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Best Way To Wake Up: What To Do If You Cannot Wake Up In The Morning

Waking up in the morning can be a challenge. If you’re suffering from feeling unrefreshed and tired in the morning, there could be a plethora of issues. Here is what to do if you cannot wake up in the morning.

#1 Go to sleep earlier

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You aren't sleeping enough - people under 25 actually need 9 to 10 hours of sleep, not 7 to 8. People over 25 still need 8 to 9 hours a night. The answer is to go to bed earlier although it may take 3 to 4 days of good sleep to feel better and be able to get up in the morning.

Contributors: Scott Carroll from Don't Settle: How to Marry the Man You Were Meant For

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#2 Use melatonin supplements

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You have a sleep disorder - There are many types of sleep disorders, but there are three common ones that cause people to struggle to wake up in the morning. Sleep phase disorder is a disorder where a person's melatonin secretion (the hormone that makes you sleep) doesn't shut off until 9 or 10 am. Also, this delay in shutting off melatonin secretion is normal in people under 25. 

The treatment involves using melatonin supplements, which causes natural melatonin secretion to shut off and go to bed at the desired time. The other two causes, obstructive sleep apnea (not breathing well during sleep) and periodic limb movement sleep disorder (moving too much during sleep) require a formal sleep study to diagnose and some type of medical treatment. While a doctor has to order a sleep study, your fitbit (or other wearable) may give you a clue that you have a problem and need a sleep study. 

Contributors: Scott Carroll from Don't Settle: How to Marry the Man You Were Meant For

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#3 Night or Swing Shift

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Perhaps one has a night shift or swing shift. It is difficult to regulate sleep when not working with the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which means sleep at night and awaken in the morning, fresh and ready to take on the day. The sleep hormones may be out of whack as well when one works odd shifts. If having trouble waking up in the morning, I suggest sleeping a little earlier each day until one feels rested.

For example, if I get off of work at midnight, I’ll take a melatonin capsule about a hour before I want to be asleep. Then as soon as I get home, I brush my teeth, change into jammies and go to bed. The habit of staying up after we get home to unwind, eat, or watch media may be hurting our sleep patterns and hours of real rest. On days off try to go to bed earlier than on work days and sleep in when possible. Catching up for a little while will help as one gets more regulated sleep hours. Consistency is key so one wakes up feeling powered up for the day.

Contributors: KJ Landis from Superior Self series 

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#4 Fun Creative Morning Activity

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To get your mind jump started, find something creative you like to do first thing when you get out of bed. What I do first thing in the morning is play piano. Its fun, something I look forward to, and playing an instrument has been scientifically proven to engage practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices so it gets my mental capacity going. Its like a mental full body workout. It has replaced my coffee in the morning and helps me mentally jump-start my day and be more productive. 

Contributors: Gene Caballero from GreenPal 

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#5 Engage your senses in a way that energizes you

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  • Put on an energizing song playlist to engage your sense of sound. 
  • Hang up an energizing photo on the wall - something that gets your blood pumping and feeling motivated - using the color orange is even better as it is associated with fire and the sunrise, which can feel energizing. 
  • Do something tactile, like dry brushing or a cold shower, that wakes up the skin. 
  • Smell some peppermint or citrus, both energizing blends. Or better yet, try our energy Mood-scent! 
  • Taste something energizing, like some peppermint tea.

Contributors: Kathryn Goetzke from The Mood Factory 

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#6 See a psychiatrist

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You are depressed - While depression often causes people to wake up early, hours before their alarm, severe depression can do the opposite where it makes you want to sleep excessively. Biochemical depressions which are not caused by stress/anxiety such as Bipolar depression and seasonal depression (SAD) are particularly prone to do this. The simplest treatment is sunlight or a lightbox (full spectrum lamp) if you live someplace cloudy. If you might have Bipolar depression, you will need to see a psychiatrist, because diagnosing and treating Bipolar disorder is too complicated for a primary care doctor. 

Contributors: Scott Carroll from Don't Settle: How to Marry the Man You Were Meant For

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