6 Reasons you keep sleeping through your alarm

November 5, 2020 5 mins read
6 Reasons you keep sleeping through your alarm

We’ve all done it; sleeping through your alarm has to be up there as one of the most frustrating ways to start your day.

Whether you hit the snooze button and fell back to sleep or didn’t hear it at all, sleeping through your alarm is okay – but only now and then. However, if it’s becoming a regular morning habit that turns your day into one big tizz, there could be other reasons that go a little deeper than just “not hearing it.”

Let’s uncover what could be causing you to oversleep, and a few simple ways to get you popping out of bed on the first “beep.”

6 Things causing you to oversleep

Do you feel like some mornings you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and can bounce out of bed? And then other mornings (be it because of late-night Netflix binges, demanding deadlines or life in general), opening your eyes is too big a task? If you’re becoming a snooze button addict, it’s time to figure out what’s causing you to feel so tired, even after a good sleep.

1. Disrupted sleep pattern

We get that keeping a regular sleep schedule is sometimes a lot to ask. Especially if you’re a shift worker, student (hey, party animals, we see you), travel a lot or are on a Friends re-run marathon for the umpteenth time. Even though you may be making up for lost sleep by sleeping in on the weekends or squeezing in an afternoon nap, this irregular sleep-wake cycle is playing havoc on your body clock (and making it all too easy to ignore your alarm clock in the morning).

2. Sleep debt

Here’s the truth. You can’t function at your best if you’re not getting the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep you need each night. If you’re sliding down the slippery slope of sleep deprivation (even after only one or two nights in a row) and you’re unable to greet the day at your normal wake-hours, it might be time to repay your sleep debt. Just know that catching up on lost sleep takes time, so you may find yourself still hitting the snooze button while you’re in the process of making amends with your mornings.

3. Sleep-wake disorder

Sometimes not being able to wake up in the morning can be caused by more serious reasons such as sleep disorders, which could affect your sleep-wake cycle.

When you have a sleep-wake disorder, your body’s internal clock is out of sync with your surrounding environment. When our internal clocks are off-kilter, it can have the effect of not being able to wake or sleep on our own terms. This usually happens if you’ve been traveling a lot or could be due to an underlying more chronic issue such as a circadian rhythm disorder.

4. Dehydrated or too hydrated (it’s complicated)

You’re probably familiar with the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night dying of thirst. Well, then you’re totally in agreement when we say that if you go to bed feeling dehydrated, you’ll most likely have disrupted sleep. This is because dehydration causes your mouth and nasal passages to dry out, which sets you up for an encore of snoring.

However, this is where it gets complicated. If you drink too much before bed, you could also end up doing frequent bathroom runs during the night, which can keep you awake.

Our solution: stay hydrated during the day, and reduce fluids close to bedtime.

5. Depression

One of the key symptoms of depression is not being able to get up in the morning. It can also bring on mental anxieties around starting your day, such as feeling too overwhelmed to get up or just the unwillingness to do so. Depression can also have an effect of feeling sleep deprived which, when your alarm does go off, you’re too tired to register. If you think you may be suffering from depression or any signs of emotional irregularities, you should seek help from your doctor, who may be able to assist in stabilizing your mood and getting you to sleep better to help you wake up feeling refreshed.

6. Sleep disorders

What happens in our sleep can in most cases, be the reason we can’t rise with the sun (or a simple alarm call). Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and dream disorders like sleepwalking, sleep talking, and night terrors can cause sleep disruptions in our regular 7–9 hours of shut-eye. If you feel that your sleep isn’t as sound as it should be and you’re having trouble staying asleep at night, investigate what is waking you and seek help from a sleep therapist.

How to stop sleeping through your alarm

If you’ve managed to suss out the reason you keep missing your alarm and still find that you’re reaching for the snooze button, try these tips to start your morning on time.

  1. Ban the snooze button. When you keep hitting the snooze button and fall back to sleep, you feel worse as your brain can sync back into a deeper sleep cycle, which when woken can leave you to feel groggy and disoriented.
  2. Train your sleep-wake cycle. Get up at the same time every day, and you’ll see your body will eventually get into a routine. (You may not even need an alarm anymore.)
  3. Embrace the morning. The sooner you can embrace that you’re going to wake up early, the quicker it will be to start getting into a morning person routine.
  4. Start your day with an activity. Whether you wake up and downward dog in your pajamas (we’re not judging) or take your dog for a walk, you’re allowing your circadian rhythm to sync with your surroundings.
  5. Plan the day. If you have something to look forward to you’re most likely going to be able to wake up with a purpose. Plan your outfit, prep a delicious breakfast the night before or treat yourself to a few chapters from a new book.

The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated, and no matter how good it feels to toss the alarm and keep on snoozing, oversleeping can be bad for your health. When we’ve had our daily (or nightly) dose of sleep, it makes our waking hours that much more enjoyable.