How to Wake Yourself Up: 17 Easy-To-Try Tips
The key to how to wake yourself up in the morning is to create a morning routine that includes natural light, joyful movement, and energizing food. There are plenty of small steps you can take to help yourself wake up for a calmer, smoother morning routine — starting with making sure you get a good night’s sleep
Snoozing your alarm can make you feel even worse by the time you actually get out of bed
Opening your blinds or going outside first thing in the morning can help you wake up with natural light
Sleep aids like weighted blankets or sleep masks might help you wake up feeling well-rested
Did you know?
Some people experience sleep drunkenness in the morning, which can cause unusual behavior that they don’t remember afterwards
We’ve all had those rough wake-ups that leave us snoozing the alarm and feeling groggy all morning long. But how do you force yourself to wake up and feel refreshed? Lighting, movement, and food can all help you wake up, but the best long term solution is to make sure you sleep well the night before.
There’s no single action that will guarantee you wake up bright eyed and ready to take on the day, but there are many small changes you can make to your routine that will get you on the road to rejuvenated mornings.
How to Wake Yourself Up
Creating a “wake up plan”, or morning routine, can help you have an easier time waking yourself up in the morning. This plan may include adjusting your lighting, changing your alarm clock, or preparing an energizing breakfast the night before. Your wake up plan will look different depending on your individual sleep needs.
Ultimately, an easier morning starts with better sleep the night before. Sleeping soundly can go a long way towards , so if you haven’t already, it might be worth trying sleep aids such as eyemasks, body pillows, or weighted blankets.
There are also plenty of small solutions for how to wake yourself up when tired in the morning. Skip your snooze button, open your blinds, or drink a glass of water — whatever works to get yourself out of bed and into some morning movement.
Read on for a collection of our “beary” favorite wake up tips and tricks.
1. Open Your Windows
Wondering what to do right after you wake up? To help yourself feel more alert, it’s a good idea to try letting in natural light first thing in the morning.
The circadian rhythms which control our sleep/wake cycles are synced with the sun, so getting natural light in the morning can help you feel more alert and even fall asleep faster the following evening.
Opening the blinds and curtains helps, and depending on where you live, opening the window itself gives you the added benefit of fresh, crisp morning air.
It’s a great setup for a stress-free start to your day!
How to wake yourself up in the morning
Try to avoid looking at your phone first thing in the morning or staying in bed for longer than necessary. Setting yourself a small, easy task like opening your curtains gives you a reason to get out of bed that you can remember even in the early hours. And letting in that morning sunshine should help your internal clock know it’s time to wake up.
2. Drink Water
Just like opening the windows, drinking a glass of water is a small, easy task that can help get you out of bed. And although it doesn’t have the same proven sleep science benefits as natural light, drinking water in the morning can make you feel energized and even help you to stay hydrated through the day.
Does cold water wake you up?
Yes — while it hasn’t been studied thoroughly, many people find that the shocking effect of cold water first thing in the morning helps them to feel more awake. Splashing your face with cold water or taking a cold shower may also help you beat the morning blues.
How to wake yourself up in class
If you find yourself nodding off in the middle of class, it’s a good idea to keep your mind and body active. You can try bringing a water bottle, doodling on a notepad, or chewing gum to keep yourself from drifting off.
Finding ways to stay focused on the lesson, such as sitting up front or participating in class conversations, can also help you wake yourself up in class.
3. Stop Pressing Snooze
A few extra minutes of sleep can sound dreamy-as-can-be first thing in the morning. But the truth is, snoozing your alarm isn’t buying you more rest — it’s landing you with a groggier wake up in the end.
In fact, snoozing frequently can even harm your overall health by temporarily increasing your blood pressure and heart rate.
So next time you wake up feeling like you couldn’t possibly be ready to face the day, try to skip the snooze button and gently stretch your way out of bed instead.
What is sleep drunkenness?
When you’re sleep drunk, it means that your body is awake, but your brain is still transitioning between asleep and awake. This might cause you to walk around aimlessly, speak strangely to your loved ones, or generally behave differently than you would in the morning
Sleep drunkenness is a type of parasomnia, or disruptive sleep disorder, and the best way to avoid it is to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep each night.
If you find you’re feeling sleep drunk regularly, it’s best to speak with a medical professional to get to the root of the issue.
4. Try a Weighted Blanket
Happier mornings start with calmer evenings. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, a sleep aid like a weighted blanket can be a big help along the way to waking up feeling refreshed
Weighted blankets are scientifically proven to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) while increasing serotonin (the happy hormone) and melatonin (the sleepy hormone). So if you’re looking for a way to fall asleep faster, or help staying asleep through the night, a weighted blanket can be a big help.
When people say “I don’t know why I’m tired no matter how much sleep I get!”, it might be because they are waking up during the night and don’t realize it. Weighted blankets are designed to give you a hug-like sensation all night long that helps you stay deeply asleep.
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5. Eat Breakfast
If you’ve been reading closely so far, you’ll be starting to understand that waking up smoothly has a lot to do with helping your body’s natural rhythms stay on track. Light, water, and food are all important parts of those rhythms — so don’t forget about breakfast!
You’ve probably heard a lot of people recommend different foods for the “ideal” breakfast. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to eat foods that will give you energy throughout the day, but what you choose to eat is less important than making sure you don’t skip the meal altogether.
So whether it’s a banana on the way out the door or a full pancake breakfast, food in the morning can be a good way to help yourself wake up
6. Go Outside
We know the feeling: on a chilly morning, you’re curled up and comfortable with a cup of coffee at the breakfast table, and the last thing you want to do is go outside into the cold air.
But if you can’t stop yawning, going outside can give you a boost of energy and even help you sleep better the following night. So bundling up and facing the great outdoors just might be worth it for your overall sleep health.
How to wake yourself up when tired at work
Going for a walk, eating lunch outside, or just stepping out to feel the fresh air can help you wake up when you’re tired at work. If you work inside without natural lighting most of the day, you might find yourself feeling sleepy long after you woke up, so it’s a good idea to take small breaks for outdoor time during the day.
7. Move Your Body
Not everyone enjoys exercising first thing in the morning, but moving your body after you wake up can help you to wake up. Exercise raises your body temperature, waking up your internal clock and setting you up for a more energized day.
The good news is, you don’t need to overdo it — finding joyful movement that helps you wake up in the morning can be as simple as stretching and going for a walk. You don’t have to start your day with a high-stress workout in order to feel alert!
How to wake yourself up quickly
Simple morning exercises can help you wake up quickly by releasing endorphins in your brain. Even if you don’t exercise right after you wake up, exercising at any time during the day can help you fall asleep faster the following night, leading to easier wake ups.
8. Set Yourself a Bedtime
You may have heard that going to bed just a little bit too late can build up a “sleep debt” that keeps growing and growing. So is there a sleep debt? Yes, it’s true: when you don’t get enough sleep one night, you need to sleep extra the next night in order to make up for it.
The CDC recommends seven or more hours of sleep per night for adults. To make sure you get those hours in, it’s a good idea to set yourself a regular bedtime and stick with it.
When you go to bed around the same time every night, you’re training your body to get sleepy around that time, and helping yourself catch those extra zzz’s that make mornings easier!
9. Create a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids! Creating a calming routine that you can complete each night before bed can help you improve your overall sleep.
It’s a good idea to find relaxing, screen-free activities like journaling or reading that can help you wind down before bed. If you’re looking forward to your bedtime routine, you may just find that you go to bed earlier more often!
10. Stop Sleeping In
Even if you go to bed on time when you need to wake up early, you still might find yourself asking the age old question: why am I struggling to wake up? This one might be hard to hear … but sleeping in on your days off can make it even harder to wake up on a workday morning.
Going to bed around the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning is the gold standard for sweet dreams. Falling asleep and getting up at consistent times can even help with your overall health.
Of course, a predictable, consistent sleep schedule isn’t possible for everyone — many jobs and life circumstances make it very difficult to keep the same wake up time every morning.
The good news is, there are plenty of other steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene and help yourself wake up faster.
11. Turn Off Your Phone
We already talked about how natural light can help you wake up, but did you know that artificial blue light can make it difficult for you to sleep? Blue light can mess with our circadian rhythms, making our bodies feel like they should be awake when we’re trying to wind down for sleep.
So if you’re looking for a way to fall asleep easier and wake up more refreshed, you can try putting away your phone and other blue light emitting devices at least an hour before bed.
12. Listen to Calming Noise
If you live in a noisy or crowded place, it can be very difficult to fall asleep at night while others are still awake. Unexpected noises can also wake you up in the middle of the night, making it harder for you to get the deep sleep you need.
Listening to a calming background sound such as brown noise, gentle music, or a sleep podcast can help you stay asleep for longer, putting you on the path to a calmer morning.
13. Wear a Sleep Mask
Just like noisy sounds, unwanted light can make it very difficult to fall asleep. And if you happen to work the night shift and need to sleep during the day, natural light from outside can make it even harder to drift off.
A good sleep mask will fully cover your eyes, helping you to focus on fully relaxing and falling asleep more quickly.
14. Call a Friend
If you really struggle to wake up in the morning, it may be a good idea to ask for help. A friend or family member can be ready to call you, text you, or even meet you for breakfast first thing in the morning. With somebody else counting on you, you’ll be more likely to get out of bed.
15. Refresh Your Bedroom
A clean and comfortable room can make a big difference when it comes to your sleep schedule. Taking some time to add items to your bedroom that you really love (such as a new blanket, a more comfortable pillow, or your favorite family photos) can make you want to spend more time there, which helps you get to bed earlier.
Small changes to your room’s layout, like placing your alarm clock far from your bed or keeping your phone out of arm’s reach, can also be a big help when it comes to waking up.
16. Practice Mindfulness
And while meditating in the morning might seem like a recipe for another nap, it can actually help you to feel more focused and ready to take on the day.
Many people also find that meditation helps them to sleep better at night.
17. Visit Your Doctor
Even after trying every sleep tip in the books, you might still be left asking, why can’t I wake from deep sleep?
If all else fails and you’re still finding it very difficult to get out from under the covers each morning, there might be an underlying condition making things harder for you.
It’s always a good idea to ask a healthcare professional about your sleep concerns for more help.
When you wake up and just can’t seem to get yourself out of bed, try to resist hitting the snooze button — there are many things you can try to turn your morning around.
From drinking water to letting in natural light to finding joyful movement, there are plenty of small habits that can help you on your way to happier mornings.
But in the end, if you want to help yourself wake up in the morning, the best thing you can do is set yourself up for a restful, restorative night’s sleep the day before.