Give yourself time to adjust. If you've been a night owl for years, it's going to take more than a few days to adjust to a new morning routine. You're not going to be able to just go to bed earlier and wake up earlier and have it happen seamlessly. You really need to give yourself a good two to four weeks to make that change.
If you find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning, there may be a few factors at play. A heavier meal at night, drinking alcohol, or staring at screens before bed can impact the quality of your sleep, making you feel extra groggy in the a.m. Even the weather can be a problem: In winter, cold temperatures and dark mornings really do make it harder to get up, it's not just your imagination.
There are a few things you can do to make getting out of bed a little easier.
Consider an alarm app. There are now a few apps that can help you wake up more easily in the morning. Alarmy, for example, makes you take a picture of an object in your room when you first set the alarm, and then when it goes off, the only way to turn it off is to get out of bed and take a picture of that same object. It's a pretty genius way to physically force yourself to get out of bed.
Stretch it out. Before you even get out of bed, do some gentle stretching to wake up your muscles, Dr. Mysore suggests. Reach your arms up over your head and take a big deep breath in, then exhale and twist your torso to the right, holding for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Let the sun in. Open up your curtains or blinds as soon as you wake up to let in some natural light, Dr. Harris recommends. It signals to your brain that it's time to wake up, and the vitamin D from the sun can help perk you up, too.
Make some noise. Some people find that white noise ornature sounds help them wake up gradually and feel more refreshed, rather than jolted awake by an alarm. There are tons of apps that offer sleep-promoting sounds, like raindrops or waves crashing, which you can set to play for a certain amount of time before your alarm goes off.
Give yourself a scent-sational wake-up call. Brew a pot of coffee or tea (or have your coffeemaker do it automatically) so the smell wafts into your room and wakes you up naturally, Dr. Harris suggests. Or try placing a diffuser by your bed with an essential oil like rosemary, which has been shown to improve alertness, or peppermint, which can help with fatigue.
Put your phone on the other side of the room. This one is tough, but it's worth it. When you're trying to wake up, the last thing you want is to be glued to your phone, scrolling through social media or checking email. So put it across the room, out of arm's reach, so you have to get up to turn off your alarm.
Eat breakfast. You've probably heard it a million times, but there's a reason eating breakfast is linked with better concentration and energy levels throughout the day. When you wake up, your blood sugar is low, so eating something will give you a much-needed energy boost, Dr. Mysore says. Plus, it'll help you resist the urge to hit the snooze button—if you're already up, you might as well just stay up.
Get moving. Exercise is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning, but even just a few minutes of light activity can make a difference. Do some jumping jacks, jog in place, or take a quick lap around the block. The fresh air will do you good, too.
Take a cold shower. If you're really struggling to wake up, a cold shower might be just what you need. The shock of the cold water will help you feel more alert, Dr. Mysore says. But if that's too much for you, start with warm water and then finish with a blast of cold for 30 seconds.
Listen to an upbeat playlist. Put on some music that makes you want to dance or sing along—anything that will get you moving and get your heart rate up a bit. Bonus points if it's a song you associate with happy memories.
Do something that makes you happy. Think of something that always brings a smile to your face, whether it's looking at a picture of your kids or partner, reading a positive text from a friend, or watching a hilarious YouTube video. Starting your day with a little bit of joy will help you feel more motivated to face the day.
Set a goal for the day. Before you even get out of bed, think of one thing you want to accomplish that day, no matter how small. It could be as simple as taking a walk outside or trying a new recipe for dinner. Having a specific goal in mind will help you feel more focused and motivated to get going.
Stick to a routine. The more consistent you can be with your wake-up time, the easier it will be to adjust to getting up early. "Our bodies like routine," Dr. Mysore says. "So if you can establish a regular wake-up time and stick to it, even on weekends, that will help train your body to wake up when you want it to.
Don't hit snooze Hitting the snooze button may seem like a good way to get a few extra minutes of shut-eye, but it can actually make it harder to wake up. "When you snooze, you're not getting high-quality sleep," Dr. Mysore says. "You're more likely to wake up feeling groggy and disoriented, which can make it that much harder to get out of bed.
Be comfortable. A good night's sleep is essential for good health and well-being, but finding a comfortable place to sleep can be a challenge. A good mattress and pillow can make a difference. Make sure you have a comfortable place to sleep.
Early mornings are never fun, but these small changes can make early mornings a little less painful and help you start your day off on the right foot. With a little planning and effort, you can make getting out of bed a little easier. And that can make a big difference in your day.