Reasons You Sleep Through Alarms

How many times have you slept through your alarm and found yourself in trouble because of it? We’ve all been there. In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The possible causes of you sleeping through your alarms 
  • How to stop sleeping through your alarms 
  • What alarm sounds wake you up the most

Why am I sleeping through my alarms? 

There are a variety of reasons why you could be sleeping through your alarms. I discussed the most probable causes in this section. If you think any of these apply to you, I suggest looking deeper into this particular problem.

  1. A medical condition 

If you notice that you’ve been sleeping too much, then you should be and have presented other symptoms such as unusual sleep behaviour. It is worth visiting a medical professional to know your actual condition. With that being said, here are a few medical conditions that are often associated with sleeping through alarms. 

Firstly, insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep. This may lead to sleep deprivation, which can cause sleeping excessively, even through alarms. Psychiatric problems like depression and the usually prescribed medications for these disorders also cause daytime drowsiness, which may prevent you from waking up when you should be. 

  1. Too little sunlight 

The cycle of the sun has powerful effects on your internal circadian rhythm. Getting too little sunlight during the day will prevent you from falling asleep quickly, thus, increasing the chances of sleeping through your alarm clock. Additionally, it’s also a great idea to get at least 15-30 minutes of sunlight upon waking up to send a message to your circadian rhythm that you should already be awake this time. 

  1. Inconsistent sleep schedule 

A healthy sleep schedule is regular and consistent. Sleeping inconsistently or all over the place will mess up your internal alarm clock. This will confuse your internal system on what time you should wake up for what day. Of course, this is harder said than done for people whose jobs are sporadic and don’t have specific times that they should wake up to. However, if you can, wake up on the clock every day to avoid sleeping through the alarm. 

  1. Exercise during the day 

Engaging in at least 30-minutes of moderate aerobic exercise during the day will help you sleep better and wake up better. This is because exercising produces endorphins or your “awake hormone”, which will keep you awake for most of the day. When the effects of the endorphins have worn off at night, you are telling your brain that it is time to wind down. This makes it easy to wake up at the right time in the morning. 

How do I stop sleeping through my alarms?

Here are some measures that you could take to prevent sleeping through your alarms. 

  1. Avoid pressing the snooze button. 

One of the main reasons you could be sleeping through your alarms is that you keep hitting the snooze button. Your brain no longer associates the sound of your alarm to something that should alert you. This is because it’s gotten used to you just hitting the snooze button to ignore it. 

One way you can stop hitting the snooze button is to stop putting your phone right beside your bed before going to sleep. Instead, place it on a desk across from your room. This way, you have to get up to reach your phone physically. The act of getting up will at least try to awaken you, as opposed to hitting the snooze button while still in bed. 

  1. Accept and anticipate when to wake up. 

In scientific studies, people who anticipate waking up usually have better waking hours than those who don’t. To manifest this, you have to accept that you have to wake up early tomorrow, and there’s no changing that. You also have to anticipate at what specific time you should wake up. 

  1. Wake up at the same time every day 

Being consistent in the time of the day that you wake up will help you get into a regular sleep routine. You have an internal alarm clock within you, and getting it used to wake up every day at the same time will communicate to it that this is the time you should be awake. This way, your hypothalamus will automatically know when to pump “morning hormones”, which will act as your morning call. 

  1. Appreciate and be positive about waking up 

While this may sound like a foreign concept to you, being appreciative of waking up is a great way to look forward to every waking morning. The more you make your morning routine something you hate, the more you will want to steer away from it. Instead, try to make your morning routine as positive as it can be. 

Try to make it something that you would enjoy and relax so that you would want to wake up instead of hitting the snooze button. Changing your mindset about waking up is just as crucial as changing you’re waking up and sleeping habits. 

How to choose an alarm sound

Contrary to popular belief, alarm sounds shouldn’t be hard-hitting, loud, or hurtful to the ears. Instead, you should select gentle sounds that you would like to wake up to. These would help to wake you up gradually. 

Sounds such as moving water, the sounds of a rainforest, chirping of the wind, or gentle instrumental songs, are stress-free and will help you wake up gradually. This way, you are replicating how you would typically wake up without any alarm — unhurried, gentle, and stress-free. You may even choose to wake up to your favourite song. 

If you don’t have a particular preference, a scientific study has also found that songs “Good Vibrations” by Beach Boys and “Close To Me” by The Cure are compelling tunes to listen to. These are not hard-hitting songs but go with the gentle vibe prescribed in choosing an alarm sound.