Figuring out how to get out of bed in the morning was always a struggle for me, because I had an all-too common addiction:
I was obsessed with the snooze button.
I would purposely set my alarm for about 45 minutes before I knew I absolutely had to get up, then proceed to hit snooze four or five times.
I told myself that I was “easing” myself into the day. But all I was really doing was sacrificing 45 precious minutes of deep sleep in favor of multiple jarring alarms—if you were to map out a perfect recipe for starting each day in a cranky-ass mood, it would look pretty similar.
Eventually I realized something had to change. And when I finally figured out how to drag my ass out of bed right away, I found that I was not only in a better mood that morning, but the positive effects extended throughout the entire day.
And here’s the good news: it wasn’t that hard. Making the switch from perennial snoozer to morning master is easier than you think.
Follow the five steps below to bounce out of bed in the morning and start making the most of your day.
How to Get out of Bed in the Morning
A 5-Step Plan for Getting Your Ass in Gear
1. Start the Night Before
Waking up with enough energy to attack the day starts before you even get into bed. You probably already know you need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night in order to wake up feeling rejuvenated.
What you might not know is that with sleep (as with many things) quality counts as much as quantity. According to a study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, “sleep quality was better related to health, affect balance, satisfaction with life, and feelings of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion than average sleep quantity.”
Even if you can’t squeeze in an extra hour for rest, there are a ton of things you can do to make sure you’re maximizing your sleeping hours. A few keys include:
- Get regular.
- Go to bed at the same time each night. Making your rest periods regular trains your body to start winding down at just the right time.
- Embrace the dark side.
- Get regular.
- Ditch the screen.
- It goes back to the whole “light = wakefulness” thing. Turn off the TV and put down the tablet or phone at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
- Silence is golden.
- Like light, even a small amount of noise can disrupt your sleep. If you live in an apartment or noisy neighborhood, try using ear plugs to maintain serene silence.
2. Move Your Alarm Clock
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.
It can be tough to get out of bed in the morning without a really compelling reason.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to give yourself one each and every day: simply move your alarm clock away from your bed so you have to get up in order to shut it off.
Put the alarm in another room.
A lot of people suggest moving the alarm clock to the other side of your bedroom, but in my experience even this wasn’t far enough – as long as I could see the bed, I was tempted to get back in it.
Putting it in another room forces you to get up and put some distance between you and the sheets.
3. Chug a Glass of Water
Of course, drinking water at any time of day has myriad health benefits.
But by chugging back a glass first thing in the morning, you’ll immediately find that you become more alert and feel more awake – and most importantly, less likely to go crawl back into bed.
Leave your alarm clock near a sink in the bathroom or kitchen and leave an empty glass out next to it the night before. As soon as you go to turn off the alarm, fill up the glass and chug-a-lug.
4. Get Moving
Capitalize on the jolt that glass of water gives you and really get going by exercising.
In his book Eat, Move, Sleep, author and researcher Tom Rath notes that ample evidence suggests that by working out in the morning you not only reap the immediate benefits of exercise, you continue to benefit all day long.
That’s because research shows that the “post-exercise glow” – meaning the emotional uplift you get from working out – can last for up to 12 hours following a workout.
While the benefits are clear, going from zero morning movement to an action-packed workout plan can be tough. And even though starting a workout plan is actually easier than you think, you may want to ease yourself into it.
A great place to start is the 7-Minute Workout. It made a big splash when it debuted on The New York Times website a couple years ago, and for good reason. Not only does it take less time than boiling a pot of coffee, but it’s also strongly supported by science and requires no equipment other than a chair and a wall.
It might just be the best seven minutes you spend all day – and it will definitely get your engine revving in the morning.
5. Relax – and Do Something You Enjoy
Saving the best for last: give yourself a reason to jump out of bed in the morning by making your mornings something you look forward to.
Maybe it’s reading the paper (and by “paper” I of course mean “digitally delivered news of some kind”) and enjoying a coffee before the frenzy that is work or school begins.
Or maybe it’s watching a TV show that you put off the night before so you could get to bed earlier.
For me, I like to use my time in the morning to read all the self-help books I used to think about reading but never actually get around to.
Whatever you choose, make it something you’ll actually be excited to do each and every morning. Think of it as your reward for achieving the four steps above.
And the best part?
You’ll not only get your ass out of bed sooner, you’ll feel better doing it — making you better able to handle whatever the rest of the day throws at you.
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