Getting out of bed can be tough. The alarm goes off, and you just want to stay in bed, warm and cosy. Of course, we get up anyway, usually because we have to, but it sucks, it's uncomfortable, and it's sometimes painful. Here are some tips to make that moment -- getting up -- suck less.
That one moment when you're laying in bed thinking about how warm and comfortable you are and wishing you could just roll back over and go back to sleep can define your entire day. Let's talk about some ways to make it much much easier, and start your day off on a good footing.
Turn Up The Heat With A Programmable Thermostat
When you're getting up, the last thing you want is to leave the warm bed for the chilly morning air. Sure, it's a jolt awake, but you can make that jolt a little easier on yourself -- and start the day off on a better note -- with a little cash and a few minutes of DIY installation work. Programmable and other "smart" thermostats offer lots of useful benefits, from energy savings to remote management, but perhaps one of the most immediate payoffs is the ability to program temperature settings for different times of the day. Cooling yourself down leads to better sleep, so it makes sense to turn the thermostat down a bit when you go to sleep, then up to warm things up a little when you wake. A programmable model will do it for you.
You can even program your thermostat to start warming things up a half hour or an hour before you want to wake. If you really like doing things yourself, your can always build your own Wi-Fi thermostat, or repurpose an old phone and a Raspberry Pi.
Automate Your Morning Routine -- And Your Appliances
For many of us, it's the drudgery of our morning routines -- a process that's tolerable at best and irritating at worst -- that makes getting out of bed a pain. We can't remove your commute or your job, but your morning routine can definitely be something you look forward to instead of just tolerate. You don't have to get up earlier to do it either -- just do something in the morning that feeds your mind, instead of just gets you out the door. Give yourself enough time to think, relax, and psych yourself up for the day.
Then, let technology make your coffee for you, turn up the heat, open the curtains and let some light in, or even start cranking some tunes so you feel energised and ready to start the day.
For example, automating the temperature in your home is one thing, but consider automating your morning coffee as well. There's no reason you can use home automation kits like the Belkin WeMo or LittleBits to grind beans, brew coffee or start the kettle before you wake. Besides, waking up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee every morning is a great way to lure yourself out from under the blankets. Coffee is just the beginning. We have a whole guide to getting started with home automation, and if you don't like pricey kits, you can do the same stuff with a trusty Raspberry Pi or Arduino.
Reward Yourself (Or Make Getting Up Worth Your While)
The mindset you're in when you start the day counts for a lot. If you're happy and looking forward to the day, you're more likely to actually have a good day than if you hate being awake, hate getting out of bed, and hate the sun for rising. After all, your expectations influence your reality.
I know what it's like to to wake up in the morning, turn off the alarm, and just lie in bed wondering why you should even bother. You start rationalising why it would be OK to call out sick, or give yourself another five minutes or so. Even when you do get up, getting up every day to go to work/school/whatever doesn't exactly fill you with a sense of glee. Even if you like your job or classes, mornings are rough on all of us. The trick here is to give yourself a reason to get up -- a reward, or something you really like -- that makes all of it at least a little more worthwhile. Something nice enough that you wake up and say "well at least I'll get to X before work" or "at least today is Y day".
Whatever X or Y are for you is up to you -- for me sometimes it was a nice breakfast or lunch at my favourite spot; other times it was a new mouse or keyboard I had delivered to work that I got to use if I went in that day. Some days it was a special cup of coffee instead of my usual brew. Other mornings it was a little extra time to play video games, or the promise of some free time after work. Whatever your reward is, keep it in the front of your mind when you're struggling to get up.
Upgrade Your Sleep
A good morning starts with a good night's sleep, and while it's easy to say "just get more sleep and getting out of bed will be easier", that's not quite true. Getting more sleep isn't the same as getting quality sleep, and it's quality sleep that makes it easier to throw off the covers in the morning and start your day.
All of the usual sleep hygiene tips apply here, like light exercise every day, steering clear of alcohol, caffeine or cigarettes before bed, and cutting back on screen time (computers, tablets, phones and television) before your bedtime. Instead, craft yourself an evening routine that complements your morning one, where you set up all of your home automation, put the beans in the grinder or set up the coffeemaker, do some light meditation or reading by a dim light, and generally wind down for bed. Even a few minutes spent on each is enough time to help your mind and body relax so you get more quality sleep -- which means you won't wake up the next morning hating life just because you have to be awake.
Address The Root Cause
Finally, we mentioned earlier that we can't remove things like your commute or your job from the equation. Those, perhaps, are the things that make you hate getting up in the first place, and no reward or morning playlist in the world can remove that weight when the alarm goes off. If that sounds familiar, all of these tips may make it a little lighter, but it's important to address the root cause. Otherwise every morning will just be varying degrees of miserable.
We've discussed what you can do about a crappy job (aside from leaving it altogether). If those are the things that make your morning miserable -- or would pay off in much better days if you remedied them, fix them. The time, energy and happiness payoff you'll get from finding a more rewarding job or a shorter commute can easily outweigh everything else here.