Waking up BEFORE the alarm clock rings

From my past experience I can pretty much tell that I usually feel better, more energetic, and more relaxed when I wake up naturally, and not being interrupted in my sleep by an alarm clock. My more recent experience suggests that one can actually condition oneself to wake up naturally that way consistently before the alarm clock rings, no matter what time you have set it to ring! I think that’s a pretty amazing discovery in its own right.

The body does seem to have a relatively good internal clock and the mind can actually use the information of the clock. Meaning: When I set my alarm clock, my brain registers when it will ring. But: it will do the best to let me wake up before it actually rings! This if of course not perfectly reliable, but often it actually works! I think it’s better to actually wake up 30 to 60 minutes “too early” than getting woken up by a nasty alarm clock.

I have no idea how I got my body/brain to work that way. Perhaps the realization that being interrupted in my sleep by an alarm clock was enough to make my body actually avoid that vigilantly!

Have you had similar experiences? How do you wake up? Would you want to do an experiment with trying to wake up “naturally”?

The one thing that comes to my mind with distorted sleep are the sleep phases, there are also alarm devices that work with that technology that could be interesting: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlafphasenwecker

I do not believe in the theory that the body has some inner clock that works in a linear way like a real clock. I do believe however that waking up without the alarm feels more relaxing, for me it is the equivalent to sleeping off - in case that the wakeup does not happen because of needing a toilet. I only use an alarmclock when I have an appointment and I have no clear sleeping pattern (what might be suboptimal but I dont feel like training in a rhythm).

The most important part of sleep for me is quality not quantity, and this fact is very often ignored due to cold scientific approaches (like you need that and that much hours of sleep to be healthy and relaxed… i dont believe it.)
If my sleep is deep and of good quality without waking up, then I do not need very much hours of sleep. To archive that I use supplementation, meditation and sleep hygiene devices such as earplugs and a sleepmask.
After waking up, I immediately run under the shower and use it as cold as possible. May sound very uncomfortable but in reality the body is still hot from the bed and its like jumping into the cold water after a sauna - that gives me REALLY much energy in the morning. (but it costs some overcoming in the beginning - theoretically also trains discipline with that)

Well, the body certainly has its circadian rhythm, which can become extremely distorted however, which is proven by experiments in which daylight as indicator of day time has been eliminated. Perhaps it’s actually more the environmental clues that the brain uses to estimate how late or early it is. I admit that being woken up by the light of the rising sun is rather comfortable, at least if my brain is set up to actually wake up that early in summer :smiley:

Interesting. What kinds of supplements do you use to improve the quality of your sleep? I’ve tried glutamine and glycin one time (worked ok) and tryptophan another time (worked less well). The best stuff that I’ve tested seems to be melatonin, but it’s a bit inconvenient to get here in Germany.

I generally shower as cold as possible, though not necessarily immediately after waking up. I have become too soft :blush:

Anyway, thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts and suggestions! :smile:

A rhythm surely can exist, I just do not believe that it works linear like a clock but more like an inner process that can work faster or slower by circumstances like maybe noise, distraction, cortisol level, GABA level … no idea what are the circumstances its just my theory.
The rythm while beeing awake to get “relaxed into a sleep-ready state” (different then just tiredness) can work much more linear and I think it works because of external clues.

Supplements I tried initially were 5-htp and melatonin which I did not wanted to use every day due to fear of dependency, what I use now is a choline source (Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline), Ashwagandha and L-Theanine.
I tried the choline for dream intensity and memory and it seemed to work (took DMAE before for that but dropped it due to negative effects), I feel more slept out when awaking and remembering my dreams in detail but that could also just be psychological.
The other supplements are to calm the inner stress level, I am a very highly sensitive person to all sensory phenomena and my biggest problem with sleeping always was noise that I hear even through ohropax. So if you do not have this problem they might not do much for you.
I also have to say that I put emphasis a very good nutrition and also take many other supplements, and have a good overall health and fitness level. There might be some requirements that I fulfill by that which I cannot filter now, but I remember in times of bad health and bad nutrition I also was more tired in general.

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Regardless what mechanisms are actually at play, it really seems that the body has some kind of internal clock, which under “normal” circumstances can be relatively accurate. Well, at least that’s a hypothesis that could be tested. I have an idea for an interesting experiment: Programming yourself to wake up after a specific amount of time, or at a specific time. You just say to your body that you want to wake up at a specific time, and if it works relatively well, then that indicates that the brain somehow has access to this internal clock. Unfortunately there’s also the possibility that this “programming” just makes you wake up ever so often to check the clock whether the time is right, but then you forget that you have done that when it’s actually too late. So, this would need to be a controlled experiment to exclude that possibility.

Oh, that’s interesting. How’s that “relaxed into a sleep-ready state” different from regular tiredness?

Fascinating. I still got some ashwaganda and L-theanine here. Time to start a new trial! :smiley:

Choline seems to be good for lucid dreaming. That’s really good to know. My priority however is to get solid sleep, rather than getting lucid dreams. Those can be partially conflicting goals. You may feel invigorated after some vivid dreams, but that may also come from an increased (eu)stress level caused by those dreams. In the long run, I fear that this may be counter-productive for optimal sleep quality and quantity. But of course I may be wrong, and the brain works better when it gets vivid dreams at night.

While I am not overly sensitive to external stimuli, the inner stress level is a huge concern for me. Sometimes I crash when I get stressed out too much, so I am very interested in supplements and techniques which reduce the internal stress level, even though I actually try to stay as relaxed as possible all the time.