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Why Do I Have Difficulty Waking Up in the Morning?

By Seth Davis

adult sleep, adult sleep coach, circadian rhythm, insomnia, sleep deprivation, sleep schedule

Do you have multiple alarms set every morning in case you miss the first one? Or maybe you know exactly how many times you can hit snooze and still make it to work on time? If you consistently struggle to wake up on time, it’s probably not due to laziness or a simple desire to sleep in. You may be suffering from sleep deprivation or an underlying condition. Keep reading to learn the most common reasons people struggle with waking up in the morning and tips to make your mornings go easier.

At Sleepably, we offer child and adult sleep coaching to people nationwide who want to experience better sleep. Sleep affects our productivity, physical health, and mental well-being. So if you decide your morning sleepiness is caused by sleep deprivation or insomnia, we’d love to connect with you. Start getting the sleep you deserve.

Difficulty Waking Up Causes

Woman yawning. Sleep deprivation can make waking up in the morning harder.

There are many potential causes of difficulty waking up in the morning, including poor sleep hygiene and underlying medical conditions like sleep apnea. It could also be a side effect of medications, a symptom of depression, or another mental health disorder. Or it could simply be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep at night.

Sleep deprivation is one of the most common reasons people have trouble waking up in the morning. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have time to repair and rejuvenate itself. This can lead to several problems, including difficulty concentrating, moodiness, and low energy levels.

Excessive morning sleepiness could also mean your circadian rhythm, your natural sleep-wake cycle, is out of whack. Your body takes cues from the environment and your routine to determine when to start producing melatonin to help you sleep and when to wake you up. So if it’s not working properly, it can contribute to morning sleepiness. Luckily, you can take steps at home to reset your sleep cycle.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

So how can you know if sleep deprivation is the cause of your morning struggles?  Check for these signs:

  • You need an alarm to wake up on time.
  • You have trouble focusing or feel foggy-headed during the day.
  • You’re moody or irritable.
  • You’re always tired, no matter how much sleep you get.
  • You have trouble falling asleep at night.
  • You have an increased appetite, especially for fatty or greasy food.
  • You struggle to feel motivated.

How to Wake Yourself Up When Tired in the Morning

If you are sleep deprived, you’ll need to take steps to improve your sleep schedule and possibly seek professional help, but here are a few things you can do to wake yourself up, even if you didn’t get the best sleep the night before.

Place your Alarm Clock on the Other Side of the Room.

Alarm clock on desk. Placing an alarm clock away from your bed can help with waking up in the morning.

This way, you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off, which makes it harder to fall back asleep. You can even set a second alarm in yet another location if the first one doesn’t get the job done. You can also enlist your partner or roommate to hold you accountable for waking up on time.

Don’t Hit the Snooze Button.

When you hit snooze, you’re actually disrupting your sleep cycle and making it harder to wake up later. In addition, your body won’t feel any more rested than it did before because your extra few minutes of sleep were low quality.

Exercise in the Morning.

A little bit of exercise can help energize your body and clear your mind. It will help put you in a good mood for the rest of the day, and regular exercise can help you fall asleep better at night, combatting your struggle with sleep deprivation.

Drink Lots of Water.

Dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish. Drink plenty of  water throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning. If water isn’t your thing, try a cup of coffee or tea. Just be careful not to overdo it on the caffeine, as too much can make you jittery and disrupt your sleep later on.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast.

A nutritious breakfast will give you the energy you need to wake up and face the day. Some good options include oatmeal, eggs, toast, fruit, or yogurt.

Get Some Sunlight.

Exposure to natural light helps wake up your body and improve your mood.  Open the curtains or step outside for a few minutes first thing in the morning. If you’re up before the sun or the weather is bad, consider investing in a light that simulates sunlight.

Get Up at Your Normal Time.

Even if you didn’t sleep well the night before, resist the urge to sleep in. This will only make it harder to fall asleep that night and can lead to an unhealthy cycle of poor sleep.

How can you Improve your Sleep Hygiene?

Having a successful morning starts with developing healthy sleep habits in your daily life. Taking steps such as establishing a nightly routine and sticking to a regular bedtime are two of the best things you can do for your morning self. Choose a bedtime that allows you to sleep for 7-8 hours every night. This should give your body plenty of time to get the rest you need for a successful day.

If you are still struggling with sleep deprivation after resetting your sleep schedule, it may be time to talk to your doctor or a local sleep coach. For more information on sleep hygiene and healthy habits to include in your routine, read our blog “What is Sleep Hygiene?

Make Mornings Easier with Sleep Coaching from Sleepably

If you’re finding it hard to establish healthy sleep habits on your own, our certified sleep coaches can help. Sleepably offers one-on-one coaching to help you understand and overcome the challenges you’re facing. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. We’re based in Denver but offer remote sessions to individuals nationwide. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get a good night’s sleep!

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