Tips for Waking Up when it’s Dark Outside

The clocks are set to turn back one hour when the clock strikes 2 am on Sunday 30th October, thus putting us into Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This annual occasion is a calendar staple for many, as it means we get an extra heavenly hour in bed.

Although this extra hour of snooze is welcomed with open arms (especially for those who may have over-indulged in Halloween sweets and tipples), the time change can actually disrupt our cardiac rhythms and sleep cycles. Albeit this an hour gained is better than an hour lost during the clock change in March, it does still reinforce just how dependent are cardiac rhythms are on light exposure.

It’s no myth that the majority of us struggle to get out of bed in the morning when it’s still dark outside. Opening your eyes to a dark room and lifting the duvet to a cold breeze is a struggle. If you’re struggling to hit that alarm and reach for the light switch, then here are some useful tips to help you throw the duvet off when it’s still dark outside…

-Stick to a sleep-wake schedule. Regular bedtimes and waketimes are essential for winter. Getting a full 8+ hours of sleep a night on a regular schedule will boost energy levels, reduce foggy heads and make your body more willing to do a big stretch and reach for your slippers to head downstairs. Just remember to not hit the snooze button when your morning alarm goes off!

-Increase your Vitamin D intake. We hear a lot about Vitamin D in when the sun is shining in the summer, but did you know this vitamin is essential for sleep quality all year round? During Autumn and Winter, try spending as much time outdoors during the day, by exercising or walking to the shops. In addition, fill up on Vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, eggs or supplements to keep your sleep quality levels up.

-Try the 5,4,3,2,1 method. It has been said that counting down from 5 to 1 in the morning will make sure you get out of bed. Our instincts thrive off of goals, so setting yourself a 5-second rule when your lying with your eyes still shut will prompt your body to make that move and lift the duvet off.