Nothing compares to the struggle of dragging yourself out of bed when it’s the last thing you want to do. When you have a rough start, the rest of your day feels equally bleak, and no amount of caffeine can work its magic. The good news is figuring out how to wake yourself up doesn’t mean you need to morph into a morning person overnight.
Even if you get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, sleepiness is sometimes unavoidable, and it doesn’t help that your bed is the warmest, coziest place in your room. However, just as it can take a while to nod off, your body also needs some time to wake up.
Here are some tips that can teach you how to wake yourself up. The best part? None of it involves downing an energy drink at 8 a.m.
1. Don’t Hit Snooze
Everyone’s guilty of hitting snooze in an attempt to lock in 5 more minutes of sleep, then 10, then 15, so on and so forth.
But to wake up in the morning easily, it’s crucial to resist the urge to hit the snooze button. This is because sleep fragmentation, which is when you wake up and go to sleep at irregular intervals, can make it harder for you to figure out how to wake yourself up and result in even more grogginess.
Instead, set the alarm for the time you intend to wake up and do your best to get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. If you’re prone to hitting the snooze button and don’t have enough faith in your willpower, then keep your alarm clock or phone out of reach so that you’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off.
2. Take a Cold Shower
The mere thought of taking a cold shower first thing in the morning is likely enough to make you shudder and give you goosebumps.
Though it might feel unpleasant, taking a cold shower is a surefire way to figure out how to wake yourself up if you’re struggling to get through your morning. Not only can taking a cold shower wake you up in the mornings, but it also has numerous other benefits that have been backed by research. Here are a few:
- Improves circulation
- Refines skin and hair
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Stimulates weight loss
- Increases endorphins
3. Go Outside
The circadian rhythm, also known as your body’s internal clock, coincides with the earth and sun’s 24-hour light/dark cycle to dictate your sleeping patterns. As a result, you naturally feel sleepy when it’s dark outside and more alert when it’s light out.
When you’re trying to figure out how to wake yourself up, going outside for a short walk or just getting some sun can effectively fight sleepiness. Exposure to direct sunlight first thing in the morning can not only energize you and wake you up, but it can also reset your internal clock so that you can sleep better at night.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
More often than not, the main reason why you might be struggling to figure out how to wake yourself up is that you’re not getting sufficient sleep. In addition to aiming for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time.
However, if you find yourself staring at the ceiling and counting sheep in a desperate attempt to get some sleep, consider investing in a weighted blanket.
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket filled with glass beads or plastic pellets. The heaviness of the blanket offers relief by acting as a therapy technique known as deep touch pressure stimulation. The blanket mimics the feeling of a hug or a massage, making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep.
The weighted blanket also help you calm your mind while struggle to keep anxious thoughts at bay. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep and don’t overheat, be sure to pick a cool weighted blanket to reap all the benefits.
Hauling yourself out of bed may be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be. These tricks can help you make it through your morning and the rest of your day, but it’s also important to keep in mind that they’re not a replacement for a good night’s sleep.
Also know about “Sleep Quantity” and “Sleep Quality”
Eight hours of sleep is the rule of thumb for adequate sleep; but is someone who sleeps nine hours per night getting too much, and is someone who gets seven hours per night getting too little? And is getting too little or too much sleep something that should concern us?
The answer to these questions depends on how sleep quantity (or sleep duration) is measured. In large surveys of people’s average sleep duration in Britain and the United States, answers varied widely. Around 30 per cent reported sleeping more than eight hours per night and 15 per cent reported sleeping less than six hours. Several such surveys have been conducted, and the overall average has consistently come in around seven hours per night. So, perhaps the average sleep duration is not eight, but seven hours per night.
In other surveys in which large samples of adults were asked to distinguish between average sleep duration during weekdays compared with weekends, the weekday averages again were about seven hours per night. Their average weekend sleep duration was approximately eight hours, presumably ‘catching up’ on lost sleep during the standard work week.
Eight hours of good sleep feels different from eight hours of poor sleep. Good-quality sleep is largely uninterrupted, allowing the brain and body to cycle through all stages of sleep three, four, even five times per night. When this occurs, we are able to achieve refreshing sleep, which is found in Stage 3 sleep (slow-wave sleep) and REM sleep. Sleep researchers question whether Stage 1 sleep has any useful function other than being a transitional stage between wakefulness and deeper stages of sleep. Even Stage 2 sleep is thought to pale in comparison to the benefits of slow-wave sleep, which comprises 60-80 minutes of an eight-hour sleep period in normal young to middle-aged adults. REM sleep typically comprises 80-100 minutes. If slow-wave sleep and REM sleep are the good stuff, it seems inefficient to bother with the other stages of sleep. There seems to be no ready solution to this. Stage 1 and Stage 2 sleep are the gateway to slow-wave and to REM sleep.