If your constant use of the snooze button and your morning zombie routine is getting old, there’s help. It begins with figuring out the different reasons why you can’t wake up in the morning and what to do about them.
Chances are you’re not getting enough sleep and need to tweak your bedtime routine. If a sleep disorder or other underlying condition is to blame for your morning sleepiness, there are treatments available.
We’ll cover all of that and more here so you can become one of those perky morning people.
Difficulty getting up in the morning isn’t just about loving your sleep and hating mornings. Lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and medications can make it hard to wake up. These include:
- parasomnias, such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, and night terrors
- sleep apnea, which causes periods of stopped breathing during sleep
- sleep deficiency, which can involve not getting good quality sleep, or sleep deprivation, which is not getting enough sleep
- stress and anxiety, which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep
- depression, which has been
linkedto excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia
- circadian rhythm sleep disorders, which can prevent you from developing a regular sleep routine, such as shift work sleep disorder and irregular sleep-wake disorder
- certain medications, including beta blockers, certain muscle relaxants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants
- chronic pain, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep
There are a number of things you can do to help you wake up. If an underlying condition is causing your excessive sleepiness or drowsiness in the morning, you may need a combination of home remedies and medical treatment.
The following are tips and treatments that can help you sleep better and wake up better.
Get on a sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is a must if you want to get on a good sleep schedule and train yourself to wake up early.
Figure out how much sleep you need — seven to nine hours per night is recommended — and aim to get to bed early enough so you wake up feeling refreshed.
Stick to your sleep schedule every day, including your days off, and your body will eventually begin waking up naturally.
Improve your bedtime routine
You may be sabotaging your efforts to get up early without even realizing it. Drinking caffeine in the later part of the day and using devices that emit blue light before bed can prevent you from falling asleep.
To improve your bedtime routine, try doing something relaxing before bed, such as reading or taking a warm bath. Avoid activities that’ve been shown to interfere with your circadian rhythm and cause sleeplessness, including:
- looking at screens, like your laptop or phone
- drinking caffeine within six hours before bedtime
- napping or spending too much time in bed during the day
- drinking alcohol before bed
Move your alarm to avoid hitting snooze
Tempting as that snooze button and getting “just a few more minutes” may be, falling back asleep after waking is sleep fragmentation.
According to research, sleep fragmentation increases daytime sleepiness and grogginess, decreases performance, and makes you feel run-down.
If you’re accustomed to hitting snooze, try moving your alarm away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off.
Eating a healthy diet increases your energy and helps you sleep better. On the flip side, foods that are generally considered unhealthy can make you feel sluggish and zap your energy.
Aim for a well-balanced diet full of foods that increase your energy, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Get regular exercise
Exercise has been proven to improve sleep and conditions that can cause insomnia and excessive sleepiness, such as anxiety and depression.
It also increases energy levels by reducing fatigue, including in people with conditions associated with chronic fatigue, according to research.
Enjoy the daylight
Daylight helps regulate your circadian rhythms and improve your sleep.
If you get some sun first thing in the morning, it can help boost your mood and energy levels for the rest of the day. Try opening your blinds as soon as you get up, having your coffee outside, or going for a short walk.
You could also try sleeping with your blinds open so you wake up to sunshine — that is, as long as it’s not too bright outside your bedroom window at night.
Gloomy day? No worries. Just turn on the lights or use a light-up alarm clock.
Get a sleep study
If you can’t get up in the mornings after trying other methods or have noticed sleep disorder warning signs, talk to a doctor about a referral to a sleep specialist.
Participating in a sleep study can help diagnose a sleep disorder that may be to blame for your morning fatigue.
Treat a sleep disorder
If you’re diagnosed with a sleep disorder, such as chronic insomnia or restless leg syndrome (RLS), treatment can help you sleep and wake up better. Treatment depends on the specific sleep disorder and might include:
- prescription drugs, such as sleep aids or medication for RLS
- a breathing device for obstructive sleep apnea
- behavioral therapy
- surgery for obstructive sleep apnea
Having trouble waking up in the morning is just one sign you’re not getting enough sleep. Here are some others:
- excessive yawning
- lack of motivation
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- brain fog
- increased appetite
It’s possible to train yourself to wake up on time in the morning. A few changes to your routine can help you get rid of your morning fatigue so you can be up and at ’em bright and early.
If you worry that you have a sleep disorder or other medical condition that may be contributing to your morning fatigue, see a doctor.