Posted in Life

It’s not so bad: Waking up before my alarm

“Man, that’s loud!”

I reached over and found my phone and punched my finger all over the screen until the alarm stopped. I was already awake, just laying there waiting for the vibration and soft sounds that would have woken me up if I were still asleep. I could have sworn I turned the volume all the way down. My wife didn’t move. Maybe she didn’t hear it. She did. “That was loud.”

To be fair, I’ve got a new phone and this was the first time I’ve actually set the alarm to go off in the morning. One of the perks of retirement is that you don’t have to set an alarm. You can wake up whenever your body says, “I’ve had enough sleep.” However, I still wake up early, just like I used to. In fact, when I do set my alarm, I usually wake up a few minutes before it goes off. I rarely wake to the alarm. Why is that? How does my body know when to wake up? And why don’t I trust my body enough so that I don’t have to set an alarm?

I did a little internet research. Apparently it’s common for people to wake up just before the alarm goes off. If you usually get up at the same time each day, your “body clock” knows that and gets you going around that time. In addition, your subconscious knows you’ve set your alarm because you’ve got something going on and wakes you around the time you set on your alarm.

Well, my subconscious is pretty good at knowing what’s going on the next day. I don’t think I’ve ever overslept and been late in the morning. I never trusted my subconscious, though. When I positively, absolutely had to get up on a Sunday morning for church, I set two alarms. Just in case. I was never late for church.

And while we’re on the topic, here’s another thing that bothers me. Why does my mind wait until just before I wake up to have my most interesting and vivid dreams? Why do I dream the most just before I wake up? I’m sure there is some science behind this. Perhaps the most recent dreams are the ones I remember the most.

Anyway, I found out how to quiet down my alarm. It’s in settings, under “sounds and haptics.”

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