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It is so much easier to get up when you are woken by sunny skies. This morning the sun tickled my nose before the alarm went off and I enjoyed a few minutes stretching in bed.

Being woken in this gentle way is not only much better for us but seems to be the way nature intended it to be. Loud ringing, buzzing or screeching alarms are not only really annoying they are also not good for us as they often interrupt us during our deep sleep and REM phases. Since our bodies are designed to wake up in our light phases of sleep, either before or after an REM, if we are pulled out of our deep sleep we feel groggy and tired. It also means that we start the day with or bodies already feeling stressed.

There are actually five stages of sleep in a cycle, and each sleep cycle is about 90 minutes long. The first two stages are considered light , the next two (three and four) are deep and the final stage is REM ((rapid eye movement), in which you dream. It is fine when you are woken up out of the first two stages of sleep, you feel rested and  good – that is why short naps work – but once you are pulled out of one of the last three stages it’s a different story. You will feel more tempted to press the snooze button and long for more time in bed.

That is why it is always better to allow your body to wake up naturally – even if it is early – you will feel more rested for the rest of the day and you won’t feel drained or stressed before you’ve had your breakfast. And of course everything is better when the sun is shining!