Your mind feels groggy, your eyes are bleary, you’ve hit the snooze button 7 times and you should’ve left the house 15 minutes ago. Oh dear, it’s another one of those mornings.
But imagine if there was a better way to get of bed in the morning that resulted in a clearer mind and less stress because you’re always on time?
Well, I’m the worst sleeper going and I managed to do it. My mornings these days are blissful (they didn’t used to be!) and I’m gonna show you how I did it.
What’s the best way to get out of bed in the morning?
The number one key is to NEVER HIT THE SNOOZE button as this trains your body to associate waking up with going back to sleep.
On top of that, make sure you’re getting up at the same time each day and that the alarm is set at a reasonable time.
More tips that can aid in making your morning wake up easier are setting your room to a comfortable temperature, using a natural light alarm clock and a bunch more tips that I’ll go into further down.
Oh yea, one more thing before we get into it, this stuff works even if you got just 2-3 hours sleep and even with hangovers too!
Anyway, let’s get into it.
The big key to now getting out of bed easily
I once heard a story about a Japanese businessman which I simply loved and it’s pretty relevant here. This was back in the 80s/90s when Japan was the economic powerhouse that every country admired, and a prominent figure in Japan was asked about America. He said:
The worst invention to come out of the USA is the snooze button.
In my experience, this is a powerful truth. You see, when you press ‘snooze’ you think that you’re getting an extra 9 minutes sleep that you need, but what’s really happening is your body, in its half-awake state, is just desperate to get more sleep, it doesn’t understand that 9 minutes more sleep will do absolutely nothing.
Think about it, if you really felt you needed 9 minutes more sleep you would have set your alarm for 9 minutes later, right?
But what’s really insidious about this is that when you allow yourself to press ‘snooze’, you are literally training your brain to believe that waking up is optional which will lead to more and more snoozing.
You need to break the pattern so that your brain wakes up and then associates that with getting out of bed and getting on with the day. Tough to do, of course.
Snoozing is a ridiculous concept when analyzed. Have you ever woken up after those extra 9 minutes and gone… “Ah I feel really refreshed now, can’t wait to attack the day!”
I’m guessing not, and I’m guessing that actually you feel just like you did the other times you woke up, where you were still desperate to hit that button and get a little more sleep.
Is it easy to give up the snooze button? Certainly not. It’s a sad reality that you can’t negotiate with yourself in that period just after waking up, it’s like your conscious mind is not in control.
As such, it’s an addiction that’s probably harder to give up than many, serious physical addictions. Give-up-able it is though, and I’ll be telling you how I did it right now.
The second biggest thing to getting out of bed easily
Ever have that sensation where your body wakes you up minutes or even seconds before the alarm goes? That’s a healthy sign of someone whose body clock is well adjusted and ready to get up and go.
If you’ve never experienced it, or rarely experience it, it’s a sign that you ain’t sleeping well.
The trick to this and generally getting out of bed quickly is to set your alarm for the same time every day.
Now, most people will work similar hours whether that’s your standard 9-5 or something a bit different. So you know exactly how much time you need in the morning to get up, get ready, leave and not be late. So set your alarm for that time.
Set your alarm too early and the temptation will be there to snooze or reset the alarm or just mess about unproductively for 10/20/30 minutes.
Set your alarm too late and you’ll be in a rush and risk being late for work or school. By the way, I strongly suggest you aim to be at your workplace 15-30 minutes early.
It’s good to relax and have a bit of unimpinged soical time and turning up 1-2 minutes late every so often looks bad and people do notice.
So you’ve got your alarm set and 5 days in a row, Monday through Friday, you’re waking up consistently at 7.30am or whenever and it’s going great. Time for a break at the weekend, right? Time to treat yourself to a nice lie-in?…
WRONG. Wake up at the same time, even if it’s early and even if you’re hungover. It’s only through consistent waking up at the same time that you can get yourself waking up like the best of them.
Sound tough? Well, sorry but that’s human biology.
What to do if I keep hitting the snooze button even though I know it’s bad?
The first thing to point out is that if you’re a serial snoozer, it will be very difficult to stop doing it at first.
Relying on the snooze button is a psychological addiction with little comparison because when you wake up you are not in the same state of mind as you were the night before.
Perhaps you’re like me where you’ve been so determined the previous nigh to wake up on time that you wrote yourself a small note telling yourself to get up, only the next morning to look at it and ignore it before hitting that snooze. Ugh, bad times…
So the first thing I want you to bear in mind is that the cycle needs to be broken and you need to get yourself associating waking up with getting straight out of bed and getting on with your day.
So how do we break the cycle? Well, the trick is in circumventing your half-unconscious mind by keeping you awake long enough for the haze to pass, it’s all too easy to snooze if all it takes is to swipe your hand onto your phone that is sitting next to your head.
Here are the best strategies I’ve found.
Tip #1 – Leave your alarm clock/phone across the room.
This will force you to stand up and walk over to turn the sound off, giving you a few seconds and a little physical movement to become conscious.
Tip #2 – Switch off the snooze function on your phone alarm.
Most phones, and definitely iphones, can be programmed to turn off the ‘snooze’ function when you set your alarm.
It’s pretty simple, you can usually find the option on ‘edit’ or ‘settings’. What will happen is instead of your sleepy brush at the phone screen putting snooze on, it will do nothing so you have to wake up a bit to find that small ‘turn off alarm’ bit on your phone.
Tip #3 – Download an alarm app.
There are some devious alarm apps out there designed to help you get over the difficulty of waking up.
I’ve had good times with ‘Alarmy’ which is one of the more populars apps. When you set an alarm you can program it to set challenges (called missions) to get the alarm off. Examples include scanning barcodes of products in your kitchen forcing you to go up into your kitchen or solving maths equations on your phone.
The idea is that the time and effort it takes will get you out of your most drowsy state and into a place where you can consciously decide: “Yea, I’m getting up now.”
What’s the best way to get out of bed in the morning?
Ok, so we’ve got the important stuff out the way, let’s focus on optimizing your morning wake up so that it becomes as well-oiled as an ’85 Bears defensive play.
#1 – No Snooze button.
Yea, I’m saying it again, it’s that important. Don’t ever think about touching that snooze button or turn it off altogether if you’re using a phone.
The benefits are highlighted above, but really none of the rest of this list makes sense if you can’t pull off this one.
#2 – Set your alarm at the same time every day.
This is the second thing I covered above which obviously means it’s super important.
Like the first tip, if you’re not gonna follow this one then there’s not much point in you reading this article as you’ve already decided that whatever is stopping you doing this is more important than actually making a tangible difference to your mornings.
#3 – Set your room to a comfortable temperature on wake-up.
A hot room in the morning can be an impediment to waking up well, a freezing cold room can make it a near impossibility.
If you have the option, programm your AC or heating to come on sometime before you wake up to make things run that bit smoother.
If you can’t do this then the first part of your morning routine should be to get this sorted.
#4 – Give yourself a treat on wakeup.
We’ve talked about the negative associations of the snooze button, now let’s flip that on its head with some positive associations.
Giving yourself a treat, particularly one that’s caffeinated, soon after waking up will help you wake up more quickly while also giving yourself a reason to get out of bed quickly. It works best if the treat can be got easily.
My favorite is a can of diet coke which has just enough caffeine to give me a small boost, I’ve also had success with using cold brew coffee too.
Regular coffee or tea works, but it can be a bit of a pain making it although I know people who like the meditative aspect of morning brewing.
#5 – Use a natural light alarm clock.
These modern inventions take a brilliant concept and put it into reality: waking up with the sun.
The brightness on the alarm increases over a period of 30 minutes before the real alarm (with sound and everything) goes off, giving your body a chance to get in touch with its inbuilt circadian rhythm and wake up naturally.
If you like the sound of this check out what I’ve written here, it’s a review of the best of these alarm clocks on the market and it’s pretty easy to get duped by some chinese knockoff that won’t work the way you want it to.
#6 – Eat quickly.
The name of the game with waking up early is to get lively and get energetic and one of the shortcuts in this area is eating a quick snack.
Early on, this can be a lifesaver particularly if you combine it with #4. For example, let’s say you absolutely love chocolate, well giving yourself the treat of a chocolate bar after you wake up will simultaneous condition you to enjoy the waking up experience while also giving you a rush of energy to make it that much more painless.
Carbs and sugar are generally the best stuff to get you going quickly but don’t go mad and eat a box of donuts at 6am please.
#7 – Have something to look forward to.
This point cannot be overstated, if you are bored with your life and feel it is all just mindless drudgery then you are not going to bound out of bed ready to seize the day.
You need goals and happiness and pleasure. What you look forward to will be personal to you but having something will help so much, even if it’s as simple as a great podcast to listen to on the way to work or a cool hobby that you’re excited about starting.
The next step: making a morning routine
Once you’ve mastered this and are effortlessly waking on your alarm day in and day out you can move on to the next level of good sleeping: creating a morning routine.
Having a 20-60 minute plan of what you do in the morning is simply a wonderful addition to anyone’s life and will leave you feeling healthy and productive.
So the general idea is to ease yourself out the morning grogginess (more correctly called ‘sleep inertia’) while have a peaceful list of duties to carry out and priming yourself to have an excellent and productive day.
Common things you could include could be washing your face, brushing your teeth, making coffee, stretching, hydrating, reading, writing out your plan for the day, meditating, exercising, making your bed, ironing, getting clothes ready, making breakfast, journalling, and so much more.
You can even take a few cues from Patrick Bateman if you so wish!
Waking up for work and a commute can often be demotivating and unexciting but waking up for things that you want to do flips the morning on its head – it becomes something you look forward to rather than something you dread.
What I like to do is to listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks while you’re doing these activities.
I’ll probably create another, much larger, article on morning routines given how much I think they can improve anyone’s life but for now you’ve got something to go on!