It is commonly known that obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and other issues can all contribute to a heart attack. But what about that little box beside our beds that jolts us awake every single morning?
German research has shown that on Mondays, there is a 33 percent higher risk of experiencing cardiac arrest than any other day in the work week. It is speculated that this stems from the elevated stress levels of starting a new work week.
How do people generally start a work week? By waking up to an alarm. We treat ourselves to an adrenaline rush that jerks us out of a state of peace and tranquility. Our heart races. Blood pressure goes up. It’s the response, according to health experts, that is akin to what we might experience if we were locked in a cage with a tiger.
And we do this to ourselves every single morning.
The Five Sleep Stages
According to the NIH, or the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are five different stages to sleep. The first stage is what is termed as light sleep. This is when we can be awakened easily and why some people have a difficult time getting to sleep. Stage two is when our eyes stop moving under our lids and brain activity slows, while sleep spindles, or short bursts of activity, come along. We spend half of our sleep time in stage two.
Stage three is characterized by even slower brain activity, which is shown on the activity monitor by “delta waves” intermingling with quicker, shorter waves. Delta waves make up most if not all of the waves that appear in stage four. Stages three and four are often called deep sleep. When woken out of deep sleep, people are disoriented and feel groggy, whereas if they wake up in stage five they feel fresh and renewed. This is because during deep sleep, your body is repairing itself for the next day, improving immunities, dealing with muscle soreness and other important elements. Stage five goes back into light sleep. If a person sleeps on a schedule, they will often wake up minutes before their alarm, wide awake. This is because their hormones have been trained to pull them out of deep sleep into light sleep, so that their body isn’t jolted by the alarm clock. However, if not on a rigorous schedule, the body’s biological clock isn’t informed about when precisely to wake up.
Alarm clocks, then, if programmed to go off while we are in deep sleep, truly are disrupting what our bodies need. But, how do we go about making sure that we wake up in stage five, and not stage three or four? If we don’t use an alarm clock, how do we know for sure that we will wake up on time to commute to work? What measures can we take to ensure that we get to work on time, pick up our kids on time, and close the deal on time? Being late to work is not an option, but our health is at risk because of that tiger in the cage next to our bed. Heart attacks should not be something that we fear for the upcoming work week because of the way we wake up.
Using Technology to Wake Up Better
ATS Secured believes in finding creative, “out of the box” solutions to problems. What about an alarm clock that regulates our sleep cycles, even if they are not necessarily the same from one day to the next?
There are several alarm clocks designed nowadays that could be termed as more of a “notification” clock to your body. They emit gentle light and sound that gradually increase over a period of an hour or so. This leads your consciousness out of third and fourth stages in a much more gentle way than using the standard alarm clock.
These new clocks look to the future of technology weaving together with natural functions. This is a natural wake up call to our society as a whole that the old system of waking up needs to be put to rest. Being locked in a cage with a tiger while in our pajamas should be a bad dream, not a comparison to reality.
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