getting out of bed

How to Get Out of Bed When You Really Don’t Feel Like It

We’ve all been there: the alarm goes off, we’re feeling groggy, reach out and slap it to snooze. Five minutes later, the same things happens. We switch the alarm off again. The thought of getting out of bed seems like way too much effort. We know that, once we get up, we have to launch into the day – that to-do list we made last night, those  chores that need doing…

If you have to get yourself up to get to work by 8am, you’ll manage it. But if you work for yourself, if you’re a student, or if it’s the weekend, it can be a lot tougher.

Why do we end up talking ourselves into staying in bed … even when, if we think about it rationally, we’d much rather be getting on with something than going through the alarm-snooze-alarm-snooze cycle of supremely low-quality sleep?

Note: I’m not talking about depression here. If you think you might be depressed, please consult your doctor and get professional help and advice.

What’s Your Motivation?

First off, why are you getting out of bed? Why don’t you just spend the whole day lying around, snoozing, eating toast (and getting crumbs in the sheets)?

If you’re the type of person who can spring out of bed at dawn, just because it’s a beautiful day, gosh darn it, and you’re out to change the world, etc., then congratulations. You’re probably one of those weirdos that doesn’t drink coffee in the morning either.

(Michael Harrison, 10 Geeky Tricks for Getting Out of Bed in the Morning,

I’ll bet you’ve got something important that you want to do: some reason that’ll get you excited enough to want to get out of bed. Find something that’s meaningful to you and make that your reason to get up in the morning.

It might be having time to exercise. It might be spending the first hour of your day writing your novel. It might be your chance to work on your small business before the workday. It might be the child-free time you get to put your thoughts straight.

Starting off your day with your hardest task (also known as “eating that frog”) can be counter-productive if it discourages you from getting out of bed! So, for a change, plan something that’s fun and energizing for the start of your day. It could be as simple as a tasty breakfast, or your favorite soap in the shower.

Don’t Think Too Much

There’s definitely a danger in thinking too much when you’re feeling groggy. It’s very easy to start running through your to-do list (“I must phone Jack … and clear my inbox … and clean the kitchen …”) and frankly, you can end up feeling exhausted just thinking about all those tasks.

I like Steve Pavlina’s method of not thinking about getting up: just get out of bed and start moving – your mind will catch up with you!

If you find yourself running through everything you need to do in the day, stop. Focus on that first half hour or hour of your day – the one thing you really want to get out of bed for. Then throw off the covers and move those legs!

Practical Tips

Sometimes, a deep-seated reluctance to get out of bed isn’t just due to a lack of motivation. You can help yourself by implementing a few very practical ideas:

Go to Bed Earlier

I know this sounds ridiculously obvious, but if you go to bed late and try to get up at 6am, you’re going to struggle. If you’re prone to getting distracted by watching TV, writing blog posts or hanging out on Twitter, set an alarm to tell you when to go to bed. You could also ask a spouse or housemate to remind you at, say, 10.30pm if you’re not already heading to bed.

Make sure you’re getting good quality sleep, too.

Put Your Alarm Across the Room

As a teen, I realized I can reach out, switch off an alarm, and go straight back to sleep. Since then, I’ve always positioned my alarm clock across the room, so that I have to get out of bed to switch it off. So long as you stay out of bed once you’re up, you’re there!

Have Your Clothes Ready

One of my dozy excuses for not getting out of bed is often “I can’t decide what I’m going to wear.” (Given that the answer is usually “jeans and a t-shirt”, I’m not quite sure why this causes such early-morning angst. It may be a throwback to my teen years…) If you make a similarly crap excuse, there’s a pretty simple solution: put out your clothes the night before.

(If you’re inclined towards morning exercising, set your gym kit ready too.)

So … are you one of those lucky folks who can wake up feeling well-rested and enthusiastic before the alarm? Or do you have mornings where you tell yourself “just five more minutes” for two hours? What tips – or cautionary tales – do you have for morning sluggards?

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  • Chris

    The ideas given are quite good, but what also works is having a lamp next to your bed that produces a lot of light an immediately as the alarm goes off, switch that on. Besides that switching on the radio as well helps too. I find that in that case it is quite safe to take some ten or so minutes to get really awake as the light and sound prevents me from falling asleep again.

    • Great point, Chris!

      I tend to slam the light on as soon as I stagger out of bed to my alarm — it’s an instant wake-up.

  • Thanks. I have a big problem getting out of bed. I solved a big part of it though. How? I realized I’m not a morning person and adapted. I stared working till later and waking up later. And even if I get the same number of hours of sleep, now it’s easier for me to get out of bed if it’s 10 instead of 7:30.


    • Eduard, that’s fab too! I AM a morning person (I get my best creative/productive work done before lunch) so for me, the morning hours matter. It’s not right for everyone, though.

      Hopefully, my tips apply whether you want to get up at 5am or 10am — it’s just about getting out of bed at the time YOU want to!

  • I use a little program (G-alarm) on my smartphone which plays nice random songs every morning. It starts playing softly and gradually increases the volume. That way I’m waking up far more relaxed (and much more awake). It actually takes away the desire to snooze.

    Don’t think too much and go to bed early are also tips that work excellent for me. I found many of these tips on before, they have helped me a lot.

  • I agree with Eduard in that so many people put pressure on themselves to get up early. Just do what works for your body and go with it. I also like to wake up naturally. no alarms. Just when my body naturally wakes up.

  • What I have started to do is as soon as my alarm goes of I jump straight out of bed without even thinking about what I am doing, almost like an instinctive reaction. I have found as soon as I realize what I have just done I am out of bed and awake. I must admit it is a bit shocking but it has been working for the last 4 days.
    Hope this helps someone.

  • Another interesting post, Ali.

    For years I had to get up at irregular hours (shift work), sometimes 4am. I relied on alarm clocks, on occasions using two or three alarm clocks leading me into the bathroom!

    Now I have a bit more control and have discovered I naturally sleep exactly 8 hours every night. I have a set routine to go to bed and one to wake up.

    However, the challenge is to go to bed exactly 8 hours before I need to get up! I think you may have given me the answer: as I don’t need the alarm clock to get up, I can set it to go to bed. Or at least a little before: I will see what works.

    A great idea, thank you.

  • Hi everybody, I want to share my tip on waking up on time in the morning feeling enthusiastic.
    Every night before I go to bed, I tell to myself that I want to get up at 6 am and then I IMAGINE (YES, JUST IMAGINE) my alarm turns on at 6 am but the alarm makes me get out of my bed feeling enthusiastic as I have time to see and play with my baby before I go to work at 8 am.
    It really works for me. Now, I enjoy getting up at 6 am in the morning.

    In addition, you also have to set up a condition which help you to get up on time. It has been mentioned above by Ali, such as put your alarm across the room, let the sunshine enter the room in the morning, automatically switch off your Air Conditioner at 5 am, etc.

    SO, before you go to sleep, please “install” the right emotion into your brain and set up the necessary conditions which help you to get up on time.

    I found this great tip here – Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny : a personal success system for you to follow and create the results you deserve and want in life.

    Hope that this tip is useful for all of you too.

  • Geemail

    i have no tips

  • Johnhenson

    im gonna try this

  • Johnhenson

    im gonna try this

  • James Fisher

    this works! i really woke up at 6:45

  • James Fisher

    this works! i really woke up at 6:45

  • James

    I’ve tried everything on this list and more. Nothing seems to work for me! I’m going to keep trying, but unless I have to get up, I doubt I’ll ever be able to get straight up with the alarm.

    • Khjoi

       Stop doing drugs!!

  • Lhcfk

    You’re just all lazzy, go to sleep early.

  • JimmieRustler

    niggers tongue my anus

    • Shayperezgarcia

      Your a dumb ass and you need to get a life. Grow up and stop living in historic times. It just comes to show how some peoples brains are still suffering from the lack of development. And fyi at least those “niggers” are getting paid while you sit your broke ass around wiggling your thumb in your ass….. GET A LIFE!!! Douche bag.

      • Frodo Sagbag

        you are literally worse than hitler

    • polly

      He just wants attention. Poor thing.

  • ben mazor

    anyone know where i can get a really loud alarm clock with unlimited snooze and will forever keep ringing until i turn it off?ps. who knows how to build this? 

  • Kaveer

    have willy wonka wank to wake up . the 4 magical Ws

  • wonderfulwizardofoz

    Been having a really hard time finding the motivation to get out of bed for the past week.

    • Surabhi Somani

      Yeah well ur going 2 have 2 try aren’t u?

      • wonderfulwizardofoz

         Wow, you’re genius.  I never thought of that!

  • Surabhi Somani

    Err I just count the hours i’ve really been in bed from the time i slept and if i think it’s a lot i tell my self ok 5 more minutes and then get up depending on ma mood. I would say count the numbers of hours and if ur legs hurt or somin’ then get up after a while;). But ur gonna have 2 get up sometime or the other and there’s something called an ALARM CLOCK btw i’m not sure if you use it properly

  • Surabhi Somani

    Did anyome read my one??? If not plz read it it will help guys

  • Surabhi Somani

    HELLO??? Wakey Wakey Rise and Shinee

  • Cassandra

    I always keep ice water by my bed (even in winter) and in the morning drop a couple drops on my forehead. Often the reason I don’t want to get out of bed is because I’m so warm and comfortable. After the cold water, I move myself into a position that is really uncomfortable, and then list ten things that I have to do that day. Even of they are boring or tedious jobs, it still makes me want to get up and start doing them.

  • gemm

    cant sleep at night n end up going asleep an hour be4 i have to get up. so none of dis works for me. to bad my course dnt do night time courses eh

  • Glen

    This worked for me,
    The night before…
    – make to do list for following day, set it at other side of the room
    – set a cup/glass of water beside to do list
    – have clothes for following day beside that.
    – set alarm and put it beside the rest.
    *try to go to bed early, get 7-9 hours sleep.*

    – Turn off alarm, DON’T return to bed
    – Take a drink of water, to rehydrate
    – Shake your limbs to wake yourself up
    – Take deep breaths
    – Go to bathroom (do the morning business)
    – Get ready
    – Review to do list (priorities points)
    – Get started in priority

  • Yo

    Don’t be a sluggard(s).

  • Melissa

    adjustable thermostat…. keep it cool at the beginning of the evening and then make it hot in the morning… ever notice how you wake up more when its too hot to sleep?

  • David S.

    I am one of those people that wants five more minutes for 2 hours. Sometimes I will fall asleep for about an hour and have my 5 minute or 20 minute morning routine instead.

    I have just started scheduling my days, and I have had my alarm across the room for quite a while now. I should start going to sleep earlier, but it’s a slow progress for me. The clothes suggestion is a good one. If I get dressed immediately, I can just get out of my room and not sit back in bed after turning off the alarm (which is a terrible idea by the way).

    I set my iPod alarm about 5 minutes ahead of my main alarm. I like to have my iPod soft so I can wake up slowly, but so far I have not noticed very great results with my iPod. So far, the most effective method for me is the scheduling. It just gives me a clear idea of what I am doing. I also like to go over my morning routine in my head before I fall asleep at night; that way I have my routine fresh in my mind by morning.

    I have had a problem with scheduling: I had scheduled myself to go running in the morning, but on that day, it was raining, so I just lay in bed for half asleep for 3 hours. The truth is that I could have gotten up and done something else on my list.

    Also, I like to turn on lights after I wake up. Since I don’t have a timer light, I just tied string to a light’s pull-string with a sheet bend knot. The string is in my way when I wake up, so when I walk into it, it turns on the light.

    After I have showered, I like to turn the water to cold in order to rinse off. Hear is a good article on cold showering:

    My suggestion:

    Step 1: Put your alarm across the room.

    2. Set a secondary alarm about 5 minutes before the other alarm. Make sure it will only wake you gently.

    3. Before you go to bed, set out your clothing.

    4. Before you fall asleep, go over your morning routine in your head.

    5. When you wake up, turn on lights and stay out of bed. Leave the room.

    6. Work out.

    7. Rinse with cold water after showing.

  • Lili1717

    – Place your alarm across the room; pure genius!

  • the Beatles

    When I wake up early in the morning
    Lift my head, I’m still yawning
    When I’m in the middle of a dream
    Stay in bed, float up stream (Float up stream)

    Please, don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me
    Leave me where I am, I’m only sleeping

  • unmotivated

    My problem is not waking up. I go to bed early, wake up early. Its just the actual process of getting out of bed! I will get up at say 7am, have breakfast then go back to bed and just lay in bed and go on my phone/laptop etc for hours procrastinating so I don’t have to get up. I find it really hard to get the motivation to get up unless I have something important on that day.

  • Mc creeper 123

    Wakey wakey hands off snakey!

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