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How to wake up a deep sleeper?
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Girl irritated by her clock alarm in the morning


How to wake up a deep sleeper?

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Are you notoriously difficult to wake up in the mornings? Maybe you live with children who are heavier sleepers and no standard alarm clock seems to be loud enough to wake them? What works for some may not work for all.

Fortunately, there are many effective techniques to be used when navigating how to wake up a deep sleeper. Before you go straight to dumping ice water on a family member, let Polysleep help you navigate waking people who sleep deeper.

Deep sleep vs deep sleeper: what is the difference?

The average person cycles through four main sleep stages throughout the night, varying between rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep.

During the third stage of sleep, a non-rapid eye movement sleep cycle, a person experiences deep sleep where body functions are at an all-time low while brain function remains extremely active, making it increasingly difficult to wake them.

People who sleep heavier experience similar symptoms as those in a deep sleep cycle as they are more difficult to wake and body functions are decreased.

Deep sleepers experience sleep spindles more frequently than lighter sleepers. Sleep spindles, or bursts of brain activity, are the classic sign of NREM sleep that is notorious for allowing someone to sleep deeper.

The best ways to wake up people who sleep heavier

Waking someone who is a heavy sleeper is a chore of its own that can make morning routines or getting your child ready for school more difficult than it needs to be. Before you jump straight into harsh actions, like pouring cold water or ice on them, try a safe and effective technique like:

  • Music
  • Gradual increase in lighting
  • Natural light
  • A distant alarm
  • Smells
  • An earlier bedtime
Child waking up in the morning with the help of natural light in her bedroom

How to wake up a deep sleeper quietly?

Adjusting the lighting in a heavy sleeper's bedroom can help them to wake up slowly without harsh external elements like loud noises that could wake a nearby child. People who sleep deeper benefit from lights that can be adjusted to a timer that gradually increases brightness for a soothing, stress-free wake-up.

How to wake up a heavy sleeper fast?

When other people in the house are not a concern and you want to wake a deep sleeping loved one quickly, a loud noise in the distance can be enough to force them out of bed. Consider placing an alarm clock on the opposite side of the room to ensure it is not close enough for them to snooze it without exiting the bed.

How to wake up a deep sleeper over the phone?

Modern technology allows a person to utilize applications that can control the lighting in a room, play music at a specified time, or even give them a wake-up call. Smartphones can control several smart features in a home, including increasing the air temperature or turning on the coffee pot for a freshly brewed pot of coffee to wake to.

How to wake up a deep sleeping child?

Whether your child wakes up fully to an alarm clock or not, let the alarm sound each morning to help their body to accommodate waking with the sound of the alarm.

To wake fully, it may take your little one up to 10 minutes due to sleep inertia. Continue talking to them during this stage to stimulate the brain.

Consider wiping your child’s face with a damp washcloth if you continue having trouble waking them.

Mother tickling her baby to wake him up in the morning

How to wake up a heavy sleeping newborn?

Doctors tell you to wake a newborn every 2 to 3 hours for feeding, but what if your baby is a heavy sleeper?

Provide gentle touches by rubbing their back, arms, and legs, or tickling their feet to stimulate them.

Do you swaddle your newborn for sleep? Unswaddle them and remove any blankets that have been placed on them to help them wake up.

The best way to wake up a sleepwalker

Though it is thought to be dangerous to wake a sleepwalker, not waking them may allow them to cause harm to themselves or someone else. Somnambulism, or sleepwalking, occurs during the NREM sleep stages and a person can walk around, eat, talk, or even drive a vehicle without knowing it.

It is best to gently guide a sleepwalker back to bed but if this is not possible waking them with loud external noise is effective. Ensure you are at a safe distance from the person and try to wake them by banging lids together or clapping loudly.

A sleepwalking person suddenly woken by loud noises may be angry at first but help to reassure them that they are safe and tell them they were sleepwalking then help them back to bed.

Man standing with eyes closed signifying sleepwalking

Are you a heavy sleeper? Let us answer your questions for an easier morning!

How to wake yourself when you are a deep sleeper?

As a person who sleeps heavier, it can be difficult to wake yourself up on time resulting in you being late for school, work, or an appointment. The most important thing a heavy sleeper can do is to get enough sleep at night. If you are having a hard time waking up in the morning, consider an earlier bedtime or a memory foam pillow to help you remain comfortable allowing you to fall asleep faster.

How to wake up early as a heavy sleeper?

Waking early is hard for millions, but it’s extra challenging for people who sleep deeper. If you are a coffee connoisseur, find a coffee pot that allows you to program and automatically start time. The smell of freshly brewed coffee beans will help to stimulate the mind and allow you to wake earlier. If coffee is not your go-to morning drink of choice, place an alarm clock at a distance that is far enough to force you out of bed to turn it off but close enough that you will hear it.

Is it bad to wake up from a deep sleep?

Waking during a deep sleep cycle can make sleep inertia worse. This will result in a longer period where you experience poor thinking, low energy, and a low mood making you want to crawl back under the covers and sleep longer. Sleep apps are available to help wake you during the appropriate sleep cycle.

Mother trying to gently wake up her daughter in bed


At Polysleep, we specialize in healthy sleep. From the comfort of a memory foam mattress with a support frame to safe, antimicrobial materials, our sleep specialists are here to help you sleep better night after night. Our products are backed by strict quality certifications with a breathable top layer for unmatched cooling and comfort. Do not spend another day sleeping uncomfortably, take advantage of our risk-free 100-night sleep trial to determine if the mattress is right for you.


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