There’s a lot of information available to help if you have a hard time falling asleep but not as much if you have a hard time waking up. For many, not being able to wake up is just as problematic and the solution is not always as simple as getting a bigger, louder, alarm clock.

My Alarm Doesn’t Wake Me Up

Sleep HealthyIf you’re alarm doesn’t always wake you up on time there may be a very good reason for it. According to research published in [1] Current Biology “sleep spindles” may be blocking exterior noise and allowing you to sleep right through even the most obnoxious alarm clock.

[2]Sleep Spindles (also known as “sigma bands” or “sigma waves”) may show times when the brain is inhibiting processing to keep you at a tranquil state during sleep. During sleep, spindles are seen as short bursts of energy followed by a muscle twitch. This pattern leads researchers to believe that brain may also be learning what nerves control which specific muscles during sleep, especially in younger people.

Another interesting discovery is that spindles have been shown to aid sleeping in the presence of disruptive external sounds (like, an alarm clock). It seems that activity in the thalamus has been linked to more tranquil sleep. Sleep spindles are generated in the thalamus which is responsible for sending sensory information to the cortex. Could these spindles be disrupting sensory transmission to allow for the full, deep, sleep your body and brain need?

[3]A study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital subjected 12 self-proclaimed deep sleepers to 14 different loud noises while they slept during a three night sleep study. While all of the participants slept relatively well there were differences noted relating to their monitored brain activity.

Those who produced the most sleep spindles during the night were also the ones who were leased disturbed by loud noises. In fact, some were even able to peacefully snooze away while being blasted by a 70db sound source! (it’s like someone running a vacuum cleaner right by your head!) 

So, sleep spindles, could be causing you to snooze right through your wake up call! But don’t be “alarmed” (sorry couldn’t resist) because there are natural options that can help you wake up on time.

5 Tips for Waking Up On Time Naturally

  1. Natural SunlightEstablish a consistent “bedtime” Many factors that contribute to waking up on time occur when you go to bed. One of which is establishing a consistent bedtime. Establishing a routine can help your body find it’s natural rhythm and a consistent wake up time.
  2. Allow for natural sunlight – Depending upon when you need to wake up, sunlight is an excellent natural way of waking up refreshed. Natural sunlight in the morning tells your brain it’s time to wake up. [4]Surprisingly, exposing yourself to natural sunlight in the morning also helps reset your internal clock so you get a better night’s sleep too!
  3. Eliminate electronics at night. While natural sunlight in the morning can help you wake up on time, artificial light from electronics at night make it harder to sleep. Their light can trick your brain into thinking it’s morning and keep you awake,  which can cause you to snooze right through your wake up time.
  4. Keep Cool – When it’s cool it’s easier for you to fall asleep and be rested in time for your morning. Studies have shown that keeping your bedroom in the 60 – 68 degree range is optimal for sleeping.
  5. Take Your Vitamins – There have been studies showing an association between vitamins and sleep. For example [5]research suggests deficiencies in vitamin B6 promote psychological distress and ensuing sleep disturbance. Maintaining properly levels of vitamins and nutrients is a natural way to help get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. Products like “Wake Up On Time” by Rise N Shine provide natural vitamins, herbs and amino acids that help give you natural energy to take on your day.


If you find yourself sleeping right through your alarm clock it might be time to look at other, natural options to be sure you wake up on time.


  1. Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, Scott M. McKinney, Orfeu M. Buxton, Jo M. Solet, Jeffrey M. Ellenbogen. Spontaneous brain rhythms predict sleep stability in the face of noise. Current Biology – 10 August 2010 (Vol. 20, Issue 15, pp. R626-R627)

Disclaimer: SelfCare Plus sells Rise N Shine’s Wake On Time direct to consumers.