If you have trouble waking up every morning, you’re not alone. Whether it’s hitting the snooze button a million times or stumbling out of bed cursing the day ahead, why is it so hard to get up when all you want to do is sleep in?
It may not just be a matter of sheer laziness. It could be a sign that your biological clock is off. Here are 8 reasons you may find it hard to wake up in the morning.
8 reasons you may find it hard to wake up in the morning
- Poor sleep quality. A snoring partner, your own snoring, uncomfortable temperatures, or frequent nighttime visits to the bathroom can cause you to have poor sleep quality, making it difficult for you to feel fresh and alert in the morning.
- Mental health conditions. Anxiety, stress, and depression can cause lethargy and drowsiness, which may also contribute to excessive sleepiness in the morning.
- Going to bed late. If you're trying to cram all your sleep into 4-6 hours, it’s no wonder your body is telling you to stay in bed a bit longer. Getting enough sleep may mean you may need to hit the pillow earlier in the evening.
- Drinking caffeine. Having caffeine too late in the day or in the evening can disrupt your sleep quality. Even if you were asleep throughout the night, your sleep cycles don’t work quite the same way when you have caffeine in your system, since it causes your brain to be more active.
- Exercising late. When you work out too close to bedtime, it can get your heart rate and metabolism up, and you may be too wired to get good quality sleep.
- Medications. Allergy medications such as antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors can cause drowsiness and make it hard to get up in the morning.
- Age. Sleep patterns tend to change as you age. Many people find that as they get older, they have a harder time falling and staying asleep. This can lead to poor sleep quality and excessive tiredness in the morning.
- Sleep disorders. Aside from lifestyle factors, it could be that you are suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, or another sleep disorder.
How to wake up early and make mornings easier
- Don’t hit the snooze button. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the snooze button isn’t your best friend. All it does is tempt you to sleep for just a few minutes longer, even though that extra sleep will likely leave you feeling groggier since it’s not quality sleep.
- Program your coffee maker. If you can, program your coffee maker to turn on when it’s time to get up so that you wake up to the smell. If you don’t drink coffee, set out the ingredients for your beverage of choice before bed, so that everything you need to make your morning tea or smoothie is waiting for you.
- Do something you love. Make mornings easier by doing something you enjoy as you’re getting ready, whether it’s listening to the latest episode of your favorite podcast, turning on a sports radio show, or catching up on morning news.
- Set a comfortable temperature. Invest in a programmable thermostat to help wake your body up. By programming your thermostat so that your bedroom begins to warm up or cool down (depending on the weather) an hour or so before you wake up, you won’t be as tempted to stay in bed.
- Motivate yourself with a goal. Having a fitness goal or hobby can help motivate you to get up earlier. For example, you may want to wake up early to go to the gym or spend some time gardening. Whatever your motivation, keep related items within eyesight, like your gym clothes or gardening gloves.
- Set realistic expectations. Don’t try to wake up super early right away. You can try waking up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time, then continue to increase that time by 15 minutes a day until you have adapted to the change.
- Develop a bedtime routine. Following a consistent bedtime routine can help your body know when it’s time to sleep. Take a hot shower, read your favorite book, or journal about your day to unwind and prepare your body to sleep.
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8 Genius Tips for Waking Up Early: https://www.herzing.edu/blog/8-genius-tips-waking-early
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FDA. "Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information." Updated: Jun 13, 2017.
Chawala, J, MD. "Insomnia Medication." Medscape. Updated: Aug 01, 2016.
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