EachNight may earn commissions for products you purchase through links on our site. Our articles include affiliate links and advertisements, including Amerisleep, LLC advertising. Learn more Updated July 20, 2021A buzzing alarm clock is usually the last thing you want to wake up to in the mornings. Rising to the challenge to wake up rather than battle the snooze button over and over can be a daunting task. This can be especially true for those who wouldn’t dare refer to themselves as morning people.Waking up doesn’t have to be such a struggle. With some science-backed adjustments, tactics, and techniques, you can help yourself wake up easier. Learning techniques to wake up easier can make mornings less of a chore. With some practice, you can smash goals, improve health, or simply have a less stressful day.Follow along as we discuss nine steps you can follow to wake up easier.1. Take Small, Consistent StepsHabit formation is not a simple process. Research shows habits are formed in multiple regions of the brain. Furthermore, habits formed as a response to certain environmental cues to become automatic over time.Specifically, researchers noted a 66-day window in which healthy habits are created. Subjects in a study repeated healthy tasks over that period of time. Afterward, rather than having to put a conscious effort to perform the task, people began to perform it without prompting.This study showed researchers that our body and mind take time to adjust to new habits, so starting slow is the way to go. For example, if you can push yourself to get up to get a cup of coffee after the first alarm, each day following will become easier. After a while, the habit will feel so ingrained you won’t even notice it.Psychologists have known for quite some time the brain can be trained to react consistently to external stimuli. Classical conditioning, as it’s known, can be used to link a trained stimulus to a trained response. Choosing a specific, recurrent stimulus for when you wake up could be effective. For example, hearing the same song upon waking, or simply rewarding yourself with a tasty treat could be effective.2. Get Natural LightScientifically speaking, humans are classified as diurnal creatures: We are wired to be awake during the day. Though this is how our bodies work; however, those that prefer to stay up late into the night (night owls) would beg to differ.Natural light plays a significant role in human metabolism, energy levels, and circadian rhythms, all of which keep on a consistent cycle of when we are awake and when we are asleep.Specifically, light regulates the release of melatonin through a chemical in the eye called melanopsin. Melatonin is a chemical produced by the pineal gland that has significant effects on all sorts of body processes including sleep.Notably, exposure to blue light during the daytime has been linked to improved wakefulness during the daytime and increased sleepiness at night. So, by throwing open the curtains as soon as you wake up you’ll increase your light exposure and wake up easier.Alternatively, exposure to blue light at night, like light from smartphones or computer screens, has been shown to disrupt a healthy sleep pattern. This light can keep you awake longer than you’d like, thus making you more tired in the morning.3. Get MotivatedTelling people to believe in themselves may sound cliché, but the science of self-affirmations is there. Self-affirmation — the recognition of one’s own value and merit — has been shown to make people more open to positive change.Set a simple affirmation such as “one step at a time” as a way to find consistency and follow-through in your actions. Sleep expert Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom encourages people to put these affirmations on post-it notes around your home to serve as reminders for building confidence in their ability to make behavioral changes.4. Connect the new behavior to your valuesBy reflecting on what your core values are, you can help rewire your brain to make changes you’d like to make. If your goal is to wake up easier, then there’s good news. Self-affirmations have also been demonstrated to help people be more future-oriented. Visualizing satisfying future outcomes, like meeting personal goals, has a major effect on the brain.Try to find a reason to wake up easier rather than waking up being the goal itself. Maybe you want to make it to a workout class every day, learn a new language, or write a novel. Remind yourself daily of your ability to accomplish your goal. Connect it to waking earlier by telling yourself you’ll have more time to get it done if you bound out of bed. With this simple internal motivation, you’ll help retrain your brain.5. Get Some Exercise During the DayExercise is one of the best things a person can do with their body — but there are certain tricks to exercising to help you get out of bed easier.Exercising in the early morning or afternoon can help you be more alert during the day and fall asleep easier at night. This is because exercise raises your body temperature, which is associated with wakefulness. Sleep, on the other hand, is associated with lower body temperatures.Exercising earlier in the day will increase oxygen to your brain and increase the likelihood that you will feel more alert, get things done, and make healthier choices related to food. You can still add in some light exertion in the evening if you want to support your body temperature dropping to help with falling asleep.Additionally, exercising outdoors links back to suggestion #2: getting natural light. Combining the two can help improve your mood, overall health, and sleep quality.6. Don’t Use the Snooze ButtonIt’s very tempting to hit the snooze button first thing in the morning. After all, a bed is warm and comfy, and another 10 minutes of sleep isn’t a big deal — right?Using the snooze alarm has a couple of significant negative effects. These effects can rob you of quality sleep while disassociating your alarm sound with waking up.First, if a snooze alarm wakes you up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle and you return to sleep for any length of time, you’ll return to a lighter sleep cycle. This means you’ll have lost what could’ve been some extra quality sleep. You’d be better off planning the extra time into your alarm time rather than hitting snooze.Second, using the snooze alarm breaks the association of hearing an alarm with waking up. As mentioned in our first point, slowly training yourself to respond to stimuli can be one of the most effective ways to help yourself wake up.Waking you up is exactly what an alarm is for; however, by hitting snooze you’re making the stimulus an option. This gives you time to deliberate on its meaning rather than making its effects automatic. When actions become automatic, they become habits rather than choices.7. Eat Some BreakfastEating more calories earlier in the day is generally better for health than eating more calories at night. An important finding of a major study was that calories consumed in the morning are more efficiently used by the body.Furthermore, meal times in general help regulate a person’s circadian rhythm. Although mealtimes weren’t shown to directly alter sleep times, they were shown to control overall molecular clocks by controlling the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Most importantly, not eating breakfast was shown to delay the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Specifically, it drove sleepiness later. A 5-hour delay in meal times pushed back natural blood glucose levels. This indicated a change in sleep-wake patterns.Maintaining meal times, including eating breakfast, controls a great number of bodily functions. These include hormonal and metabolic balance as well as a healthy sleep/wake cycle.8. Address Pain PointsAre you reluctant to roll out of bed because you’re feeling achy and sore most mornings? If you’re prone to neck, back, hip, or other chronic pains, merely getting up out of bed may feel like a chore in itself. Beyond talking to your doctor, investing in the best mattress for your particular needs is an easy way to boost your quality of sleep, and better sleep leaves you feeling more rested in the mornings.If you have recurring neck pains, the first place to start is your pillow. Is it too lofty, soft, or firm? Memory foam pillows are often great for reducing neck pain because they mold to your head and alleviate pressure. Just be sure to find one that’s compatible with your body; one that’s too tall or too low may cause your neck to crane upward or droop downward.If you have hip or shoulder pain, it may stem from sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm for your body— this is especially true when it comes to side sleepers. If your bed is too firm, it can cause pressure to build up under your joints, resulting in recurring pains. Switching to a softer, more pressure-relieving mattress, is an easy way to eliminate joint pains like so.If you need the best mattress for back pain, look for a bed with zoned, or SMT, support. These technologies are designed to promote healthy spinal alignment while still contouring and molding to your body to eliminate pain. Brands that include these technologies in their mattresses often display that information right on the website, so it should be easy to filter through and determine if a bed is built for pain relief.9. Understand Sleep CyclesUnderstanding sleep cycles and planning your sleep around them can help you wake up easier and manage your sleep better.Sleep cycles are periods of roughly an hour and a half (90-110 minutes on average) that occur during sleep. These cycles involve different types of sleep depending on your body and how long into sleep they occur.There are four types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement, and nREM (non-REM) stages 1, 2, and 3. REM sleep is best known as dream sleep, when your brain is most active. The first stage of nREM sleep is the lightest, while the third is the deepest. The stages of sleep build on one another, and change over the course of the night. REM stages get longer with each cycle and eventually dominate the second half of your sleep cycle. If your sleep is disrupted, the cycles must start anew. Therefore, the sleep architecture of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is different from napping or disrupted sleep.Consequently, providing opportunity for uninterrupted sleep as well as sleeping at the same time each night will allow your body to have the most efficient and restorative sleep possible.10. Keep Track of Your HabitsReporting and recording your daily wake schedule can encourage you to get up at the time you need to. Use a calendar to mark your wake-up times and the feeling you had when you woke. By consciously analyzing your habits, you’ll know yourself better and can learn what techniques do and don’t work for you.Be sure to note what cues woke you up, and what you felt like doing upon waking. Did you want to hit the snooze alarm? Were you hungry? Were there any specific environmental factors that made you wake up? Any stimulus like these can be manipulated to help you wake up easier, especially if you take note of how they affect you.Frequently Asked QuestionsIs 5 hours of sleep enough?No, it’s not enough for most people. Adults usually need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. However, any amount of sleep, even just an hour, is better than skipping sleep altogether.How do I make it easier to wake up?If you’re the type of person who likes to hit the snooze button in the morning, you might want to try moving your alarm clock. If it’s across the room instead of by your bed, then you’ll need to get out of bed to shut it off. Once you’re up, it’s easier to continue with your morning routine instead of falling back asleep. Sleep expert Dr. Ehrnstrom recommends getting out of bed as quickly as possible to help with moving through “sleep inertia” – the transitional state between feeling groggy and sleepy to feeling more awake. “There is a huge temptation to roll over and get back under the covers; by literally jumping out of bed as quickly as possible, you move through this discomfort more quickly and more effectively.”Why is it so hard for me to wake up?Feeling good when you wake up can take some time. Like any habit, it’s hard at first, but being consistent with your sleep schedule (even on the weekends) can make it easier to wake up. Before you go to bed, do relaxing activities such as reading a book or light stretching. Dim the lights and avoid electronic devices that can delay melatonin release. If it’s still hard for you to wake up, consider other underlying causes such as psychological distress, inefficient sleep, or poor sleep hygiene. Dr. Ehrnstrom also recommends a physical if you haven’t had one in the past year to rule out any medical concerns and get more clarity about your mind and body.How do I train myself to wake up early?Get up a little bit earlier every day! Start by waking up 10-15 minutes earlier than you normally would. After you’ve done that for a week, try waking up 20-30 minutes earlier, and so on, until you hit your goal wake-up time.What is the best time to wake up?If you have to get to work or school by a certain time every day, you can easily determine the best time to wake up by how much time it takes you to get ready in the morning. If you find you’re often in a rush getting ready or you feel drowsy all morning, try going to bed a little bit earlier so you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep.Up and At ‘EmWaking up easier may seem like a daunting task, but it’s doable. With conscious effort, brain tricks, and healthy living, you may find yourself bounding out of bed in the morning rather than smashing your snooze alarm. Waking up easier will give you a sense of pride and more time to accomplish things you want to accomplish — whatever they may be.Rest well, and wake well. You’ll be happy you did.About the author Andrea Strand CERTIFIED SLEEP COACH Andrea Strand is a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho where she studied English with an emphasis in Technical Writing. Since 2019, Andrea has written over 90 blog posts and guides on sleep health, sleep hygiene, and product reviews. Find more articles by Andrea Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.