alarm clock, bought from IKEA

How do you respond when the alarm clock goes off? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the alarm goes off do you jump out of bed ready to start your day or are you cursing the sun as you clamber about for the snooze button?  While it is true that there are some people who are naturally more attuned to mornings, anyone can become more of a morning person with a few simple changes.  Here are 5 tips that will help you get up on time, every time.


1.     Find Your Motivation

Have you ever noticed that when something great is happening on a particular day you have no problem getting out of bed?  When you have something to look forward to it can make it easier to choose hitting the shower over hitting the snooze button.  If the first thing you have to do is something you dread, you will be more tempted to snuggle back into bed.


2.     Let in Some Light

To sleep, our bodies need darkness and to wake up, they need light.  Your sleep-wake cycle is controlled by your internal body clock and one of the things it relies on to keep things on track is light.  As soon as you get up, open your shades, take your coffee out on the porch, or even take a quick walk and let the natural light wake you up.


3.     Modify Your Morning

Maybe the best way to get up on time is to wake up a little later.  If you struggle to get up at a certain time, revisit your morning routine.  Look for things that you can cut out so that you can sleep in.  Investing in a coffeemaker that starts automatically rather than waiting in line for 20 minutes at the local shop may be all you need to make mornings more enjoyable.


4.     Look Out for Late Nights

The simple fact may be that you can’t get up in the morning because you are not getting enough sleep at night.  Your body needs a certain amount of sleep each night, between 7 -9 hours according to the National Sleep Foundation.  If you have to be up at 6:00 AM and your body needs a full 8 hours, you need to be sleeping by 10 PM in order to get the sleep you need to wake up ready to go.


5.     Eliminate Electronics

Light may be good in the morning, but it is not good for getting to sleep at night.  This is especially true for electronic devices like laptops and cell phones.  The backlit screens on these devices can trick your brain into thinking its morning and wreak havoc on your body’s internal clock.  Your best bet is to leave these items in the living room.  Even if they aren’t keeping you up, the vibrating or pinging of incoming messages can disrupt your sleep enough to leave you overtired and irritable in the morning.

If you have tried these tips and it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get, you still can’t get up in the morning, its time to talk to your doctor.  Several sleep disorders can leave you overtired and make waking up in the morning difficult.  Your doctor can help determine if you have an underlying sleep disorder and recommend the right treatment plan.