6:19 am, Monday morning and you are sound asleep. Then all of a sudden those LED numbers change and your newly acquired Spring Break cruise vacation to the Bahamas is now over. You reach over to hit the snooze button, but then think twice about it as you want to get a quick check at ESPN before heading off to school or work.
This is your alarm clock, and the reality is that is the worst sound in the world. Many would rather hear nails on a chalkboard than that “ringing” sound in the morning. So why do we continue to have our lives run by alarm clocks? Or if your in school – bells? If you visit any high school you will find that the students’ lives are run by bells, what? How can a small little bell run somebody’s life? Well, it is simple! When the bell goes off you sit down, when it goes off again you get up and go to the next class where the bell then rings. Then you repeat the process all over again. Surely, many of you have been through the drill.
The Snooze Button
This little bar is probably the worst item ever created because with the touch of the button one can completely eliminate the purpose of the alarm clock. However, if you ask ten people at least eight of them will say they hit the snooze button that morning. Why do we do it? Do we honestly think that those seven minutes of freedom will improve our day tremendously? No, most people really don’t think that, but what they do think about is hitting that snooze button 3 or 4 times. That is between 21 and 28 minutes (for those math challenged folks), that’s quite a bit of time. If you could sleep for 21 to 28 minutes more everyday it is an absolute certainty that a majority of people would take advantage of the opportunity.
So why do alarm clocks run our lives? Our dependence on the alarm clock relies mainly on our staying up later. Experts say that you should not need an alarm clock to wake up the in morning. When you wake up you should just plain be ready to get up and start the day. The problem is you cannot do that! This is the drill – Wake up at the crack of dawn to get ready for school. Go to school all day long – then get home between 3pm and 4pm. Next you suffer through your homework – well at least some of it. Finally, you are done and you either go to the television or the computer. Then all of a sudden it is 10:30 and you have to get up at 6:20am. You quickly hustle off, take your shower and get to bed around 10:50 – but it take you 30 minutes to settle down and get to sleep. You have no gotten only 7 hours of sleep – but knowing most teenagers, you are probably one of the better ones.
Our society is sleep deprived and we rely on these alarm clocks because we attempt to cram to much into our lives. We take on new projects when we are already to busy to begin with and we are constantly on our cellphones, pagers, PDA’s and other electronic items. So how do electronic items promote less sleep? Hah, you have got to be kidding me. Innovation always comes with a price and this time technology is causing the world to get less and less sleep as instant communication is now available. A letter that used to take a day now can be beamed through cyberspace in seconds. Now you have that new project at 8:30 pm at night and you are up until 12:30 am working on it. Then you get up the next morning at 6:20 am and you got less than 6 hours of sleep.
Now one night is not going to be a problem, but the when it does start is day after day after day. Remember when you were in first grade – Did you use an alarm clock? Thought so, I sure didn’t, and quite frankly it was simply because I did not need it. I went to bed early enough that I could get up the next morning at 6:30 – no problems.
Deal with it? Or Change it?
Now, as much as we hate getting up with an alarm clock the world has come to accept the fact that we must use them. But do we really need alarm clock? No, not at all. We just have to start a sleep pattern that will help us get up at the time we need to each morning. Even on the weekends! However, one problem, how many activities go past 9pm? Yeah, tons! That is the problem. The world has become so busy that events must start so late because people work to long, which just pulls us into a vicious cycle to use our alarm clock. So I guess its time to suck it up and listen to that horrible sound.