5 Reasons You're Still Snoozing Through That Morning Lecture

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With the novelty of a fresh school year, we often find ourselves full of hope and motivation. This year, we tell ourselves, I am not the same person. Snooze no more. 8am lectures? I’m all about that. I don’t even know what sleeping in past noon feels like.

And you believe yourself. You really do. That is, of course, until you jolt awake at 8:30am, the face mask you fell asleep in still caked on your face, one sock on, one off. You realize that yet again you snoozed every single alarm that you set for yourself, beginning with the one that you set at 6am.

Morning lectures can be difficult to wake up for, bright-eyed and ready to learn, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up already. The school year is young and you have plenty of time to fix your vices and develop better habits. Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why you aren’t waking up on time and what you can do to change them.

 (Please note that none of these reasons include serious physical or mental health issues. In such cases, seeing a professional is much more beneficial).

1. You are waking up at the wrong time

Everyone has a couple (or a lot) of alarms saved on their phones. These are the ones that we use every day to wake up in the morning. We snooze the alarms that we no longer need and turn on another alarm to wake us up at later times. However, these generic alarms may keep you from waking up energized and refreshed, and may even keep you from waking up at all! An alarm that goes off at the wrong time in your sleep cycle will keep you from feeling like you’ve had a satisfying amount of sleep and may be another reason why your bed is just so irresistible in the morning.

Your solution: Add a sleep-calculator to your daily routine. A sleep calculator like this one can prevent your alarms from disrupting your sleep and help you wake up more naturally at the right time in the morning. This site is particularly great because it gives you a couple of options to work with when calculating your sleep. You can either enter the time that you need to wake up at or you can choose the option that calculates when you should wake up if you go to sleep immediately. This site is useful, helpful and free!

2. You aren’t drinking enough water.

Nowadays, drinking water seems to be the answer to everything. When it comes to sleep and waking up refreshed, adding water to your morning routine is an easy step. If you aren’t drinking water when you wake up, you will feel groggy, slightly out-of-it and lethargic as you struggle to wake yourself up.

Your solution: Drinking water as soon as you wake up refreshes your system and boosts your body and mind making you feel more energized and awake. The key here is to do this step immediately upon waking up. As soon as you hear your alarm, this is your sign to sit up, swing your legs over the side of your bed (this position keeps you from sliding back into bed) and drink a bottle of water. Remember to be prepared and keep a bottle of water by your bed before you go to sleep the night before. If you keep this habit up, it will become a part of a great routine and will help you get out of bed in the morning.

3. You don’t have a solid morning routine.

A disorganized morning routine means that your morning plans are not set-in-stone, which keeps your snooze-button-assault plan and the possibility of sliding back into bed just as likely of an outcome as actually getting up when your alarm goes off. 

Your solution: Be motivated and plan a morning routine. Start small, adding habits gradually until you are consistently performing all of them regularly. For example, start with drinking a bottle of water as soon as you wake up. Next, perhaps, you decide to add making breakfast to the routine and you decide to make one which you planned the night before or even the week before (keep it consistent). After that, maybe you decide freshen up in the bathroom. Each of these, along with consistent performance, make a rock-hard plan that will inspire you to get out of bed.  

4. Your room is too dark.

Humans throughout history would get up at around sunrise and go to bed when it got dark. With the technological advancements that we have today, it is not at all unusual that we often go to bed close to sunrise and end up waking up at noon. However, with a good and reasonable bedtime, we can still wake up more naturally around sunrise.

Your solution: Keep your curtains open. The natural light in the morning will help you get out of bed!

5. Your sleep-wake cycle is off.

Humans are very complex creatures and, through years of evolution, our bodies have developed a series of timed processes that correspond with our day-to-day lives. Your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, is one of these awesome features that come with your body.

Throughout the day, your body releases different chemicals depending on the stage of wakefulness or sleepiness that you are in. For the body to release such chemicals with such precision and effectiveness, there must be at least a rough timeline that the body can follow to do so. Every person has an ideal ratio of sleep to wakefulness, which is usually 9 hours of sleep to 15/17 hours of wakefulness. If you are sleeping at crazy and incredibly varying times and waking up with no regularity, your cycle can be thrown out of wack, making you sleepy and alert at all the wrong times.

Your solution: Set a stable bedtime and wakeup time to keep your cycle in good shape. Try not to sleep too much (this is just as detrimental to your health as sleeping too little) and figure out how much sleep you need to get. There are many free resources online that can help, but anywhere from 7 to 9 hours generally is a good bet for university students.

There's no easy way to tell someone to get their head in the game. Sometimes, you can’t get up because you really, truly can’t be bothered. You may not see the importance of getting up early or staying awake throughout the day. Sleep really is an attractive option. However, setting your life on a stable path all begins with listening to your body’s natural processes and taking advantage of every waking hour you have. Now get out of bed and get moving! 

Sources: 1, 2

About The Author

Alena is a third year student at the University of Ottawa studying International Studies and Modern Languages.

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