We can’t get out of the bed in the morning and it’s no surprise why. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of us wake up feeling out of sorts and sluggish at least a few times each week.
Are you among the groggy and grumpy when the alarm goes off each morning? Try these seven tricks to step up your sleep game and make climbing out of bed easier:
- Start the night before. Drink chamomile tea before hitting the sack. Don’t check email from under the covers; in fact, leave your electronic devices in another room so the glowing screens don’t interrupt your sleep. And keep your shades drawn. Sunlight tells your body it’s time to wake up, so to keep from rising with the sun, shut your blinds before you go to bed.
- Stop hitting snooze. Do you set your alarm 45 minutes earlier than you need to get up—giving yourself plenty of time to hit the snooze button every nine minutes—with the belief you’ll gently rouse yourself awake? (We’re guilty of this one!) This misguided behavior actually cheats you out of extra minutes in deeper, more restorative sleep stages. A better idea: Set your alarm for your real wake up time. Place your clock on the other side of your room so you’ll have to get out of bed to turn it off. Or swing your feet over the edge of your bed and sit up when it rings. If you can make it that far, it’ll be easier to push yourself off of the mattress.
- Splash cold water on your face. It may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it works. One study found people who washed their face after a nap felt less tired afterward.
- Move. Being active can help wake you up in the morning. And research shows people who log 150 minutes of exercise each week are less likely to feel overly sleepy throughout the day compared to those who get less than the recommended level of physical activity.
- Drink water. After seven hours without any liquids, your body can feel sluggish. An American Journal of Nutrition study found young women who with mild dehydrated were more fatigued, had more headaches and experienced more difficulty concentrating than those who had been drinking enough water. Sip an 8-ounce glass of water within your first hour of waking up.
- Schedule morning activities. Looking forward to a fun activity can be a powerful motivator for waking you up in the morning. So make plans you know you won’t skip—a breakfast meeting, a coffee date, a stroll with your significant other—and soon, you’ll find yourself climbing out of bed easier.
- Stick to a schedule. Don’t sleep in on weekends. Our body’s circadian rhythm resets every day, and those few extra hours of shuteye on Saturday can throw it off, causing sluggishness when you try to wake up on Monday. Instead of sleeping in, try a 20-minute, mid-afternoon nap, when there’s a natural dip in our circadian rhythms.