Here's a lousy way to start your day: Hit snooze over and over until you're aggravated enough to get up or play mean tricks on yourself, like placing the alarm clock across the room or shredding money if you don't get up. But instead of punishment, what if you made it more pleasurable to get out of bed? Consider these alternatives.Photo remixed from an original by Lars Plougmann.
Add More Comfort To Your Mornings
The most obvious recommendation is to set up an automatic coffeemaker for the morning, because, frankly, it works. There's the sound of the coffee brewing (even louder if your coffeemaker grinds your beans first) and the irresistible smell.
Consider spa-ifying your home to make it more enticing to arise to. Think Red Envelope stuff to tempt you out of bed:
- Warm, fuzzy slippers
- A velvety bathrobe
- A scented oil diffuser (perhaps put on a timer) with oils that are supposed to be energising, like citrus
- A towel warmer for after your shower
All are definitely worth the price, if you consider the cost of being late or being stressed about being late, versus getting up relaxed and refreshed in the morning. On the other hand, you could do the opposite: Lower your comfort level in bed to make you so uncomfortable in bed you'll be OK with getting up (as a fellow sleepyhead, however, if you're sceptical about that, I don't blame you).
Not enough? Here are some other suggestions:
- Heat your room: Whether you use an automatic thermostat or a space heater on a timer, you can eliminate one of the biggest obstacles to getting up: The difference in heat between your bed and just outside your bed. Time your heaters so they blast at you just around wakeup time.
- Stretch: As soon as your grumpy self awakes, try an energising, delicious (yes, delicious) full-body stretch. While still lying in bed, raise your arms above your head and stretch your legs out, then take a deep breath in and out while (inevitably) yawning. Repeat a couple of times, think about stuff you have to and, importantly, want to do today, and you may find getting up easier.
- Let the sun shine in: Rising by the light of the sun may the most natural way to wake, but many of us may prefer simulating the rising sun on our own terms. You can create a DIY Sunrise Simulator with a halogen lamp or simply adjust your curtains so that in the mornings they let in a little sunlight (but not too much).
- Set up a great music alarm: The best trick in your wake-up routine might be a more moving song than the default buzz.
Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To
- Prepare a warm breakfast or treat: Perhaps the smell of warm coffee doesn't get you up. How about a warm breakfast? Make oatmeal in a slow cooker or rice cooker to be ready just as you wake. If you don't care for oatmeal, you can instead set a treat (e.g. chocolate chip muffin) on the counter the night before as an incentive with similar purpose.
- Treat yourself to something that feels good: Got a massage pillow or foot massager? Use it as an incentive, so instead of resisting getting up, you have a ritual morning massage to look forward to.
- Postpone something you want to do: So far, we've noted physical things that might make waking up more pleasant — a warm cup of coffee and oatmeal waiting, a heated room, a big robe. Besides those physical things, think of psychological motivations that might get you up early: the chance to have the house to yourself (instead of your family members), a jump start on some project you're interested in, 10 minutes working out, checking if your favourite website (Lifehacker, Cute Overload) and so on.
What are your get-out-of-bed tricks?