Daylight saving time happened almost a week ago, but if you’re still feeling sluggish, you’re not alone. (You’re also probably not able to blame daylight saving time at this point either.) Over 30 percent of people say they rarely or never are able to wake up when needed in the morning. And yet the coffee commercials make it look so easy. Sigh. If you’re not one of those people who can hop out of bed at 6:30, greeting the morning with a big grin, then read on.
Scroll through for five backed-by-science tactics to make waking up more enjoyable!
You’ve heard it all before, but just in case you’ve forgotten, the snooze button is not your friend. Those extra five or ten minutes you spend laying in bed will only leave you groggier. When you wake up initially, your body sends out a wave of hormones signaling that it’s time to start the day. When you do the opposite and stay in bed, you end up feeling more out of whack than if you had just woken up when the alarm when off.
Part of the reason you fight the alarm might be because you’re not waking up at the right time. You go through different stages of sleep throughout the night. Ideally, you want to wake up when you’re in your lightest sleep, but you’re alarm clock doesn’t know when that is. Until now. There are several apps for your phone, like Sleepbot, that will track your sleep cycle and wake you up right at the perfect time. You set the alarm for the time you want to wake up, but instead of going off right at 6:30 am on the dot, it’ll gently wake you up when you’re in your lightest sleep at the time closest to your scheduled alarm. The gently part is also key. Another reason waking up in the morning is so unpleasant is because traditional alarms make the process too abrupt. The loud noise is disorienting and causes your heart to jump and adrenaline to surge.
Waking up to bright light might sound more stressful than soothing, but light tells your body to stop releasing the sleep hormone melatonin. Waking up with the sun is a much gentler way to wake up that also helps your body clock readjust for daytime. But if sleeping with your blinds open isn’t an option, don’t worry, you can get a natural light alarm clock that mimics the light of the sun. Half an hour before your alarm goes off, the light from Phillips’ Wake-Up Light ($70) gradually turns from red to orange to bright yellow, just like the sun rising. It’ll wake you up slowly and make getting out of bed a little less of struggle.
Create a morning ritual for yourself that gives you a reason to get out of bed. Anything from a quick yoga session to a warm shower will do as long as you enjoy the activity. Make a breakfast you love, go for a walk, just sit and sip your coffee on the patio—whatever it is, you’ll know that each minute you lay in bed is less time you get to do your morning ritual. After you’ve done it a few times, you’ll start to realize how much energy getting up and moving right away gives you, and the snooze button will become less and less appealing. Over time, your morning routine becomes a habit that’s easy to maintain (and still enjoyable, of course).
One of the most effective ways to make getting up in the morning less of a struggle is to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your body’s clock. Maintaining that wake up time during the weekends will make Monday morning so much easier. Plus, trying to make up for lost sleep on the weekends interrupts your body’s clock and actually makes getting up during the week harder. Sad fact for lazy Sundays, but true nonetheless. Tracking your sleep patterns through your fitness tracker can make the process a little easier.
Do you hop right out of bed in the morning or are you a slave to the snooze button?