Health And Wellness

How To Wake Yourself Up: 8 Tips To Get Up On Time

Photo: kitzcorner / Shutterstock
woman waking up

Having a hard time waking up in the morning? Despite all your best efforts? You’re not alone!

It’s estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deficiencies regardless of age or socioeconomic background. This can make it verrry difficult to wake up on time and get your body moving and ready for the day.

Here are some tips that will help put your mind at ease so you can sleep better and wake yourself up on time.

RELATED: If You Only Need 5 Hours Of Sleep, It Might Be In Your Genes (According To New Research)

Common Reasons You May Have Trouble Waking Up

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

DSPS is when your sleep is delayed by a couple of hours and yet your body still wants to wake up at its “normal” time. This can throw off your morning routine and cause you to become groggy or even grouchy as your circadian rhythm is attempting to keep a different schedule than you are. 

Sleep Inertia 

A body at rest tends to want to stay at rest, just as a ball rolling down a hill will remain in motion. Sleep inertia can make it difficult to wake up and get your brain firing on all cylinders. And when you’re forced to get up while in the middle of your REM sleep, it can create a mental grogginess that can lead to errors and mistakes during the day.

Hitting the Snooze Button

When you wake up to your alarm but hit the snooze button, for "just a few more minutes" of sleep, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. When you close your eyes again, your brain takes you back into a deeper stage of your sleep cycle, which is what’s making it even harder to get up the next time the alarm goes off. And that leaves you feeling more tired as a result.

Birds of a Feather

Our DNA largely determines whether you’re a night owl or a morning lark. Did you know that research has found 15 genes linked to being a morning person? If your genetics are telling you to stay up late and sleep in late, then getting up earlier than what your body is asking for will make starting your day challenging.

Blame it on the Season

You’re not crazy, it is actually harder to get up in the winter months. Our bodies are designed to go to sleep when it’s dark and rise with the sun. So in the winter months when the days are longer, your natural tendency will be to wait till the sun comes up!

8 Helpful Tips On How To Wake Yourself Up Quickly & Naturally

Fret not! Here are some helpful tips on how to get your rest and wake yourself up more easily in the morning.

1. Create a routine and stick with it

Creating good sleep habits leads to waking up naturally and easily in the morning.

Stop looking at your phone or devices at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from these screens disrupts melatonin production and will keep you awake longer and thus make you groggier in the morning.

Eat at least three hours before bedtime and reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.

Create a sleep atmosphere that is comfortable and cozy for your body type.

2. Keep a regular wake-up time

If you wake up at 6am on weekdays and sleep in later on the weekends to 9am, you’re confusing your brain and your body’s natural rhythms. On the weekends you can sleep in but keep it within 15-30 minutes of your regular wake-up time. Otherwise, you’re likely to muck up your Monday morning.

3. Let the sun In

Since your body naturally responds to sunlight, put a warm colored light on a timer in your bedroom to come on when it’s time to get up to signal to your body that the sun is rising and help recalibrate your sleep cycle. Once you’re up, open up the curtains and let the light in! There are plenty of wake-up lights on the market that do just this. 

RELATED: 50 Relatable Quotes About Sleep For Chronically Tired People

4. Get outside every day

It’s also important to get 2 hours of outdoor light exposure every day (even on cloudy days) to help reset your circadian rhythms. The sunlight will help boost the production of Vitamin D which also has been linked to improving immunity, tiredness, and depression. Can’t get out into the sun? Take vitamin D supplements to help.

5. Hydrate

Put a glass of water (or orange juice) next to your bed at night. When you first wake up in the morning, have a big sip to wake up your digestive system and get your brain up and running and feeling more alert.

6. Make your morning ritual enjoyable

Create a morning routine that actually invites you to get up. Think of it as your sacred space from which to create your day that works for you and inspires you. Stretching to get the blood flowing, meditation to set your intentions for the day, fabulous music to get your body moving, or your favorite morning beverage or breakfast to feed your mind and body.

7. Let your nose lead the way

Put one of your favorite essential oils into your diffuser and put it on a timer to turn on 10 minutes before your alarm goes off. These natural scents can help wake your brain as your senses pull you out of your REM sleep with greater ease:

Bergamot (energizing)

Cinnamon (boosts energy)

Eucalyptus (stimulates the brain)

Frankincense (balances the nervous system)

Orange (invigorating)

Peppermint (rejuvenating and energizing)

8. Get a pet

A furry or feathered friend is a great asset to help nudge you out of bed in the morning for their walk, their breakfast, or even a snuggle as they alert you with a woof, meow, or chirp! Their little body clocks are usually spot on and they’re happy to remind you of this.

When to see a doctor if you are having trouble waking up or not getting enough sleep

If you’re still waking up exhausted after everything you've tried, you’ll want to look at the quality of your sleep. You may have a sleep disorder that requires further medical evaluation.

There are more than 80 known sleep disorders, so keep track of your symptoms and talk with a sleep specialist. Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for:

You have chronic insomnia

You have excessive daytime sleepiness that no amount of coffee can help

You snore consistently while sleeping and that is keeping the rest of the house awake

Your legs or hands are often restless as you’re trying to go to sleep

You’re sleeping too much but still regularly fatigued

Sleep is a beautiful thing!

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help rejuvenate and rewire your brain and body for better mental and physical health, well-being, and happiness. The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping.

Get your zzz’s so you can wake up naturally in the morning and start your day out on a positive note!

RELATED: Why People Think Olympic Athletes Are Sleeping In 'Anti-Intimacy' Cardboard Beds During The Games

Michele Molitor is a highly trained certified coach and hypnotherapist and co-author of “Breakthrough Healing.” For 20 years, she has worked with talented, professional women, helping them overcome imposter syndrome and reclaim their confidence to create a thriving career and life. If you’re ready to eliminate imposter syndrome from your mindset once and for all, then connect with her directly on her website.