Are you always waking up tired in the morning? I know I am. I usually start my day by waking up (not waking up)and continuously pressing snooze, snooze and snooze. Additionally, the colder winter mornings make it even worse when you’re struggling to wake up. You see, there is an actual medical term for this. The groggy feeling you get when waking up is called sleep inertia.

Man rubs hand over face with eyes closed. Sleep deprived man.
Sleep deprivation

Sleep inertia is the transition phase between being asleep and awake. This physiological state is caused by some brain cells being awake, while others are still asleep. Usually, this feeling only lasts about 10-15 minutes, but extreme cases have reported lasting up to 4 hours!

10-15 minutes may not seem like a lot, but these first few minutes are crucial when you’re waking up. Usually, you can’t make well thought out decisions during this time. It is typically during these few minutes that you repeatedly press snooze and extend the state of grogginess even further.

Wake Up Once

This is why, especially if you’re a snoozer, to not enable the snooze function on your phone. If you’re struggling to wake up ask your partner, roommate or parent to help you in this process. They can come to wake you up, instead of that dreaded alarm. If they’re super nice, they might even bring you a cup of coffee to aid you in wakefulness.

Avoid repeated snoozing if you’re struggling to wake up.

Ever heard of the Type A and Type B alarm clock comparisons? Some people can set one alarm and that’s it. Others, however, set a string of alarms going off in 5-minute intervals to wake them up. It may seem like a great idea, but, unfortunately, the converse is true. By setting a string of alarms, you are essentially prolonging your state of sleep inertia.

If you don’t like getting up, you need to start figuring out why. You can’t change your entire life by waking up the right way, but it sure is good a place to start taking your life back. Find a healthy get-up style to help you wake up and – stay up.

What is a Get-Up Style?

Your get-up style refers to the most effective way for you to get up in order for you to feel refreshed, well rested, clear minded and ready for the day. There are a couple of ways to achieve wakefulness if you’re struggling to wake up. More on this towards the end of the post.

Waking Up Right = Going to Sleep Right

Go to bed right, if you want to wake up right.

A lot of people think that they can wake up feeling refreshed, after drinking and partying, playing games, watching movies or series all night. Unfortunately, the contrary is true. You can’t wake up feeling well rested after doing these things. To wake up well rested, you need to practise good sleep hygiene. This habit is crucial, especially for those that are struggling to wake up.

To make sure that you wake up feeling relaxed and ready for the day, try to do the following:

Go to Bed on Time.

Don’t stay up too late just to play another mission on your game, or to watch another episode of your favourite series. When your body starts feeling drowsy, listen to it and go to bed. Following a set bedtime will create a rhythm for your body. It will be much easier to go to bed, and you’ll wake up the next morning, feeling refreshed!

Avoid too Much Caffeine

Caffeine stimulates the brain to be more alert. Even if you can fall asleep directly after you had a Red Bull, the quality of your sleep is impaired. Therefore, chances are that you won’t wake up feeling refreshed. Instead of having a coffee every time you get up from behind your desk, have a glass of water every second time. Additionally, less caffeine will help you to sleep better at night, and your digestive system will thank you for it.

Sleep in Comfortable Clothing.

Don’t sleep in clothes that are too warm or too confining. When the body feels restricted at night it can reduce the quality of your rest. Furthermore, if your pyjamas are too warm, your body can’t follow the natural process of cooling down whilst being asleep.

Sleep in comfortable clothing for a good night’s rest.

Yes, that’s right! The body goes through a heat cycle every 24 hours. The peak of this cycle runs roughly at 37.5 degrees Celsius at around six pm. Generally, we are at our coolest around 5 am in the morning at a temperature of about 35.5 degrees Celsius.

Read a Book

Preferably not on your mobile phone, tablet, TV screen or computer monitor. Unless you have blue light protection on your devices, of course. When was the last time you read a good paperback novel? Have you ever read one from start to finish? Maybe give it a go!

Scientists found that reading before going to bed helps the mind to relax. Furthermore, reading prepares the brain for a good night’s rest. Apparently, focusing your thoughts on one thing before bedtime is good for you. When you close your eyes, your mind won’t jump all over the place and remembers everything that’s still to be done.

Write a Journal

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just jot down the important things that you achieved that day and those of which you still need to achieve. Once you’ve written it down you can forget about it and let your brain relax in preparation for sleep. Sometimes writing something out also helps you to get all of your ducks in a row and place issues at hand in perspective. It helps ease the mind and prepares the body for restorative rest.

Now for getting up!

Getting up the right way is crucial if you’re struggling to wake up.

Okay, so we spent a lot of time to make sure that we are all on the same page for going to sleep. Now that we’ve described ways to improve your nighttime routine, let’s look at the mornings!

Dedicating what little time you have for sleep to other hobbies will wear you down in the end. Rather ease off on the hobby and sleep some more. Besides, sleeping is a lot better for your body than gaming, for example. The same can be said for partying, binge-watching series and even for studying and working.

Wake Up Successfully

To get up, and stay up, you need to change your bedtime and “get up” routine drastically.

Follow these few tips on getting up successfully:

  1. Place your alarm far from your bed. This ensures that you have to get out of bed to turn the annoying thing off.
  2. Wake up at set times. In addition to going to bed at set times, waking up at set times makes mornings much more efficient. If you wake up each day at a set time, your body will start to recognise the pattern and follow a set amount of sleep cycles each night. This is why you’ll wake, up to 30 minutes before your alarm clock when you’ve followed a set amount of sleep for a while.
  3. DON’T get back in bed. If you get back in bed after you’ve climbed out, you may as well have stayed in.
  4. Grow the right mindset. Listen to podcasts, read productivity books – all on the effects of waking up early. The promised benefits will motivate you to get up and stay up.
  5. Exercise. Set your gear out the night before and follow some sort of light exercise routine when you wake up. This can include a light walk, some pilates or yoga.
  6. Plan your mornings the night before. Write down everything that is on your to-do list that has to be done in the morning. This way, you know you can’t oversleep, since you don’t want to keep piling up work.
Take an early morning, light jog or walk to wake yourself up.

Light Exposure

  • Take a look at the rising sun. The rising sun’s rays will wake you up in no time. This is the most natural way to show your brain that the day has come, and it is time to wake up.
  • If you wake up before the sun, wake your body with artificial light. Read the newspaper on your phone, tablet or computer. The blue light will send signals to your brain that it is time to wake up.

The Rest of the Morning

Try to meal prep the night before, if your mornings are too busy.

Follow a morning routine that wakes your body even further. We’ve already touched on exercise, but there are many other ways to achieve wakefulness in your body. Drink a cup of coffee, take a shower or drink a glass of lukewarm water. Cater to your body’s unique needs in this way.

Craft yourself a healthy breakfast to get you started for the day. Not everyone has the time to prepare an extended English breakfast in the morning. This, however, is not an excuse to eat unhealthy, quick-fix breakfasts. Rather try to meal prep your breakfast the night before, when you have much more time on your hands.

Now, Get Productive!

Don’t sit around and wait for something to do. Start working immediately to set the tone for the rest of your successful day.