Reasons You Have Trouble Waking Up and Top Tricks to Get Up Easily

By Amanda Lawrence |
|5 min read

Pressing the snooze button is the first thing that many of us do in the morning. Yes, we have trouble waking up from the pleasant pillow comforts. There are many causes why waking up unnaturally is disorienting and depressing. In this article, we'll outline the tips and tricks that experts recommend to kickstart your mornings. You'll learn how to modify your sleeping patterns to achieve smoother wakeups.

Why Are You Sleepy?

If you have trouble waking up, the first thing you need to realize is that tracking sleep cycles is essential. In order to wake up without a hassle, you must gain a better understanding of your sleeping habits.

1. Understanding your own sleep cycles

The dozing mind slowly dives from the shores of reality into a depth of brain waves and dreams. Waking up suddenly resembles a sudden force pulling a deep-sea diver back to the surface. Scientific evidence confirms that your sleeping brain goes through successive patterns (or cycles) throughout the night, where it dives deep and resurfaces every cycle.

Each sleep cycle consists of five parts and lasts for more than 90 minutes. The first four parts of a sleep cycle are the non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep, which ranges from light sleep (stage 1) to deep sleep (stage 4). The fifth part is the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep complete with dreams. Waking up during the deeper stages (particularly stages 3 or 4) is very difficult and disorienting. You'll wake up more easily if your alarm rings between cycles as you are already closer to the surface.

Hold on, could a simple sleep disturbance cause lasting fatigue and sleepiness? You'd better check sleep inertia as well.

2. What is sleep inertia?

In physics, any resting body has inertia. This means that you need a large initial force to jump-start the body into motion. The same goes for your brain's electrical activities. When you sleep for a while, your brain falls into a resting state called sleep inertia. This makes unplanned waking a difficult ordeal with the potential to cause the following symptoms:

  • Disorientation
  • Motor impairment
  • Sleepiness

Sleep inertia is an intricate phenomenon with a variety of causes, including:

  • Sudden awakening: Unnatural interruptions can wake you up from deep states of sleep. It can take some time to adjust to your surroundings.

  • Early alarms: If you have a habit of waking up at a particular time in the morning, setting up an earlier alarm can disrupt your sleep-wake cycles. For example, an early morning appointment can be the culprit.

  • Sleep deprivation: Long hours alert, such as heavy working days, can make your brain hungry for a longer state of rest.

  • Sleep apnea: If you have nasal or upper respiratory problems, your brain will wake you up in case of insufficient oxygen intake.

  • Insomnia: Insomniac people can lay in bed until the late hours before eventually getting sleep. This makes waking up in the morning more difficult.

If you have trouble waking up in the morning, you should aim to improve both the quantity and quality of your sleeping rituals:

  • Record your sleeping habits: Several mobile applications are available to calculate and use your sleep cycles to wake you up at the appropriate times.

  • Improve the sleeping environment: Dampen any lights or sounds in your room. Sleep in a cozy, warm bed with a comfortable pillow to avoid tossing and turning.

  • Treat sleep disorders: Consult your doctor if you have insomnia or sleep apnea. Sleep clinics conduct specialized tests to diagnose and manage these conditions.

Effective Tips to Wake Up Easily

Several remedies and tricks can help you wake up easily. These include:

  • Pulling back the curtains: Allowing sunlight into your room can stimulate your biological clock and get you ready for the day.

  • Brain stimulants: Caffeine is a known stimulant of the central nervous system. Drinking a cup of coffee or black tea in the morning can boost your alertness. However, it's healthier to delay the coffee after breakfast to avoid gastric upset. Doctors recommend avoiding brain stimulants during the evening.

  • Avoid snooze buttons: Short-duration snoozes can interrupt your sleep cycles and make your eventual awakening more groggy and unsettled. Setting up a single alarm at the actual time you need to wake up puts you in control of your sleep-wake cycles.

  • Use a variety of alarm tones: Waking to different alarm sounds every few days can provide a more refreshing stimulus.

  • Mobile applications: Some mobile alarms require arithmetic calculations or thoughtful answers to deactivate them.

  • Repositioning your alarms: Place your alarm on the other side of the room.

  • Breathing exercises: Yoga and other meditative routines can enhance your oxygen levels and reinforce your respiratory system.

  • Sleeping position: If you have sleep apnea, sleeping on your side can be better than sleeping on your back.

  • Exercise: In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, you can train your trunk and leg muscles to move faster from a resting position.

  • Start by sitting up on the side of the bed: Swinging your legs and taking several deep breaths can reduce your sleep inertia.

Take Home Message

Having trouble waking up is a common experience you can easily manage and alleviate. Note your specific habits to gain better control of your sleep-wake cycles. Use smart mobile applications and alarm buttons to guide your morning routine. Enjoying morning exercises and caffeine can improve your alertness and reduce your sleep inertia. However, some sleep disorders may require a medical consultation for more definitive management.

For further information about managing your sleep cycles, take a look at the following video and references:



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