We’ve all been there before: the alarm rings at an ungodly hour, and leaving our warm, cozy bed to get a start on our day borders on torture. This is even worse later in the year, when it’s cold and often still dark outside when we have to wake up and be productive.
Some people have no trouble getting out of bed in the morning; for others it’s a chore, even though they’ve gotten enough sleep. So, what are the causes of early-morning grogginess and what can we do about it? In this article, we’ll share a few tricks and tips that will make getting up early a little easier and help you be more productive in the morning hours.
Trouble getting out of bed in the morning: Causes
There are actually many reasons for fatigue or grogginess in the morning; it’s not just a matter of not getting enough sleep. Fatigue is usually a sign of some sort of deficiency, ie, that the body is lacking something. This can be sleep, exercise, oxygen, fluids, vitamins or minerals.
In addition, our internal clock also has a major influence on whether we’re more active in the morning or evening. Our internal clock controls certain biological processes in our body, such as the release of particular hormones and when our peak performance takes place. It thus determines which so-called chronotype we belong to, i.e. whether we’re more productive early in the morning or late in the evening.
How our internal clock makes us morning or evening people
It seems that our internal clock is mainly genetically determined, but it can change over the years due to both external and internal influences. For example, children are most active in the morning, while teens are more active in the evening. When we reach old age, we are again most active in the morning. As with our internal clock, our sleep rhythm can also change.
In the late evening, our body temperature slowly begins to fall and our brain releases the sleep hormone melatonin. In the morning, our body temperature starts to rise again and our adrenal glands release increasing amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Although our internal clock is determined by genetic predisposition, there are some factors that can influence it.
These include sunlight, taking a nap in the afternoon, and exercise. Everyone experiences a drop in energy during the day and should get some rest to recharge for later. Exposure to light helps release melatonin and physical activity has been consistently shown to improve our sleep.
What time should you get up in the morning?
Rising early is associated with various benefits, such as greater productivity, more balanced mood and a trimmer waistline. According to this, early risers tend towards slimness and have fewer weight problems. According to some studies, getting up early can even help with depression.
According to many experts and successful people, 5 o’clock is the optimal time to wake up in the morning. They find themselves the most productive and creative at that time. However, the majority of Germans (55%) get up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on work days and later than 8 a.m. on days off. The average Swiss person wakes up at 6:37 a.m. on workdays.
If you don’t wake up at 5 a.m. with the world’s strivers, you shouldn't force yourself to do so immediately. If you want to try waking up that early, it’s better to do so gradually by going to bed a half hour earlier and waking up a half hour earlier each day.
That said, you might find that this just doesn’t work for you. If that’s the case, listen to your body.
Tips to make waking up easier
The most important thing is to get a good night’s sleep by ensuring a high level of sleep comfort. For adults, the optimal amount of sleep is 7 to 8 hours, which should be respected every night if possible. You can also find the following tips to make getting out of bed in the morning easier for yourself:
1. Let daylight in the room.
Exposure to light triggers a reduction in the sleep hormone melatonin, which can help you wake up naturally and makes getting out of bed easier. The reduced amount of daylight is one of the reasons why people find it difficult to wake up early in winter. If natural daylight is not enough, you might consider purchasing a light therapy box or SAD lamp.
2. Exercise in the morning
Even though exercise is probably the last thing on your mind early in the morning, it can be very beneficial. Exercise gets your metabolism going and can help you burn more calories throughout the day. In addition, exercising in the morning promotes concentration by releasing the hormone adrenaline.
Those who exercise in the morning can cross it off their to-do list and can then don't have to exercise at night. Furthermore, exercise has been proven to help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.
3. Stop using the snooze function on your alarm or cell phone
Allowing yourself to sleep five to ten minutes longer after the alarm wakes us up is confusing for the body. It messes up our internal clock; in the worst case, it can lead to sluggishness that lasts throughout the day. Using an analog alarm clock can help avoid this problem altogether.
4. Take a cold shower in the morning
The idea of taking a cold shower in the morning can seem daunting or unpleasant at first, but it helps put us in the right frame of mind to get our day started. As with exercise, a cold shower gets our circulation going. A hot shower actually does just the opposite, slowing our circulation down and making us want to get back to bed.
Moreover, taking a cold shower in the morning is associated with mood benefits and is also better for the skin. In fact, a hot shower damages the keratin cells located in the outer layer of the skin, which makes us vulnerable to bacteria, fungi and viruses.
5. Don’t skip breakfast
Though we’re seemingly inactive, our body continues to expend energy while we sleep, as our brain runs at full speed at night. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast which contains carbs, protein and fiber to make sure you have enough energy for the day ahead.
Zizzz products for a good night’s sleep
If you want getting up in the morning to be easier, you need to get a good night’s sleep. To help achieve this, make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible and eliminate anything that might disturb your sleep. Feeling hot or cold at night, for example, can make falling asleep harder and can wake you up.
This is why bedding and pajamas made from breathable, natural materials are your best choice. These absorb moisture well, so your sweat doesn’t stick to your body, and help regulate body temperature. We carry made pyjamas from GOTS-certified organic cotton in children's sizes; for babies, we offer a special onesie or body that will keep your little bundle of joy warm and toasty all night long.
Waking up early is not easy for everyone and sometimes needs to be trained first. However, getting up early is associated with clear benefits and has a positive impact on our health. These five tips can help you become an early riser, too.