Why it’s SO hard to Wake up in the Winter and What to Do about it

Why it's so hard to wake up in the winterWinter mornings can be brutal.  It’s dark outside, it’s cold outside, and you might need to spend time scraping ice or snow off of your car before going anywhere.  Whereas, your bed is warm and soft and it practically beckons you to hit the snooze button just one more time.  At least for me, my bed’s siren call usually wins, and I often close my eyes for that extra 10 minutes–something I end up regretting later as I rush around.

I know I can’t be alone with this problem on winter mornings.  In fact, there is actual real scientific evidence for what it is so much harder to pop out of bed in mid-winter vs the summer months.

Why is it so hard to wake up in the winter?

It has to do with melatonin, which is your body’s hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles.  Melatonin production helps your body to become sleepy, and it is influenced by light.   Light stops melatonin production, which makes you feel more awake.  Unlike during the summer when the sun may have already been shining when your alarm clock went off, mostly likely it is still pitch black outside when it does so now.

Another thing to think about is that our body’s temperatures change throughout the day with our internal clock.  Typically the body temperature lowers after dinner time and stays low throughout the night.  This is why sleeping in a cold room can help you to sleep better.  Unfortunately, that means that waking up in a cold room is more than just unpleasant–it also makes you rather sleepy.

3 Tips to Help You Get Up in the Winter

Yes, the odds may be against you when it comes to waking up during the winter months, but there are some things you can do to make it somewhat easier.

1. Invest in a programmable thermostat

Program your thermostat to lower your home’s temperature during normal sleeping hours and to then raise it a few degrees shortly before you wake.  This will help you to sleep better and hopefully make your bedroom a little less chilly when you crawl out from under the covers.

2. Get as much light as you can!

To help your body wake up in the morning, turn on the lights and open windows and blinds.  Throughout the day, try to soak up as much sunlight as possible in order to help keep your body’s circadian rhythms regular.  You can even try investing in a sunrise alarm clock to help trick your body when waking up.

3. Be prepared the night before

Pyschologically, it can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning when it feels like there is a lot to do before even really starting your day.  Dishes left in the sink the night before, needing to find clothes that are downstairs in the dryer, and bags that are not ready to go are just examples of things that could weigh on your mind and make it even harder to wake up in the winter.  Try your best to be as prepared as possible the night before.  Taking a few extra minutes to lay out clothes or put the dishes in the dishwasher at night can make life so much easier in the morning.

What tips do you have for how to wake up in the winter?  Please share in the comments.  For more information about regulating your home’s temperature, contact us at Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!


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