Illegalise alarms, the scourge of natural sound sleep | Jack Marshall’s column

In modern life, we revere the natural, the organic, the essential. Our world is one of microplastics, refined sugar, and the pixelated poison of social media, so it’s understandable that we rally against that plastic tang of artificiality with our natural scents, organic cottons, and essential oils. They are all Good, the other stuff is Bad. We know this inherently.
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But one Bad thing persists: alarms. I hate alarms with a passion unmatched for anything else in my life save for how Americans say ‘I could care less’ when they mean ‘I couldn’t care less’ - genuinely, they’re literally saying the opposite of what they mean. It’s so profoundly dumb. Anyways, alarms.

Not to get all ‘wellness retreat in the Grand Canyon where we did breath-work’ on you, but alarms should be illegal. They’re vicious, violent things which scream into your sleep like a banshee with a stubbed toe, dragging you from sleep with an aggression which causes a surge of adrenaline, panic, and discombobulation. And this is how we start each day.

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Sleep is a miracle drug. It commits things to memory, heals the body and mind, and makes you live longer. Your body is hard-wired to sleep as much as it needs, rocking you gently to a state of gradual awakening when the time is right and not a second before. It’s the most natural thing we do, yet what do we do with this halcyon tonic? Abuse it with alarms.

The dastardly alarm clockThe dastardly alarm clock
The dastardly alarm clock

Studies have shown that alarms cause a spike in blood pressure and heart-rate, the result of going from tranquil slumber to scattered and frantic iPhone swiping within a firework five-second implosion of all that is good in the world. It makes people stressed and irritable and, over the long-term, damages your overall health.

‘But people have to be up and ready for stuff’ I hear you say. Nope, they don’t - they only have to be up early because other people have set their alarms early too. Remove the alarms and we can all get together at 11 after we’ve come round naturally, like civilised beings rather than the caffeine-slurping and stress-shivering fiends we’ve become.

What do we want? Fewer alarms. When do we want them? Whenever we wake up naturally.

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