1

votes

Does waking before the alarm mean I'm getting enough sleep?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 11, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Many people here suggest getting 8 or 9 hours of sleep.

I generally get 6.5 or 7 hours, but wake up before my alarm sounds.

Does that mean I'm well rested and can move onto considering other areas of my health and well-being?

Thanks, Mike

PS: I ask because I've been yawning the last few days. I assume it's because of too much carbs, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. BTW, I have blackout shades (80% effective due to an installation problem), and I don't currently black out my clock, TIVO lights, etc. I fall asleep each night playing on my ipad for about 30 minutes (none of which I realize is ideal).

I currently take Doctor's Best Bone formula (6 pills = 75% magnesium), and I think my diet is pretty decent. I recently had a blood test: Magnesium RBC (the accurate kind) and it said my magnesium was perfectly normal.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:16 PM

I had the same reaction to *Lights Out* but have downloaded *Sleep Thieves* to my Kindle.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:55 PM

I'm not sure how well rested I wake. I have decided to black out the bedroom so that should be a very interesting experiment!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Good point. Will do. Thanks!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:53 PM

That might be great advice, but I have concerns about Reading T.S. Wiley's "Lights Out". I heard her interviewed, and my BS meter started lighting up. I just did a quick check of amazon reviews and lots of terrible reviews. I am convinced, however, to blackout my bedroom. I'm researching how to do that now.

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9 Answers

best answer

3
C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Do you feel well-rested? Are you ready to get up when you wake up or do you feel like you want to stay in bed? I always wake up before my alarm, but it happens for two different reasons: 1. I have gotten enough rest and am ready to get up or 2. because I subconsciously know I'm going to have to get up (early) to do something and I wake up before my body has gotten enough rest (but still before my alarm). I can usually tell the difference, especially later on in the day when I feel exhausted. Do you wake before your alarm or the time you would set it for even on days when you don't have to get up for anything? I think that would be the best way to tell whether your body has adjusted to getting enough sleep.

2
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on May 11, 2012
at 01:44 AM

I always assume when I wake before my alarm I am well rested - and it's time to get up and not try to snooze!

Personally I find the cleaner my diet, the less sleep I need - perhaps coincidence but I reason that my body has a lot less work to do, so sleep becomes a lot more efficient?

1
3d0d22a4d1bb9e021cc11a960bd4e4b6

on January 26, 2013
at 03:11 PM

This may sound funny, but when my mother was a teenager (she told me this), she would unconsciously but instinctively wake up BEFORE her alarm sounded (and turn it off) just so she didn't have to hear the awful noise it made. She was still tired, however, and still needed the sleep. I mean, when you think about, where were there alarms every morning a million years ago? A strong sound like that probably signaled danger. Your body consciously knows what sound the alarm makes, it probably doesn't like it, so it wakes you up before so you turn it off.

Just my thoughts, Good Luck.

1
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on May 11, 2012
at 02:50 AM

The whole 8 hour thing is a myth imo. Doubt our ancestors were getting that on a night to night basis

1
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:37 AM

It's not conclusive. Seth Roberts had trouble with sleep where he would always wake up too early. He concluded it was three things, but the one that stuck with me the most and I find to be most influential is that he said it's natural for your body to wake up if it's expecting to eat soon. So if you've been eating a decent sized breakfast early in the morning, that may have an effect. It hasn't been happening as much since my breakfasts are less substantial but it was happening with me. Just a possibility.

I'd think you can recognize whether you're getting enough sleep or not. If you wake up, but feel tired and can't go back to sleep that's probably not the best thing. But if you wake up and feel like you're ready to start the day, that's probably great.

I don't know about you, but I only yawn when I'm tired. But I could live on 6.5/7 hours of sleep and never yawn.

0
6588e58d45068fec93a3c272af084d5f

on May 11, 2012
at 02:34 PM

Reading T.S. Wiley's "Lights Out", remember sleep time is seasonal. Night time is longer in the winter, shorter in the summer. She recommends going to bed 1-3 hours after sunset. Where I am right now it is getting dark at about 8 and light at about 6, so going to bed 1 hour after sunset would be 9-6 or 9 hours, 3 hours after sunset would be 11-6 or 7 hours.

I would try sleeping more for at least 3 nights, see how you feel, and if you feel no different go back to 7 hours.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:53 PM

That might be great advice, but I have concerns about Reading T.S. Wiley's "Lights Out". I heard her interviewed, and my BS meter started lighting up. I just did a quick check of amazon reviews and lots of terrible reviews. I am convinced, however, to blackout my bedroom. I'm researching how to do that now.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:16 PM

I had the same reaction to *Lights Out* but have downloaded *Sleep Thieves* to my Kindle.

0
9838e3c826f0fccf49ff728267d5b944

on May 11, 2012
at 02:29 PM

Some possible reasons for waking up early could be an increase in cortisol, depleted glycogen stores, or being fully rested. I survived on 5 - 6 hours of sleep for a couple years. I got a lot accomplished during that time. I felt good and was eating healthy. I never woke up to an alarm. Then, about 6 months ago, I forced myself (thanks, Paleo people) to start sleeping at least 7 hours by going to bed earlier. Now, I am regularly getting 7 - 8 hours of sleep (except for last night when I finally started participating on PaleoHacks...much like the first time I played ShapeShift on my iPhone) I feel even better than before. I have increased mental clarity and "brightness" in the mornings. It's a noticeable difference, not just a "maybe". Try experimenting for a couple weeks with an extra hour or so of sleep and see if you notice fewer yawns or other improvements.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Good point. Will do. Thanks!

0
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 11, 2012
at 01:48 PM

It might mean that.

It might also mean that you have something called "terminal insomnia," which is waking up too early and being unable to get back to sleep, and which is frequently one symptom of depression.

Do you feel well-rested? I tend to associate yawning with sleepiness more than carbohydrates, but that's just me. There is some good research that people who are chronically sleep-deprived are unable to detect their own (objectively measurable) impairment. David Dinges at Penn is the guy doing the best research.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:55 PM

I'm not sure how well rested I wake. I have decided to black out the bedroom so that should be a very interesting experiment!

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on May 11, 2012
at 10:47 AM

This just occurred to me when I woke:

It very well might be related to 80% blacked out room.

Let's say I get to bed at 3am, and the 20% light wakes me up at dawn (3 hours later): no one would say that's enough sleep.

The answer would be to go to bed earlier so 20% dawn doesn't wake me up too soon.

Or, go 100% black out.

Mike

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