Get rid of the alarm clock. It’s perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to sleep better and feel better.

Let me explain.

There are a lot of things going on while you sleep. The average person goes through four to five sleep phases every night. Each of those phases has several stages: four different stages of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep and one stage of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. You go from light sleep to deep sleep and back again, over and over.

When your mind and body is fully rested and recharged, the cycles naturally conclude and you wake up. It’s elegant and delicate and miraculous, unless you use an alarm clock, which throws a big monkey wrench into the machinery of a good sleep cycle.

The worst way to start your day

When the alarm goes off, you’re perhaps forced to wake up in the wrong phase or cycle or stage of sleep. You’re disoriented at first and your natural hormone fluctuations are off kilter, and usually you keep feeling groggy for a good part of the morning.

But people who have trained themselves to sleep and wake naturally without an alarm:

  • Are healthier overall
  • Have less stress
  • Experience fewer junk food cravings
  • Have more energy
  • Generally stay leaner

It can be done

I ditched the alarm on my iPhone months ago. And no, I am generally never late for anything. In fact, I usually have a meal and a workout, and sometimes put in an hour’s worth of work on my computer before 8 am.

So, how do you do this? It seems impossible at first, I know. But it all starts with going to bed early, consistently. For me, that means I’m in bed between 10 – 10.30 pm. My wake time fluctuates by 15-30 minutes because I am not forcing it with an alarm.

When the mind and body are fully rebooted by sleep, you wake up naturally. If the sleep process needs 30 minutes more or 30 minutes less, that’s allowed to occur organically without interruption. For me, the sleep cycle finishes up between 5 and 5.30 am.

Your schedule will vary of course, but it all starts with going to bed earlier than you do now and allowing the sleep machinery to finish its job. Yes, I know you’re busy and yes, I know you can’t do this with a newborn in the house. (I also know you watch several hours of TV a night.) But at least try to allow yourself a window for your wake time rather than setting an alarm for a designated time.

Supplement help

To help this along, you can use a natural sleep aid to regulate your sleep cycles and spend more time in the replenishing stages of sleep. What most people find with a supplement is that they’re better able to complete all the sleep cycles more efficiently.