During the cooler months it can become increasingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning – and this is made even harder with the heating being turned off to save on energy costs. Here, Martin Seeley, Sleep Expert and CEO of MattressNextDay shares some practical tips on how to make getting out of bed easier in the mornings.
This goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people go to bed during the colder months without wearing sufficient, warm nightwear. If you’re going to bed with only a few items of clothing on, then you will have to wake up without any layers of protection, whereas going to bed suitably clothed increases your chances of waking up feeling much warmer; making it easier to get out of bed.
Not only this, not wearing warm enough clothes to bed could lead to a disturbed night’s sleep from becoming cold in the night and waking up. If you feel uncomfortable wearing too many clothes in bed, keep some warm clothes nearby that you can grab and put on when you rise. You may also want to reach for some fluffy socks too. Thermal lightweight pajamas are the best option for a warm yet comfortable sleep.
If you wake up in a cold room, not only are you feeling cold and shivery from the temperature, but this will also heighten any feelings of hunger you may have or reduce your energy levels. You should consume a hot drink and a hearty breakfast as soon as you can, a hot tea, coffee and a bowl of porridge will help you to warm up from the inside out and feel better. Remember, when you’re hungry you feel the cold even more and vice versa.
The worst thing you can do when waking up cold is to just lay in bed and fixate on how cold it is and how much you want to stay in bed – this can often make us feel even worse and unmotivated for the day ahead. As soon as your alarm goes off and you wake up, give yourself 10 seconds before you jump straight out of bed, grab some warm clothes such as a dressing gown and leave your bedroom. Furthermore, if you stay in bed for longer than usual, you may be sabotaging the day ahead of you, as lying in bed longer will set you back time wise and you may find you have a rushed start to your morning (which could set you up for a fall)
No one wants to be woken up startled because of an aggressive and loud alarm. If you can, set your alarm tone to something soothing and calm. Many alarms have a gradient setting which allows you to set an alarm which builds up gradually, getting louder and louder until you turn it off. Waking up abruptly can cause higher blood pressure and heart rate, furthermore an angry alarm can add to your stress levels by getting your adrenaline rushing. Try to choose a relaxed alarm tone for a better start to your day.
If you’re struggling to wake up properly because of the cold, the quickest way to fix this is to have a hot shower first thing. A hot shower helps to regulate your body temperature, get your blood flowing and warm up your body gradually, this will also help you to feel warm until you get dressed, making your morning routine a lot easier.
One of the hardest aspects when waking up during autumn winter is the lack of natural sunlight in the room. During the summer, the natural light that enters the room each morning can often help us to wake up naturally as it signals to our brain that it’s time to rise.
During the darker mornings, this can become increasingly more difficult, with the lack of light making it hard to wake up our internal body clock (circadian rhythm) and you may find that your brain wants you to wake up, but your body is saying something different. The best way to deal with this is to purchase a light box. Light boxes essentially replicate sunlight, and are an effective way to add some light to your mornings.
These boxes are set to light up when your alarm goes off to help your body wake up. You’re more likely to experience cognitive benefits such as improved memory and concentration when you wake up from light rather than sound. Furthermore, it has been noted that sunlight in the mornings can improve your overall well being, increase energy and productivity – and so this may be useful in helping you to rise each morning.
I understand turning the heating on is not something that anyone wants to do at the moment – but if it gets much colder it is important to keep your environment comfortable and liveable. If you’re turning the heating on, look at setting it to come on early in the morning and on a low setting, this should take away that early morning nip in the air and help you to wake comfortably. You may want to also keep your bedroom door shut to ensure the heat stays in your room.