Alarm
You'd be hard pressed to find a person who enjoys getting out of their warm, soft bed in the morning. Hence the popularity of the snooze button, and the need for a heavy dosage of caffeine in the morning. Most of us have been conditioned to hate the sound of those obnoxious beeps or blaring chimes we use for an alarm. But is there a better way?
There has been some research to support that a gradual alarm clock may be more effective and trigger a greater cortisol response in your body than a normal alarm clock. This "awakening cortisol response" helps prepare your body mentally and physiologically for the stressors of the day, leading some scientists to conclude this type of alarm will produce a physiological response and therefore is better to start your morning with.
Gradual alarms work by considering the cycles of your sleep. Each night you transition through 4 distinct stages of deep sleep, before finally entering REM sleep. Then the process repeats itself multiple times through the night, with each cycle getting shorter and shorter. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, is the lightest sleep stage and the easiest to wake up from. Waking up from this stage often leaves you feeling more refreshed than if you woke up from, say, stage 2 sleep. With a gradual alarm, a very soft alarm will start some time earlier than your actual alarm, and will slowly build to the full volume (or brightness) of your regularly set wakeup time, in hopes of catching you in REM sleep. The downside is minimal with these alarms, with the idea being you won't wake to the soft alarm if your body isn't ready to wake. If you do sleep past the first alarm, the slowly rising volume or light will wake you up softly at the time you had planned to wake up anyway!
As you might have guessed from the previous paragraph, there are a few different kinds of gradual alarm clocks, some which work with light and some which use gradual sounds. While both are effective at what they are supposed to do, there is more scientific support to show gradual light alarm clocks influence your readiness and mental state when waking up, than from those alarms with sound. These sound alarms do have the advantage of being more cost effective (usually). In my own personal experience, there are many iPhone apps that are free and offer a perfectly fine experience as far as gradual sound alarm clocks.
Here at Mattress Warehouse, our only concern is getting you the best night's sleep possible. We offer many ways to boost your comfort and give you ease of mind when laying down for the night. Check out our collections of mattresses, pillows and more today.
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