How to Get Your Ass Out of Bed in 5 Easy Steps

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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.

Your body equates light with wakefulness, so use blackout curtains or a sleeping mask to make sure your room is pitch black and you’re sleeping in complete darkness.

Ditch the screen.

Man looking at tv screen in dark
Cut out screens at least 30 minutes before bed.

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.

Pro tip:

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


I first found this tip in Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning, and it didn’t take much research to find that Hal was on to something.

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.

Pro tip:

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

how to get out of bed in the morning
The 7-Minute Workout

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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About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

8 thoughts on “How to Get Your Ass Out of Bed in 5 Easy Steps”

  1. In the past I checked my phone and this would wake me up because of the blue light. So it was harder to go to sleep, I still watch movies sometimes before going to sleep, but max once a week. I would deifnitely add reading before sleeping to this list.

    • Thanks Thomas! I have to admit I’m guilty of the same, I still sometimes watch movies before bed, even though I know it won’t help. I used to read before bed almost every night, but I found that if I was reading something particularly interesting or compelling, it would actually be counterproductive – I’d keep turning pages, only to find I’d lost track of time and stayed up way later than I intended! Still definitely a good tactic for those who are more disciplined about putting the book down though.

  2. The mindset you’re in when you start the day counts for a lot. If you’re happy and looking forward to the day, you’re more likely to actually have a good day than if you hate being awake, hate getting out of bed, and hate the sun for rising. After all, your expectations influence your reality.

  3. These are solid tips. Chugging a glass of water is something I wouldn’t have thought to do, but i can see how it would give you a quick jolt. I’m going to work it into my morning routine.

    • Thanks Andrew! Let me know if the water thing works for you. I’ve been doing it for a long time now and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It’s also a great way to sneak in one of the eight glasses a day we’re always told we need to be drinking.

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