The 10 Best Ways to Wake Up Feeling Better Rested in the Morning

1
Get a good night's sleep

Rear view of young man stretching in the morning
Stanton j Stephens/Getty Images

As anyone can attest, it is easiest to get up after a good night's sleep. The desire to go back to sleep (which is called sleep inertia) will be greatly diminished if you get enough rest. Average adults need eight hours of sleep, but the amount you need may vary - and your sleep needs can be easily determined. It is also helpful to follow general guidelines for better sleep.

2
Caffeine

Caffeine like coffee or tea can help to wake up even the sleepiest person in the morning
Caffeine like coffee or tea can help to wake up even the sleepiest person in the morning. Getty Images

Millions of us start our day with a caffeinated beverage and this is indeed an excellent way to wake up. Whether enjoyed as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soda pop, or even an energy drink, a jolt of caffeine can have useful alerting properties. Caffeine blocks the chemical adenosine which makes us feel sleepy. Although there may be some adverse effects from the use of caffeine, these are relatively benign. Due to its short half-life, most of the impacts will fade within 5 to 6 hours.

3
Alarm clock

An alarm clock can help to wake you up in the morning
An alarm clock can help to wake you up in the morning. Getty Images

Even from the deepest stages of sleep, an alarm clock will pull you back to consciousness. As part of better sleep guidelines, it may be recommended that you not use an alarm clock. ForĀ  many people, alarm clocks lead to sleep deprivation. However, as most of us have morning obligations (and we may not wake up on time otherwise) the alarm clock becomes a necessary part of our daily routines.

4
Light exposure

Light exposure in the morning can help to wake you up
Light exposure in the morning can help to wake you up. Getty Images

Although it can be difficult depending on the time of the year and your location, exposure to morning light can have beneficial effects on promoting wakefulness. Our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm and light has the strongest effect on this biological clock. It is best to enjoy indirect light rather than staring directly into the sun. The use of light boxes and phototherapy can mimic these favorable effects.

5
Prescription stimulants

Prescription medications like stimulants can help to wake you up if you have a sleep disorder like narcolepsy
Prescription medications like stimulants can help to wake you up if you have a sleep disorder like narcolepsy. Getty Images

In individuals with extreme, debilitating excessive daytime sleepiness the use of prescription stimulant medications may be necessary to awaken and function throughout the day. The excessive sleepiness in sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or severe sleep apnea may be treated with these stimulants. Stimulants may also be used in night shift workers. These options include Ritalin, Provigil, and Nuvigil and may be useful in exceptional circumstances.

6
Maintain a regular sleep schedule

A regular sleep schedule may make it easier to wake up in the morning
A regular sleep schedule may make it easier to wake up in the morning. Getty Images

Our bodies prefer to follow regular patterns and our behavior can reinforce these natural circadian rhythms. By going to bed and getting up at the same time every day we can reinforce our desire to sleep. For those with circadian rhythm sleep disorders, this can be more difficult. However, if you get up at the same time every day - including weekends - this will become easier to do.

7
Treat your sleep disorders

Treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea or delayed sleep phase syndrome may help you to wake up more easily
Treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea or delayed sleep phase syndrome may help you to wake up more easily. Herbert Gehr / Getty Images

If you suffer from one of the various sleep disorders, this may adversely affect your ability to get up in the morning. This may occur if you have excessive sleepiness from a restless night such as may occur with insomnia or sleep apnea. Alternatively, if you have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder such as delayed sleep phase syndrome, there may be a desire to go to bed late and sleep in. For these night owls, this will likewise have negative consequences. By seeking appropriate evaluation and treatment of any underlying sleep disorder, you may find it easier to awaken in the morning.

8
Exercise and be active

Regular exercise and being active in the morning may help you to wake up
Regular exercise and being active in the morning may help you to wake up. Getty Images

If you have trouble clearing sleep from your mind and jump-starting your day, you may want to be active first thing in the morning. Scheduling a short period of exercise upon awakening will alert your body and mind. Try to get outside and get some fresh air. You will feel better throughout the day and you may even sleep better at night.

9
Eat breakfast

Eating breakfast in the morning may help to wake you up
Eating breakfast in the morning may help to wake you up. Getty Images

It seems like simple advice, but having breakfast is a great way to wake yourself up. Even a small morning meal can give you a burst of energy to get your day going. If you include a serving of caffeine, you may get even more benefit from breakfasting. There is good evidence that food can wake us up.

10
Wake up on your own

Naturally waking once you have had enough sleep may help you to wake up more easily
Naturally waking once you have had enough sleep may help you to wake up more easily. Getty Images

The best way to wake up in the morning is perhaps the hardest: allow yourself to wake on your own. This requires an adequate night's rest (without sleep deprivation). Ideally we would figure out how much sleep we need and arrange our schedules to allow for this regularly each night. This may require a luxury of time that many of us may not have, however it's best if you can manage to accomplish it.

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