Do people really have internal alarm clocks?
My wife is not an early riser. She had volunteered to man the reception table at a YMCA-sponsored running event in Charlotte. The only problem was that she was told to be there at 5:45 AM on a Saturday morning.
Doing the math, she realized that if she took a late bath and got everything ready to go that she could just make it, if she got up no later than 5:00 AM.
Knowing that she was trying to cut it a little too close for my liking, I told her that I would get up at 4:45 to make sure that the coffee was fresh and to make sure that she didn’t oversleep.
Sometime after midnight I fell asleep on the couch. The last thing I remember, I had been watching Charlie Rose interviewing some author about the state of the economy and its future. I had fallen asleep before I had had a chance to set the alarm clock.
At exactly 4:45 AM I suddenly woke up; wide awake and ready to go. The reason I knew it was 4:45 was because that was the time that was displayed on a digital clock on the entertainment center in our living room.
I got up from the couch and fired up the coffee pot and told Carla it was time to get with it. She did whatever she had to do and went out the door with just enough time to make it.
Now comes the question that is the seed for this article. Do we have some sort of internal alarm clock? How did my body know that it was exactly 4:45 AM and that I needed wake up right now?
Have you ever experienced a similar event, when you woke up without the aid of an alarm clock, at exactly the time that you needed to?
Click on the link below to read a very interesting article written by A. Kyan, a student from Bryn Mawr College, discussing the relationship between circadian rhythms and jet lag, etc.