Waking up in the morning can be a real effort and it is a struggle for many people to get out of bed. The temptation to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock just to capture another ten minutes of time in bed can be overwhelmingly tempting. Having difficulty waking in the morning can cause further problems if it also affects work or college, especially if you are regularly turning up late or flustered from rushing around to arrive in time. The struggle to wake up and get out of bed in the mornings can have a negative impact on your whole day and if the problem persists can start getting you down. There are changes you can make that will help resolve the difficulties you have rising in the morning and make getting up easier.
Move the Alarm Clock
If you have your alarm beside your bed within easy reach, the temptation will be to stretch out and either switch it off or hit the snooze button. By placing it on the other side of the room, you will have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are out of bed, it’s easy to stay up and get going with your day. When choosing an alarm clock, select one that will wake you up effectively but not put you into a bad mood. Some people prefer a traditional sounding alarm; others prefer a favorite radio station coming on. Whatever the option, choose one that you won’t find so irritating that you are annoyed by it every morning!
Develop a regular sleeping pattern
Your body will find it easier to the habit of waking at the same time if you establish a regular sleeping pattern. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night and keep the alarm set for the same time, even at weekends. Your body will then have a chance to get used to this pattern.
It’s much easier to get up when you can do it on auto-pilot rather than having to put conscious effort into it. Even if you have the best intentions the night before about getting up at a certain time, it often won’t seem as appealing the next morning, when you are warm and comfortable in bed. The trick is continued practice. Push yourself to get up immediately on waking and in time it will become a habitual routine with no conscious thought required.
Harness natural light
If it’s very dark inside, consider adjusting the blinds so that natural light can come into the room in the morning and help wake you more naturally. The light will stimulate your body to stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and you will naturally be more ready to wake when its time to get up.
Try a natural light alarm clock
Sometimes it’s not possible to rely on light from outside to wake you up. This can be a particular problem during dark winter months when many people find it more difficult getting up in the mornings. If you have this particular problem there are alarm clocks designed to mimic daylight. These natural light alarm clocks gradually increase in brightness over a pre-set time prior to their alarm going off, simulating the breaking of dawn and the sun rising.
Plan your sleep in cycles
Sleep cycles last approximately ninety minutes so aim for a length of sleep that is multiples of this to prevent trying to wake up mid cycle. If you wake up shortly before your alarm is set to go off, get up anyway as it will likely be due to you reaching the end of a sleep cycle. This will be much easier for your body, than falling back to sleep, only to be jarred awake again by the alarm, during the next cycle.
Get moving as soon as you get up. This stimulates your brain and body, and shrug off the sleep. Going for a run, or a yoga session will do wonders for you. Exercise can also be a good motivating factor for getting up straight away if you have to fit it in before work. If this all sounds too strenuous, even a few stretches will help your body loosen up and start moving.
Having a refreshing shower can be a great way of ‘rinsing’ off the sleepiness. Alternate the temperature between hot and cold to stimulate the lymphatic system and use shower gels with revitalizing mint or citrus fruit scents.
Have an incentive
Plan something you enjoy for first thing in the morning. This could be something as simple as a favorite breakfast choice ; making getting up more appealing as a result.
Try to get quality sleep
Having a good, quality sleep will help you feel refreshed and re-energized and more ready to get up. As mush as possible try to minimize any noise or light pollution; make sure your bed is comfortable and the bedroom is warm without being too hot (ideally a few degrees less than the temperature set in the living areas). Avoid stimulants later in the day (for example, caffeine) which can stay active in your body for up to six hours. Limit alcohol and avoid eating heavy meals late in the day, as the body will be busy trying to process them rather than resting.
Avoid using technology late at night. Modern TVs, tablets and laptops use LED lighting that is similar to daylight which prevents melatonin being released and triggering tiredness, this keeps you awake for longer and can disrupt your sleeping pattern. This will reduce the amount of hour’s sleep you require and result in difficulty getting up the next morning. Getting into the practice of having a good quality and quantity of sleep will help you to wake up immediately in the morning.
There’s usually a manic rush as I try and get everything done on time before I head out: How to Hack Your MorningFeatured photo credit: Bird's eye view of Barcelona (Spain) in the morning via Shutterstock