Waking up is the hardest part of the morning for many of us. We often find ourselves reaching for the snooze button on the alarm perhaps one too many times. This is particularly true for the heavy sleepers among us, who wake up feeling like they were woken up in the middle of a deep sleep. This feeling occurs whether we’ve had plenty of sleep or not, no matter what stage of the sleep cycle we are at.
Difficult mornings mean we start our day feeling extra tired. This is not a good way to start the day, as it delays alertness and makes productivity more difficult. As well as physical tiredness, it sets many people in a bad mood. It is important to recognise why you’re finding waking up difficult as the first stage of resolving this issue. Then, you can add changes to your sleep habits and overall lifestyle to fix the problem.
Why Am I Struggling to Wake Up?
A lot of people are either naturally light sleepers or are woken up easily. On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of people are heavy sleepers who are not easily awakened. Factors like genetics cause you to be naturally inclined to feel certain ways.
Certain medical conditions make drowsiness more common and make it harder to wake up. These include, but are not limited to:
- Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, etc
- Mental health issues, such as anxiety, stress, depression, etc
- Medications, such as antihistamines, SSRIs, etc
- Frequent urination
Lifestyle choices also create chronic drowsiness. When habits become part of your lifestyle, they are difficult to shake off and remove from your daily routine. These include:
- Excess caffeine consumption
- Staying up too late
- Taking naps or irregular sleeping patterns
- Lack of exercise
How Can I Make Waking Up Easier?
If your inability to wake up is due to a medical condition, you should speak to your doctor. They can provide personalised medical advice or make changes to your medication to help you feel less drowsy. Still, lifestyle changes can make a big difference to how you feel when you wake up in the morning.
Watching your exposure to light is important to wake up more refreshed. Too much exposure to blue light before bed, such from your tv or phone, messes with your melatonin and your overall sleep. Getting exposure to bright light in your first few waking hours will help reinforce to your mind that this is your waking time. Doing enough activity during the day, such as exercise, will help you keep a consistent sleep-wake cycle.
Overall, the best advice is to keep regular, good sleeping hours. Going to sleep at a decent time and getting a regular amount of hours will help you develop an internal body clock. Keeping a diary of when you go to sleep, how long you sleep for, etc, will help you keep track of this. A diary is also good for monitoring daily habits that impact your sleep, such as how much caffeine you consume in a day.