I used to hate my alarm and waking up. As soon as it went off, I’d look forward to nighttime so I could sleep again.
This was me until about a year ago.
Now, I wake up around 6.45am on most days and have no hard time at all. Often, I’m already (half) awake a few minutes before my alarm goes off. And I’m excited about the day ahead.
If I can do it, then others can too.
You can “train” yourself to wake up easier. You’ll find 9 ways to wake up easier. And as a bonus, I’ve included some more tips to make your mornings a better time!
When you start your day on the right foot, it sets a great tone for the rest of the day.
Can’t wake up in the morning?
First of all, no one jumps out of the bed immediately after they wake up. Everyone goes through “sleep inertia”.
Sleep inertia is the transition your body makes from being asleep to being awake. It takes a few minutes for some, but longer for others. Usually, it lasts less than 30 minutes.
It depends on your sleep habits and body clock how much sleep inertia you will feel. You’d want to shorten the time you feel sleep inertia to wake up easier.
9 Ways to wake up easier
1. Have a sleep schedule
Sleep schedules work wonders for babies and small children – but for adults too. No matter your age, our bodies respond well to routines.
A sleep schedule means to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, give or take 30 minutes. One of the hardest parts is to keep to your schedule on the weekends as well.
With a sleep schedule, your internal clock expects when to sleep and when to wake up.
If you have to wake up early during the week but sleep in late in the weekend, you’ll confuse your body clock.
My sleep schedule is to go to bed around 10.30/11 pm and I wake up around 6.45/7 am. Since I’ve been doing this, I’m falling asleep very quickly and I have no hard time waking up. I often awake a few minutes before my alarm goes off. I do sleep in sometimes but I usually wake up 8 hours after I went to bed, feeling well-rested.
2. Let the daylight in
Bright light helps you to feel more alert and awake. Daylight is great for this.
Open up the curtains and let the daylight in. Is it still dark outside? Then you can turn on your lights.
Or get a wake-up light to use as an alarm clock. The Philips wake-up lights are clinically proven to help you wake up better.
A wake-up light mimics the sunrise by gradually increasing the brightness. It includes nature sounds too, so it really feels like you’re waking up naturally.
3. Plan something exciting in the morning
Waking up (early) for a job you don’t like can feel like a punishment. It makes it very demotivating to get out of bed.
But you can turn your morning time into some ‘me-time’ and do something that you love and usually don’t have time for.
For example, if you love drawing but can’t fit this in your daily schedule, you could carve out 15 minutes for this in the morning. Or plan to have a nice breakfast.
It will give you something to look forward to when you wake up.
4. Avoid hitting snooze
I know it’s said everywhere, but it’s true: don’t snooze your alarm.
When you hit snooze you’ll most likely fall asleep again. But this means you will fall back into your sleep cycle. Your next alarm then goes off while you’re in the middle of this cycle – making you very groggy.
Put your alarm away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Be disciplined enough to not walk back into your bed though! (I used to do that as a teenager..)
Snoozing your alarm makes it harder and unpleasant for you to wake up. This brings me to my next point…
5. Do your best to wake up
I realized this one not too long ago and it sounds so simple. But how many of us try to cling on for more sleep and the 5 minutes of snoozing? I did it myself too.
You set your alarm to wake up at a certain time, so do your best to wake yourself up. Be grateful for another new day.
6. Gratitude and positive affirmations
Speaking of being grateful; a gratitude exercise and reciting positive affirmations will make the start of your day a much happier time.
Being grateful for the good things in your life or any recent positives, whether big or small, boosts your mood. You can find gratitude exercise ideas here.
Daily positive affirmations have a great long-term impact on your mood too. Here are 14 self-love affirmations to start your day on a good note.
7. Change your self-belief
What you think has enormous effects on your life. Change your self-belief to think more positively of yourself.
Instead of thinking “I’m not a morning person”, think something like “I’m an early riser/bird”.
Your brain will believe and act on whatever you think and tell yourself.
8. Keep your phone out of the bedroom
Most people use their phone as their alarm but my tip is to get an actual alarm clock or wake-up light .
When you grab your phone first thing in the morning, it’s very tempting to check your text messages, open your email, scroll through social media…
… and before you know it, you’re late and need to rush.
Keep your phone out of your bedroom to spend your time more wisely. Give your eyes time to open up to the real world instead of the blue light of your screen.
This also makes it easier to not look at a screen an hour before you sleep, like I mentioned earlier.
We’re wasting our lives away on our phones and it’s not doing us any good. Do a phone detox so you can take back control over your phone and live IRL again.
9. Too cold to get out of bed?
Early winter mornings in the Netherlands were so cold! It really made it hard to get out of my warm bed.
If this is one of the reasons you can’t wake up and get out of bed, lay out a warm robe next to your bed to put on immediately.
You could also consider a smart thermostat that brings your home to temperature by the time your alarm goes off.
Bonus tips: how to have a good morning
Here are some bonus tips to make the rest of your morning a good time and set up for a great day.
Do a morning workout or yoga session
Even if it’s just 15 minutes, early morning movement has many benefits besides waking you up.
Exercising in the morning helps you start the day with more energy, focus, and optimism. It leads to better mental health, better productivity and also helps you sleep better.
Fuel up your body (and mind) by eating breakfast. Even if you don’t feel like eating, have a light bite. Some yogurt, fruit or a piece of toast.
Breakfast gives your body the energy to start your day.
Citrus essential oils
Citrus smells have an energizing and uplifting effect. Use them in an oil diffuser or sprinkle a drop or two on your shower floor to let it steam.
Grapefruit oil has a lovely bright smell to make you feel happy and uplifted.
Write down your to-do’s the night before
Write your to-do list the night before so you can hit the ground running in the morning. It also helps you sleep better because you don’t have to think about all.the.things. you have to do next day.
Prep your morning tasks
Streamline your morning tasks by preparing them the night before.
Lay-out the clothes you want to wear that day, have breakfast prepared if you’re not the type that wants to make breakfast in the morning, set out everything to make your favorite drink in the morning, get your yoga mat ready, etc.
Let’s get started and wake up easier
You made it to the end! I know that there is a lot of information for you to digest now.
What helped me most and what my first advice would be, is to start with a sleep schedule.
I hope that – and the other tips in this post – will help you to sleep better and wake up easier.
Share this post on your social media – we can all benefit from being well-rested and having great mornings!
Disclaimer: you might be tired and having sleep problems due to medical conditions such as sleepwalking, sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, any sleep disorder, chronic pain or medication. Please see a doctor if you have sleep problems.