I Switched My Phone For An Alarm Clock, Here’s Why You Should Too

Wake up feeling tired? Ditch your phone. Seriously.

For an entire week, I used an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up instead of my phone. And I’m feeling much more energised than usual…

Sleep and I have a love-hate relationship. I’ve always been somewhat of a night owl so the thought of going to sleep before midnight never made much sense to me. Likewise, the thought of waking up before 10am has always bothered and irked me.

Of course, I live in the real world where I have to be at the office by 9am, so sleeping in isn’t a luxury I can indulge in daily. So, when my phone goes off in the morning, I snooze the alarm multiple times, begrudgingly get out of bed, rush to the gym, then work and am cranky until at least midday when my body and mind finally ‘wake up’.

I constantly feel tired and flat throughout most days though, so when a colleague suggested I stop using my phone’s alarm and use a good old-fashioned alarm clock instead (because it apparently improves your sleep quality), I decided to give it a go.

Not only this but I shook up my sleeping habits completely. My usual routine is I hop into bed, put the TV on and fall asleep to whatever I’m watching. I always place my phone next to me on the bedside table so the alarm can wake me up in the morning and I can easily grab it if someone tries to contact me in the middle of the night.

Before I changed this routine (if you could call it that), I sought professional help and spoke to Australia’s leading sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo – who confirmed that using an alarm clock was much more beneficial than using a phone.

“Alarm clocks – definitely [are the healthier option]! This is to prevent us [from] jumping on our phones from the moment we wake up, which is typical for many of us who use our phones as an alarm. Why this is bad is that it triggers the release of cortisol, making us feel anxious and stressed from the moment we wake.”

Olivia Arezzolo

Olivia went on to divulge that there are a few key things you can do before bed that’ll ensure you wake up in the morning feeling energised.

“If you’re struggling to get up in the morning, I recommend starting with a healthier bedtime routine the night before. Shutting off from screens at least an hour before bed and putting your phone in another room, wearing blue light-blocking glasses for at least 2 hours before bed, and having a high-quality, magnesium-based sleep supplement with cofactors for melatonin synthesis; these are simple switches that will feed into your energy levels the next morning.”

Olivia Arezzolo
Since ditching my phone, I’m much happier to get out of bed in the morning… Although, probably not quite as happy as this fellow. Image Credit: Shutterstock

And so, I went out and bought an alarm clock and set it up on my bedside table. And for the entire past week, an hour before bed I would leave my phone in the living room, turn the television off, grab a book and read (admittedly, I didn’t try blue light-blocking glasses or a sleep supplement because I didn’t want to try too much too fast).

The first night, I went to bed feeling extremely anxious that the clock wouldn’t go off and I’d get in trouble for being late to work. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night because the glow coming from the alarm clock bothered me. I groggily grabbed a t-shirt and threw it over the clock to obscure the light and went back to sleep. The next morning I felt the same way I always do: tired and not wanting to get out of bed.

But I persisted. I did make sure to cover the alarm clock’s face before going to sleep because clearly, the light disturbed me. However, I have to admit that I started to notice on day three of my little experiment that I had more energy in the morning.

Today is day seven and I feel pretty good. Both yesterday and today I didn’t hit the snooze button at all, I just jumped out of bed feeling pretty refreshed. And there’s something kind of freeing about waking up and getting ready for your day without instantly checking your phone and seeing whether there are any work emails or if your group chat went off while you were sleeping.

Will I continue with the alarm clock? I think so; at least I’ll give it another week to see if I continue to feel more energised. I may even invest in blue light-blocking glasses and a sleep supplement because Olivia sure was right about the alarm clock being superior to a phone’s alarm…

I have to admit that over this past week, I’ve still experienced a dull flatness around 3-3.30pm that can only be cured by a ten-minute break and a nice cup of tea. So hopefully, the alarm clock will continue to work its magic and this week I won’t experience what’s commonly known as three-thirtyitis… Watch this space.

But to anyone who’s sick of waking up tired and feeling constantly fatigued, I highly recommend at least trying an alarm clock and leaving your phone in another room. It’s certainly made me feel like, for the first time in my life, I might just become a morning person.

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