It is hard to get me out of bed on a warm morning, let alone a chilly one. It is news to no one that morning people have trouble getting up on even the most temperate days. But winter is coming, and we all have to drag ourselves out from under the cozy blankets to start the day.
So how can we make this task easier, or at least more tolerable? And why is it harder to wake up in the winter?
We looked into it and found some answers and a few ways to make getting up a little easier for us sleepyheads.
Why Is It Harder To Wake Up In The Winter?
Is there a logical explanation for why it’s so difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the winter? I mean, except the icy air outside the comfort of your blanket?
There is. No worries, you’re not being lazy.
“There are physiological factors that make it harder to get out of bed: namely, melatonin,” says Janet K. Kennedy, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor. “Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone, and it is more plentiful in winter months. Furthermore, exposure to light is what signals melatonin production to stop. So, if it’s still dark when you wake up, your melatonin shutoff will be sluggish, and you’ll have difficulty waking up.”
That explains a lot, but it doesn’t solve the desire to hibernate when the temp drops. So what can we do about it?
Tips To Make Waking Up In Winter A Little Better
Listen, we aren’t miracle workers, and no amount of suggestions, no matter how helpful, is going to make you want to get out of bed when that annoying alarm rips you from a warm, peaceful slumber.
But there are some reasonable things you can do to make it less terrible.
Dress warmly: Getting a good night’s sleep will make you more refreshed upon waking. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to keep warm all night long, even if it’s freezing outside. Put on some fuzzy socks and warm PJs to keep yourself cozy!
Invest in a light box: On the darkest and coldest days, a light box may make you feel as though you just woke up.
Take a hot shower: Jumping into a hot shower is like switching from one toasty place to another. The only thing that could possibly make you shiver is the short distance you’ll have to travel from your mattress to the shower.
Set a relaxing alarm tone: The effects of a loud, angry alarm go beyond mere moodiness. Your blood pressure and heart rate can go up when you wake up suddenly, and an angry alarm can add to your stress by making your adrenaline rush.
Schedule your heat to go on in the morning. To reduce some of the discomfort caused by the cold morning air, set the thermostat so that it kicks on right when you wake up.
In addition to these practical things, here are some of our secret weapons for waking up in winter.
Program The Coffee Maker
This one is a no-brainer – setting the coffee maker to go off in the morning so that your java is ready right when you wake up is a huge help. The scent of coffee is comforting and is an incentive to get your butt out of bed.
Don’t Hit That Snooze Button
The snooze button is a tricky thing – it appears to be your “5 more minutes” buddy but it is not your friend. This is a trick, and the next thing you know, you’ve snoozed three times, and not only are you cold, you’re late. Do not snooze as it only leads to regret.
Don’t Wait For The Alarm
Ok, I know this sounds nuts, but if you wake up before your alarm chimes, get out of bed. If you go to sleep again or wait for your alarm to go off, you’ll probably feel even sleepier. Follow your natural sleep cycles, enjoy the day, and enjoy the extra time if your body tells you it’s time to get up.
Eat Your Fruits And Veggies
When the days get shorter and cooler, people may also change their eating and exercise habits. If you don’t eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables, or you eat more sweets and don’t work out as often as you do when the weather is warmer, your energy levels may drop. Low energy can make it even harder to get out of bed when the alarm goes off early in the morning.
Put Your Alarm Across The Room
When all else fails, put your alarm in a place where you have to get out of bed to turn it off. I’ve done this for years, because as a deep sleeper, I’ll just reach up and turn it off while I’m still asleep. Doing this means forcing yourself out of bed to make the noise stop – and since you’re already up, start your day.
Do you have any tips for leaving a cozy bed on a cold morning? Share them in the comments!
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