LOUD KILLER: Alarm clocks can be a source of strokes and heart attacks
Oksana Sklim. For broth, «Pobut» series, 2023 / Facebook, «Sil-Sol».
It’s hard to imagine that once upon a time, we were able to manage without it. Today, we hardly notice it, so organically, it has entered our lives. Every day, it does us an invaluable service — it takes us out of the arms of Morpheus, the god of sleep, and throws us into the maelstrom of everyday life.
As you may have guessed, we’re talking about the alarm clock. However, scientists from the University of Virginia (USA) discovered that the services of this device are far from harmless. It turns out that we have to pay for them with our health.
HE ANNOYS US FOR A REASON!
For several decades, having heard the alarm clock on his cell phone, millions of people around the globe sent him their curses. And, as scientists have managed to find out, the morning bell annoys us for a reason.
In December 2023, researchers from the University of Virginia, in the course of experiments, found that curses to the alarm clock do have a real reason. The University of Virginia employees published their press release about it on the Medialxpress website.
According to a study conducted by university graduate student Yeonsu Kim, forced awakening caused by an alarm clock on your smartphone creates significant risks to your health.
STRESS AND BLOOD PRESSURE SPIKE
Yeonsu Kim studied the health of 32 participants in an experiment who wore smart watches and blood pressure cuffs for two days. On the first day, they were asked to wake up naturally, and on the second day, they were asked to wake up by a pre-set alarm bell.
A comparison of the results showed that morning blood pressure was 74% higher in those who survived the forced awakening. By abruptly moving you from sleep to wakefulness, the alarm clock signal puts your body into a state of stress, and your body responds with a rise in blood pressure.
ON THE VERGE OF A HEART ATTACK
Activation of the sympathetic nervous system triggers the «hit or run» response, which starts pumping your blood harder and harder. In doing so, it puts increased strain on your heart, which can result in fatigue, shortness of breath, restlessness, neck stiffness, and, in acute form, nosebleeds and headaches. But the most unpleasant part is that the alarm clock-induced spike in blood pressure triggers adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
ALARM CLOCK «OVERRIDES» SLEEP REGULATION
Tests of one of the study participants, graduate student Daniel Lee, showed that even though he slept well and slept «more than average», the sudden awakening still had a negative effect on his psycho-physical state.
If the alarm clock worsens the condition of even those who sleep well, then what about Americans, one in three of whom is chronically sleep deprived — that is, sleeps less than seven hours a night?
The greatest danger of the alarm clock, of course, is not for students but for older categories, especially for older people who already have cardiovascular disease. The side effects of a morning spike in blood pressure can pose a real threat to their lives.
WAKE UP SMOOTHLY, AVOID «SLEEP INERTIA»
The University of Virginia study follows a series of studies that have led health professionals to make recommendations on how to wake up in the morning without risking your health. Back in 2020, Kim’s colleagues recommended waking up to melodic sounds after a series of experiments.
If you can’t afford to wake up naturally, do it at least to a song that you can hum quickly and smoothly. It is clear that «heavy music», in this case, is not welcome because its effect will be a little different from the alarm clock.
Waking up to a beautiful harmonious melody will help you not only wake up «on time» but also avoid «sleep inertia» — a state of persistent sleepiness, which can last up to 2 hours, preventing you from fully engaging in the work rhythm.
The University of Virginia published the press release of the study on the Medialxpress website.