Perhaps one of the worst things about the changing seasons is dragging yourself out of bed on those cold, dark autumn and winter mornings. It’s just harder to get going in the morning when it’s still dark outside. Not to mention, hectic holiday schedules can make it hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
If you wake up on cold autumn mornings wanting to snuggle back under the blankets and stay in bed, you’re not alone. But you can make waking up on dark mornings easier. The best thing you can do is wake up at the same time every morning, and get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings. Get some exercise first thing in the morning, take a shower as soon as you get out of bed, or lure yourself into the kitchen with a programmable coffee maker.
Keep Your Wake-Up Time Consistent
Getting up early in the morning can be good for your body, but it’s harder to get up early on work or school days when you allow yourself to sleep as late as you want on weekends. Instead, keep your wake-up times consistent by getting up no more than an hour later on weekends than you do during the week. This way, your body will be able to get into a routine of waking up when it expects to be woken up.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get some extra sleep if you want or need it. Try going to bed early instead of sleeping late. Remember that getting plenty of sleep is an important part of protecting yourself during the cold and flu season. If you have difficulty getting out of bed due to arthritis pain, try taking Celebrex to ease your painful symptoms.
Lay Off the Snooze Button
Instead of hitting the snooze button repeatedly, get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings. Sure, it’s tempting to sleep for another five minutes, but we all know those five minutes could just as easily turn into 45 minutes, making you late!
Besides, will an extra five or 10 minutes really make you feel that much more rested? Chances are the answer is no. When your alarm rings at 6:00 a.m. and you groggily reach for the snooze button, you’re fighting something called “sleep inertia.” A body at rest wants to stay at rest, and that’s just as true when the body in question is yours, isn’t it? Most people aren’t capable of jumping out of bed feeling fully alert and refreshed. It takes the brain some time to transition from asleep to awake. The feelings of grogginess during this transition can last for several minutes to an hour or more, and there’s nothing you can do about them except wait for them to subside.
Since there’s nothing you can do about your morning grogginess, the best way to deal with it is just to power through it. Get up and get moving; don’t allow yourself the luxury of thinking about it. Personal development blogger Steve Pavlina as soon as the alarm rings by practicing while you’re awake. If you wake up before the alarm goes off, don’t go back to sleep; you’ll be groggier in the long run. If you need some extra incentive to get out of bed in the morning, drink a glass of water before you go to sleep, so you’ll have to go to the bathroom in the morning.
Get Moving in the Morning
Don’t worry; no one’s suggesting that you go for a 30-minute run the minute you wake up. That said, a few minutes of activity can get your blood pumping and stimulate your body, helping you wake up. Do a few yoga poses, dance to your favorite pop song, or do a few jumping jacks in your bedroom. Another alternative is to jump in the shower as soon as you get out of bed. Use some invigorating minty soap to help yourself wake up.
Give Yourself a Morning Treat
Many of us wouldn’t be able to wake up at all without a morning treat to look forward to. If you’re a coffee drinker, get a programmable coffee pot and set it to brew right before you wake up. If you’re not a coffee drinker, buy yourself some luxurious soap for your morning shower, or plan a delicious treat for your morning meal. Your treat could also be something like reading the news, looking through a favorite magazine, or listening to your favorite podcast.
As the autumn sets in and the days get colder, you may start to struggle to get up in the mornings. Just because the sun rises a little later in the day doesn’t mean that getting up early has to become a daily battle. By establishing a consistent routine, getting up immediately and powering through morning grogginess, and moving around a little more first thing in the morning, you can make waking up on dark autumn mornings easier — and have better days as a result.