During Sleep awareness week 4-10th July 2016
By Dr Mark Wetton, Clinical Psychologist
For some of us, waking up is hard sometimes. But for many others, waking up is hard all of the time.
So how can we make waking up easier and more reliable? Well, the key may lie in making sure we are waking up our brain by using a specific ‘waking up formula’.
To figure out your ultimate waking up formula, we need to first review some main factors that have been found by research to influence our sleeping habits:
1. We sleep best in darkness – Bright white or blue light shining in our eyes disrupts the secretion of sleep hormones.
2. We sleep best when we feel safe – Unusual or unexpected noises, especially loud ones, tend to disrupt sleep.
3. We are more likely to fall asleep when our mind is less active, or less activated – Being consumed by anxious thoughts, or interacting with electronic devices, tends to keep us awake.
So, if we consider trying to get our brain to sleep is the opposite challenge to waking our brain up, the waking up formula becomes clear: In the morning, do the things that will stimulate the brain to be awake rather than signaling the brain to continue sleeping.
1. Switch off your brain’s sleep hormone with bright light.
2. Wake the brain from its sleep state with loud noise, and keep the noise going in the background…
3. Give the brain a reason to be active by challenging it with stimulating activities – The kind of activities that will wake you up best are likely to be those that keep you awake at night.
So this is your waking up formula, the general points to consider. But there is one final point left, perhaps the most important point. The point where most people who try to wake up usually fail:
Figure out ways to make all of these parts of the ‘waking up formula’ happen in the morning without having to actually get out of the comfort of your bed! And do it every morning until it becomes a habit…
For more information on Dr Wetton and the team of Clinical Psychologist at Psychology Consultants visit www.psychologyconsultants.com.au