WHY you wake up before your alarm goes off (or sleep through it)

Publish Date
Friday, 1 December 2017, 11:45AM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Depending on whether or not you studied biology in high school (you may have blocked these memories from your mind anyway) you have probably heard of the term ‘circadian rhythm’ before.

It’s the thing that keeps you energised in the morning and drowsy in the evening (to help you go to sleep).

In simple terms, it’s a 24-hour-internal clock controlled by a part of your hypothalamus in your brain, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

It really loves routine (something we’re not always the best at keeping in terms of sleep)

If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every night, your body comes accustomed to that behaviour.

Your sleep cycle is normally regulated by certain proteins, the levels of which can rise and fall throughout the day, which affects your blood pressure and heart rate.

If you’re good at following a routine, your body will learn to increase the levels of your proteins in time from your alarm.

They start to increase an hour before you usually wake up, anticipating you waking up. Meaning that sometimes you wake up before your alarm (if you’re an organised sleeper that is).


If you sleep through your alarm...

This means you probably aren’t getting enough sleep.

Or that you could be sleeping enough, but just not on a regular schedule.

Waking up at different times can also throw off your internal rhythm… don’t hate us for saying it but maybe it might be time to wake up at the same time on the weekends and you do on weekdays?

It’ll be worth it in the long run… or maybe it’s not worth it sacrificing our well-deserved nights out!