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Six Ways to Wake Up More Easily in the Morning

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Cup of coffee in a teal blue cup with lemons and flowers on a table in the morning sunlight.

Some people are morning people . . . and others of us just aren’t. Mornings are not my friend, especially when I have to wake up early. Whenever my alarm goes off, I always feel like I could stay in my cozy bed for hours longer, and I end up hitting the snooze button so many times that I’m running late and rushing through the rest of the morning. I have never been, and possibly never will be a true morning person, but over the years I’ve found a few tips to help me to wake up more easily in the morning.

If you struggle with mornings as much as I do, then these tips might not perform enough miracles to make you feel like a fairy tale princess waking up and singing with the birds, but they might just be enough to help make getting out of bed a little bit easier.

6 Tips to Wake Up More Easily in the Morning:

1) Get a Good Night of Sleep

This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s the most important one of them all. If you don’t get a good night of sleep, it’s ten times harder to drag yourself out of bed the next morning. The better and more restful your night of sleep is, the easier it is to wake up and get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re going to bed early enough to get enough hours of sleep, so if you find that you consistently have a really hard time waking up in the morning, then you might want to try going to bed a little earlier at night if you can. I don’t let myself read books close to bed time anymore or else I end up staying awake to read “just one more chapter” until it’s 2 or 3 in the morning.

You can find some more of my favorite tips for getting a good night of sleep in these posts:

2) Try Some Aromatherapy

Certain scents, like citrus and peppermint, can help us to feel more awake and energized. We can take advantage of this by keeping some sort of morning aromatherapy right by our bedsides so that as soon as the alarm clock goes off, we can quickly reach for something that will help us feel more alert (and hopefully awake enough to throw off the covers and roll out of bed).

You could make your own energizing citrus room spray like I’ve done before, or you could even just keep a bottle of lemon or peppermint essential oil by your bed. You could also use a tin filled with coffee beans or peppermints. The key is just to have something that you can grab easily in the morning but that is in some type of closed container because you don’t want to be smelling the energizing scents at night when you’re trying to get to sleep.

3) Get a Sunrise-Mimicking Alarm Clock

A few years ago, I switched over to a new alarm clock that starts to gradually light up and get brighter about a half hour before my alarm goes off. The gradual increase in brightness mimics the sunrise and acts like a signal to the body that it’s time to come out of a deeper sleep and start getting ready to wake up.

I love this alarm clock, especially on mornings when I have to get up early and it’s still dark outside. It’s so much easier to get out of bed when there’s some light in the room than it is when it’s pitch black. And even in the summer time when it’s lighter out, it still helps me because I usually sleep with dark blankets draped over my curtains to block out the light from the street lamps, so this clock allows me to have the effect of the sun rising in the morning while still having a dark bedroom at night time.

Since I’ve had my wake-up light alarm clock for several years now, the exact model that I have has been discontinued now, but you can find the newer version of my favorite alarm clock here.

4) Change Your Alarm to a Gentle, Non-Jarring One

Another thing that’s helped me to wake up a bit more easily is to change my alarm to a more pleasant, less jarring tone. The wake-up light alarm clock I use has a couple of different alarm sounds, and I use the one with birds chirping. The birds start out softly and then gradually get louder (and more obnoxious) if I ignore the alarm for too long.

Having a more calming alarm makes it easier to get out of bed because when you use a really loud beeping sound for your alarm, it jolts you right out of sleep and makes your heart start racing and your stress level go up, so your first instinct is to shut it off or press the snooze button as fast as you can. And we all know how dangerous pressing the snooze button can end up being. “Just five more minutes” never ends up being just five more minutes. When you have an alarm that gradually and gently wakes you up, though, you have a better chance of feeling ready to get out of bed right away rather than falling into the snooze button trap.

And if you’re worried that you might not hear a softer, gentler alarm, you can set a second “safety” alarm like I do. I use the soft bird chirping sounds on my alarm clock as my main wake-up alarm and then I set a second just-in-case alarm on my phone for five minutes later just in case I sleep through the quiet alarm.

5) Create a Morning Routine You Really Look Forward To

Another thing that can help to make getting up a little bit easier is to have some sort of morning routine that you look forward to. It doesn’t have to be anything really involved or time-consuming or anything that would require you to get up even earlier to do. (I don’t think I’ll ever be the sort of person who wakes up extra early to go jogging although I admire the dedication of those who do!) It could be just a quick thing you really enjoy doing that you can fit into your regular morning routine. It could even be something as simple as listening to a couple of your favorite songs while you get ready.

I always like to have a good breakfast to look forward to, for example. When I have a day with free time, I’ll make a big batch of chocolate chip pancakes and then keep them in the freezer. In the morning, I can just pull a couple out and warm them up in the toaster, and with a little bit of pure maple syrup drizzled on them, it’s like having a homemade pancake breakfast without having to get up early to actually cook pancakes.

While the pancakes are heating up in the toaster, I’ll cook myself a couple of eggs and make a cup of tea, and I can have a nice breakfast that I enjoy eating but that only takes a few minutes to prepare. And knowing that I have a breakfast that I look forward to helps to make it a little bit easier to get out of from under the covers and get out of bed.

6) Keep to a Consistent Schedule

I wish this wasn’t true because I’m one of those people who loves to sleep in on the weekends and holidays, but keeping to a consistent schedule of when you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning can help make it easier to wake up in the morning. Having a regular routine of waking up at approximately the same time can help to regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythm and program us to wake up at that regular time. When we constantly change the time that we go to bed and wake up, though, it can disrupt this natural rhythm.

I feel like a bit of a hypocrite writing this, though, because I have to admit that this is one piece of advice that I don’t usually follow. I’m trying to stick to a more consistent schedule, but there are still plenty of times when I don’t. But at least I’m trying, though, right? That counts for something. (Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself . . .)

I put this tip last because it’s the one that requires the most effort and commitment. It’s a lot easier to use some simple morning aromatherapy or to change your alarm clock than it is to stick to a consistent bed time and waking up routine. So if you’re like me and you love sleeping in on the days when your schedule allows you to, then you can try the other five tips first to see if they help. And then if you still have a really hard time getting up in the mornings, you can give a consistent schedule a try for a little while to see if it makes waking up easier in the mornings.

What are some of your favorite tips for waking up in the morning? Let us know in the comments!

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Cup of coffee in a teal blue cup with lemons and flowers on a table by a window in the morning sunlight.
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

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Jamie Oliver

Thursday 6th of April 2017

Thanks for this post. I struggle with mornings and ours start early. These are realistic tips. Especially #4--I can't STAND my husband's alarm clock! :)


Thursday 6th of April 2017

Before I switched to a more pleasant alarm clock I was about ready to throw mine out the window, so I know what you mean! :)

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