Winter can be lovely in some ways—fresh snow is beautiful, it’s the start of the holiday season, and it’s a time for families to come together.
What is less wonderful is the shrinking daylight hours and the fact that your alarm clock is most likely to ring when it is pitch black outside your window.
What ends up happening when it is so dark is that you not only struggle to wake up but you also don’t feel awake until the sun finally comes out, which can be hours later.
So, how can you wake up in the morning when it is still dark, and function like a productive human being for the rest of the day? Here are some tips.
Do a Mental Exercise the Night Before
Picture this: you’re exhausted and can’t wait to get into bed. But once you’re under the covers and comfortable, your mind starts racing.
And that’s the end of that—you just can’t get to sleep. This is something that can happen any time of the year but is exacerbated during the winter because it is already so hard to wake up in the dark.
The point is to get the intrusive thoughts out of your head and onto a physical paper so that your mind can rest when it is time to sleep.
Writing things down will also give you a reference point the next day—and you never know where that will lead in terms of productivity.
Choose the Right Kind of Alarm
Most people use the default sound on their phone alarm apps to wake themselves up. But this may not be what your body needs.
Annoying and repetitive sounds may actually have detrimental effects on your body—instead of waking you up naturally, these sounds startle you awake, shocking your body into reacting violently.
It’s not a great way to wake up and will leave you feeling like your sleep has been disrupted. Doubly so when it is still dark out.
Instead of shocking yourself awake by a loud and noisy alarm, you should use a sound that is gentle and has a crescendo so your body gets used to the sound long enough to wake up naturally.
And in winter, you should also look at including lighting elements such as sun-imitating lamps that will simulate the natural sunlight you can’t see outside.
Though this may seem like an added expense, it will make the waking up process in winter so much easier and smoother.
Get the Requisite Amount of Sleep
Just because you have to go to sleep in the dark and wake up in the dark doesn’t mean you allow your regular sleeping schedule to stray from its normal routine.
Don’t stay up later than you would in summer and hope to make up the time in the morning—this will only lead to you feeling more tired and possibly getting late for your content distribution meeting.
You should have a fair idea of how much sleep you need—and this varies from person to person, so you need to take that into account.
Go to bed accordingly so that you can get the requisite amount of sleep that your body needs, no matter what season it is.
Wake Up with Your Alarm (or Before)
Granted, this is a tough one. Everyone loves the snooze button because we all have the same thought when the alarm rings: five more minutes.
But five more minutes is almost always guaranteed to become half an hour later.
Save yourself the hassle, especially during the winter, by forcing yourself to wake up exactly when your alarm rings.
This is going to take time and practice, so it’s best to start from now when it’s still Fall.
The next time your alarm rings, don’t think about going back to bed. Drag yourself out of bed and start your daily routine.
On the other hand, if you find yourself awake before your alarm rings—in summer and winter—don’t go back to bed in the hopes of getting some sleep in.
Waking up earlier is a sign that your body has decided it has had enough rest.
By forcing yourself back to sleep, you will be disrupting your body’s rhythm which will make waking up with the alarm even harder.
There is no doubt that this is going to be the hardest part of waking up in winter but once you get into the routine of waking up with your alarm, you will be able to deal with the darkness better.
Stick to Your Morning Ritual
Yes, it is dark out and you don’t want to do anything, but winter doesn’t mean the end of your regular morning routine.
In fact, you should establish a morning ritual even more steadfastly during the winter because of how difficult it is to adjust to the lack of light.
Plan your day as you usually would so you have something to look forward to and you can be more productive even when there is little to no light outside.
Wake Up with Ease in the Dark
With these few tips, you can make the process of waking up in the dark in winter much easier.
A number of these will take time to get used to, which only means you should practice more right now, so when the winter arrives, you can tackle the dark mornings with ease.