5 Things to Get You Out of Bed in the Morning

Woman sleeping

Dear Selfless Esteem,
It’s so hard for me to get out of bed in the morning because I’m not a morning person. Any suggestions?
Too Tired

Dear Too Tired,

Before I give suggestions, have your physician check for vitamin deficiencies, medical problems, sleep disorders, and side effects of any medications you’re taking. Also, your physician can screen for depression. (You may be interested in “Want To Stop Feeling Depressed? Here’s How.“)

If the physician rules out other causes, then your hypothesis that you’re not a morning person might be correct. Michael Breus, PhD, of the Sleep Doctor defines four different chronotypes that affect your sleep in the following video.

“How To Sleep Better Knowing Your Chronotype” by Michael Breus, PhD, of the Sleep Doctor

Regardless of your chronotype, here are 5 suggestions for getting out of bed in the morning.

1. Prepare in Advance

Dehydration causes fatigue, according to the National Library of Medicine’s article, “Adult Dehydration.” For this reason, stay hydrated throughout the day and drink a glass of water when you wake up.

Have a consistent sleep schedule so that your body gets into a rhythm of becoming drowsy and awake at the same time every day. This doesn’t mean your bedtime has to be exactly the same every night, but try not to let it fluctuate much more than an hour. (See “3 Successful Strategies You Need to Develop Good Habits.”)

Do everything you can to have a good night’s sleep. For some sleep aid ideas, check out Real Simple’s “2024 Smart Sleep Awards: Sheets, Pillows, Apps, and Earplugs for the Best Night’s Sleep.” And if you have problems with waking up in the middle of the night, see “The Best Ways To Fall Back Asleep.”

Prepare as much as you can the night before, e.g., choose an outfit and pack your lunch. You could also set the timer on a coffee pot, bread machine, light, or heater to motivate you to get out of bed. If possible, don’t eat 2-3 hours before bedtime; then your grumbling stomach will nag you to get up.

Some people practice quickly getting out of bed when they wake up until it’s in their muscle memory. I don’t recommend that, especially if you have low blood pressure because you could fall down. Personally, I prefer to do some gentle stretching in bed, which gets my blood flowing before I get up. Thus, try setting your alarm earlier to ease into your day.

alarm clock

Choose an alarm strategy that works for you. I used to have a loud buzzing alarm with no snooze button. Of course, I’d immediately turn off the startling noise and fall right back asleep. Now, I use a song that begins softly and then gradually increases in volume so that I’m not abruptly disturbed. Some people have their alarms in another room or use an alarm app like Alarmy, which requires you to solve a math problem, take a photo, or scan a QR code to turn off the alarm.

2. Have an Accountability Partner

How about asking a friend or family member to physically wake you up or call you? Another option is to consider using Focusmate, in which you body double with someone. Body doubling is working on a task in the presence of another person, who’s working on their own task, as a way to stay focused and be productive. Here’s an example. Every morning you have to respond to emails, but because you don’t feel like it, you press snooze indefinitely and stay in bed. In that circumstance, Focusmate may help motivate you to get out of bed, show up for your virtual body double appointment, and check your email.

Consider getting a cat or dog because they’re quite persistent in waking you up to get their needs met. Furthermore, as you take your dog for a walk or feed your cat, their energy is contagious.

3. Use Your Imagination

I’ll share something that works for me. I think of my to-do list, and then I imagine myself doing those tasks. In other words, visualization can help make things happen.

4. Make Your Mornings Enjoyable and Less Stressful

Plan to do an enjoyable activity in the morning and/or play upbeat music. Think positively about the day ahead and be grateful for even the little things. See “How To Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day,” “Giving Thanks in Hard Times,” and “How To Be Genuinely Grateful and Reap the Benefits.” You may also be interested in “6 Effective Ways To Manage Stress.”

Getting kids ready for school can be challenging. If that applies to you, see “5 Easy Morning Routines for the Special Needs Mom” by Twenty One Dandelions.

5. Pray

Ask God for help regarding whatever’s hindering you from getting out of bed (Psalm 46:1) because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). (For more information about God and prayer, see “The Real Truth About God,” “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps,” and “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem.”)

My morning prayer time varies from a structured devotional to a brain dump, in which I verbalize my first stream of consciousness. Either way, He’s a good listener (Psalm 66:19) as I thank Him for watching over me all night and anticipate His presence throughout the day ahead (Psalm 121:5-8). Praying energizes me and prepares me mentally for the day.

Therefore, as we ponder His loving kindness (Psalm 36:7), we trust Him and declare “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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