Picture this: you’re in the throes of a cosy slumber, buried under a beefy duvet, all warm and snug. You’ve no idea, but your alarm clock is about to shriek in a manner so shrill you’ll feel almost betrayed. Does this sound like a familiar scene? It certainly does for us. Well, news flash: there are ways to make waking up slightly more bearable – read on for eight tips on how to transform the daily struggle of waking up in the morning into a smoother, more positive experience.
Get enough sleep
Obvious as it may seem, your wake-up may be harder if you don’t get enough sleep at night. Not only that but sustained lack of sleep has a huge impact on your long-term health, potentially resulting in weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, hypertension and stroke – to name a few. So, make sure you’re getting between 7 to 9 hours per night – the daily recommended amount, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Wake up at a consistent time
Many individuals ask: what is the best time to wake up? The answer is that while no specific hour of the day can be identified as “the best” for waking up, it should generally be between seven to nine hours after going to sleep and around the same time every day. Inconsistency confuses the circadian rhythm, so waking up at 6 am some days and at 11 am on others will make your body feel more tired, and earlier wake-ups will feel more strenuous. Make sure you set a regular time to get up on most days.
Don’t snooze your alarm!
Snoozing your alarm in the morning is something we are all guilty of doing. However, slightly extending your time asleep by hushing your alarm will not provide extra meaningful rest. Instead, it will just make your sleep fragmented – and fragmented sleep can actually have adverse effects on your well-being. Though it may be a challenge, try to force yourself up when your alarm chimes the first time.
Let in some natural light
Another way to improve the way you wake up is by letting in some natural light. Sleeping in pitch blackness is important to get the best sleep possible; however, when it comes to waking up, you should avoid getting dressed in the same darkness you slept in and flood your room with some natural light. Exposure to light stops the production of melatonin - our sleep hormone - so it will lift you from your sleepy state and encourage your eyes to open properly. It may also improve your mood!
Wake up to some music
Melodic, rhythmic music is a great method to wake up in the morning. This can have energising effects and start your day off in a merry way. Try setting your alarm, so you’re woken up with music or the radio rather than the jarring sound of ringing.
Try a wake-up supplement
If you really struggle to wake up naturally and want to tackle sleep inertia, a wake up pill might be the solution. Wake-up supplements are taken before bed, seven hours before you intend to wake up. It is only just before waking up that the pill kicks into action in your system, though. Using innovative delayed-release technology, the supplement sets the waking-up process in motion whilst you’re still asleep so that when you need to wake up, it isn’t as difficult as it normally would be.
Wake-up supplements are made of entirely natural ingredients, namely caffeine, vitamin B5, vitamin B15 and zinc. These ingredients are known for their positive impact on concentration and cognitive performance, promoting wakefulness during the time you need to be awake and reducing fatigue.
Showering is part of many people’s morning routine. There is no denying the awakening effect of a nice hot shower in the morning, so if you don’t do so already, try adding this to your wake-up regime to make you feel more alert in those early hours. For an added challenge, you could try spending the last 30-90 seconds of your shower under cold water – an action found to spike your energy levels during a 2016 clinical trial published by the Plos One Journal.
They don’t say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” for nothing. Ensuring you eat a hearty and nutritious breakfast will set you up well for the day ahead and facilitate the waking-up process. If you’re a stranger to breakfast, try some porridge or a piece of toast with bananas and a nut spread.
We know that it’s much easier said than done, and for some, it doesn’t matter what you do or how much sleep you get – it remains a struggle to drag yourself from your bed each morning. Truthfully, grogginess is merely a natural part of the sleep-wake cycle, and to give yourself the best chance at fighting it, it is critical to practise good sleep hygiene. There are, however, certain variables that make it harder to wake up, such as:
- Sleep disorders;
- Certain medications that promote drowsiness;
- Mental health conditions;
If you suffer from symptoms of insomnia, it may be worth broaching the issue with a doctor so that you can tackle the problem of waking up by examining your problems going to sleep.