How to wake up in the morning

Jonathan Warren

Author: Jonathan Warren



How to wake up in the morning

Waking up in the morning is no easy feat, especially in the winter where sunrise hours are a lot later. And while it may be tempting to hit snooze on your alarm, most of us can admit that we’d quite like to be an early bird with energy to boot!

There’s no worse feeling than groggily dragging yourself through the day with bleary eyes, so to help you get a spring in your step first thing, we’ve put together this blog on how to wake up in the morning. With helpful tips on how to wake up easier, from light exposure to relaxing bedtime routines, read on to find out you can shake off sleep inertia and feel more awake and alert in the early hours.

What happens when we wake up?

Did you know your body actually starts getting ready to wake up an hour before you actually open your eyes? It’s a clever little thing isn’t it! In this time, our body temperatures rise, blood pressure increases and “feel-good” cortisol and serotonin hormones start firing in our brains. Then, it’s the turn of neurotransmitter chemicals to start sending different messages to nerve endings in our brains, spurring activity and preparing to keep our brain alert and vigilant throughout the oncoming day.

When we wake up on our own without the aid of an alarm, our bodies will awaken during light sleep – a stage known as “non-rapid eye movement” (NREM). This is why you’ll sometimes feel particularly ropey and tired some mornings when you’re rudely awoken by your alarm: your body has been woken up in a stage of deep sleep rather than light sleep and feels horribly groggy as a result.

This all happens because of our internal body clocks, professionally known as our “circadian rhythms”. Working across a 24-hour cycle, your circadian rhythm regulates your levels of sleepiness and alertness in response to light changes in your environment. When firing correctly, your circadian rhythm will ensure you have a sound, restful sleep which will allow you to wake up a lot easier come morning time. However, if your body clock has been thrown off for some reason, serious sleep problems and conditions can ensue such as insomnia.

So, how can you ensure you’re looking after your circadian rhythm as best you can to help you get out of bed in the morning with a spring in your step? The answer is routine.

How to wake up easier

The word routine can strike fear in the hearts of even the most organised of sleepers, but a healthy and consistent sleep quality routine is nothing to be scared of. In fact, they are easy to implement, follow and execute night after night.

From limiting screen time to promoting relaxation and staying hydrated, here are our top tips for how to wake up in the morning.

Establish a consistent sleep schedule

We all love a lie-in, and one every blue moon won’t hurt, but experts suggest keeping your wake-up and sleep time as consistent as possible throughout the week. This is because irregular wake up times can confuse your circadian rhythm, throwing off your body clock to such an extent that you’ll feel incredibly befuddled and dazed when you get out of bed.

Go to bed and wake up within the same 15 minute window each day for best results, remembering the recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to eight hours. This includes weekends too! Your body clock will thank you and repay you in kind, we promise.

Invest in a comfortable mattress

Your mattress is your greatest form of support while you sleep, so you need to be sure it’s serving you to the very best of its ability. A good mattress will strike the perfect balance between supporting your weight and providing the right level of comfort. For example, if you’re a little heavier or sleep with your partner a firmer mattress might work best for you, while lighter or solo sleepers may find these mattresses a little too hard and need something a bit softer. With the right mattress, not only will you have a cosy sleep but, more importantly, your body weight will be properly distributed, limiting pressure on your muscles and joints and keeping your neck and spine in perfect alignment to banish aches and pains come morning time. Dreamy!

At Time4Sleep, when it comes to finding the perfect mattress we believe there should be no compromise. Helping you to maintain excellent posture and promote a good night’s sleep, a quality mattress can make a real difference in your life when it comes to waking up more easily. We offer an incredible variety of mattress options available to buy online, from different sizes, types and firmnesses.

Limit screen time before bed

Putting down your phone, laptop or tablet at least an hour before you sleep will help your brain to maintain its sleep cycle and recognise it’s time to wind down for bed. The blue light emitted from screens confuses our precious circadian rhythms into thinking it's daytime, meaning our brain stops releasing the sleep hormone melatonin and struggles to drop off to sleep.

If you need to check an email urgently before bedtime, invest in a blue light filter to be safe rather than sorry but experts recommend you keep electronics with screens out of the bedroom altogether for quality sleep.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine

You'll be more likely to stick to your new bedtime routine if you make it enjoyable and relaxing! Set yourself up for success by setting up a little for the next morning: lay out your clothes, write down a little to-do list, and prepare your breakfast or lunch. By making the morning a little easier for yourself, you can go to bed with less things on your mind, knowing you’ve taken care of your future self.

Add some indulgence into your routine, too – self-care is always a good thing. Once you’ve put away your electronic devices, do your skincare, meditate, stretch or read a few chapters of your book with a scented candle flickering in the background. Activities like these help to calm you down, unwind and relax, creating the perfect atmosphere for restful sleep.

Maximise natural light exposure

As circadian rhythm is so dependent on the light and dark cycle of the day to induce sleep, it’s super important to immerse yourself in as much natural light as you can in your waking hours. If working from home or in the office, position yourself next to a window and take a walk on your lunch break. You could even sleep with your curtains or blinds slightly ajar to allow the sun to enter your room and wake you naturally.

If you wake up before the sun rises, why not invest in a “wake up” light? This clever technology mimics a natural sunrise by gradually brightening over a set period of time to wake you up gently out of your sleep cycle.

Stay hydrated

After waking up from a waterless night’s sleep, it’s no wonder we feel a little parched in the morning. By having a glass of cold water on your bedside table, you can replenish your hydration first thing to boost your energy levels and get your mind ticking. After all, the side effects of dehydration are lightheadedness, dizziness and tiredness.

By getting water into your system as soon as you wake up, your brain, muscles and organs get the nutrients they need to start working efficiently from the get go. You’ll also find your mind is more alert and able to concentrate, as morning brain fog and sleep inertia is cleared much more quickly than if you weren’t to hydrate first thing.

Set a positive morning routine

Avoid hitting the snooze button and instead organise your morning with energising activities that gently ease you into the day.

For example, instead of reaching for your phone, drink some water and read for 20 minutes before getting out of bed. You could even do some light stretching or yoga to get your blood pumping and move oxygen around your body to make you feel more alert. And wouldn’t it feel nice to sit down and carve out enough time to eat a proper breakfast rather than hurriedly grabbing a coffee to go?

Reframe your wake up time as something you look forward to with a wholesome and positive morning routine. You’ll be waking up easier in no time!

How to wake up earlier

If you are wondering how you can wake up earlier in the morning, the key is not to make any drastic changes too quickly. Our internal body clocks are sensitive things, so if you jump from an 8 a.m. wake-up to a 6 a.m. wake-up, your brain is going to be incredibly confused and discombobulated!

Instead, experts suggest you should shift your sleeping and waking hours gradually in 20 minute increments. While doing this alongside our tips for waking up earlier above, you should find you’re able to get up earlier in the morning in a mere matter of weeks.

Searching for more ways to boost your sleep quality? At Time4Sleep we are all about enhancing your sleep quality. Whether you’re looking to explore what dreams actually mean or perhaps you are debating whether to sleep with a pillow between your legs or trying to understand what you should drink before bed, our Time4Sleep blog has plenty of hints and tips on how you can get the most restorative sleep possible.