Aug 31 2009

How to Wake Up On Time


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Do you have trouble waking up on time in the mornings despite desperate attempts to do so? Are you afraid you might lose your job or fail a class because you can’t get up in time? While most people can simply set an alarm clock and get up at the desired time, almost everybody has trouble rousing themselves at some point, and many people frequently sleep through their alarms. If you’re chronically late for work, or if you just need to make sure you don’t miss your flight early tomorrow morning, read on.


  1. Get enough sleep. It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed after one night of inadequate sleep, and chronic sleep deprivation (a sleep deficit) makes the task even harder. Determine how much sleep you need and make sure to get about that amount each night. At a bare minimum, when waking up on time is crucial, you should try very hard to go to sleep for at least seven hours, even if you have otherwise restful sleep patterns. Your body can't "store" sleep.
  2. Get into a rhythm. Your body’s clock follows a circadian rhythm. If your rhythm is set properly, you may be able to regularly wake up refreshed without an alarm, but if it’s not you’ll wake up groggy or even sleep through your alarm altogether. Make an effort to get to bed and to get up at about the same times every day. If you work changing shifts or otherwise have to adjust your schedule, your rhythm will be thrown off for a while, but you can reset it over a few days.
  3. Adjust for your sleep cycles. The typical human sleep cycle is 90 minutes. Adjust the time you wake up or the time you go to bed so that you sleep for some multiple of 90 minutes (6, 7.5 or 9 hours, for example), and you’ll wake up more refreshed.
  4. Sleep well. Eight hours of sleep won’t help you much if you don’t get quality sleep. Minimize disturbances that may wake you up in the night:
    • Get a comfortable bed
    • Set your thermostat so you’ll sleep at a comfortable temperature
    • Reduce external noises by closing windows, turning off the TV, or using a device that generates constant “white noise.”
    • Guard against mosquitos if you are in a place where mosquito problem is , take preventive measures so you are fully guarded against them when asleep.
    • Consider getting a larger bed or sleeping in separated beds if your spouse or partner wakes you up with his or her tossing and turning. Better yet, get a mattress that absorbs motion and will not be felt by your partner.
    • Abstain from caffeine and alcohol, especially at night.
    • Read the related wikiHows for more tips on getting to sleep and getting quality sleep.
  5. Get the right alarm clock. Some people need a very loud, harsh alarm, some can’t wake up to the radio, and some find that gradual waking works best. There are even alarms to stick near you that will vibrate to awake you. Experiment to find the alarm clock that’s best for you.
  6. Position your alarm clock so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. It’s quite common to reach over to the nightstand, turn off the alarm, and go back to sleep without even remembering doing so. If you have to get out of bed and walk across the room, however, you’re more likely to stay awake.
  7. Set multiple alarm clocks. If you know that one alarm will not wake you up permanently, set more than one to go off. You can set them both for the same time if you have trouble hearing just one, or you can set the second to go off 5-10 minutes after the first. You may find it helps if they make different sounds.
  8. Get someone to help you. If your spouse or partner, or just a roommate doesn’t have trouble waking up on time, ask him or her to help you wake up and to make sure you stay awake. A reliable roommate might also be willing to help if you give him or her a few bucks or cook breakfast. You could also ask a friend to call you in the morning and talk to you for a minute or so until you become fully awake. If you can’t find a reliable friend who’s willing to help, get a wakeup call. Long a staple in hotels, wakeup calls to your home or cell phone are now available by subscription or for one-time calls.
  9. Get out of bed if you wake up a few minutes before your alarm rings. Because of nightly hormonal changes to natural sleep cycles, many people find that they wake up a few minutes before their alarm goes off. If this occurs, consider it a sign that you’re ready to get up. If you go back to sleep to wait for the alarm, you’ll likely feel more drowsy.
  10. Brighten up your bedroom. The body naturally wakes up faster when it’s light outside, so keep your curtains open to use the sun to help you awake. If you need to wake up when it’s dark, or if you live in a dreary, cloudy place, consider using a timer on your bedroom lamp or getting a light box or a bedside dawn simulator.
  11. Get pumped. When you wake up, get out of bed immediately, switch on some music (the more energetic the better), and get moving. Do some calisthenics or quickly go about your morning routine.
  12. Take a shower as soon as you get out of bed, alternating the temperatures between hot and cold to get your circulation going. Use shower gels with ingredients such as lemon or peppermint essential oils to help make you more alert. If a shower is not possible, try putting a couple of drops of essential oils onto a tissue and inhaling their fragrance. Some alarm clocks now have aromatherapy components built in, as well.
  13. Have a drink. Drinking some water as soon as you wake up stimulates the body and will help you stay awake. If you need something stronger, try coffee or tea. If you have trouble making it out of your bedroom without coffee, consider putting your coffeemaker in your room and setting the timer so that a cup of Joe will be waiting for you when you wake up.
  14. Use a very loud alarm like the windup clock pictured above. Place the clock inside a kitchen pot or other metal container turned upside down.


  • If all else fails, just put your alarm clock away from your bed, and extra loud. You wont be able to sleep, if you don't get up.
  • After setting your alarm clock, put it in a box, lock it with a key and put the key in the farthest corner of the house. You should be awake by the time you get it unlocked to turn it off.
  • Try placing peppermints, gum, or any kind of food on top of your alarm. When the alarm goes off, pop some into your mouth before turning it off. Just be careful about not choking, should you go back to sleep. Additionally, mint flavor can increase your alertness.
  • There are some really great gadgets out there that will help you to wake up in the mornings. Try the Puzzle Clock for example. The key is to get your mind moving, and to give yourself a chance to remember that you don't want to go back to sleep!
  • There are some clocks out there that have a part that either flies or rolls around, and in order to shut the alarm off, you have to catch them and return them to the alarm base. Ex. "Clocky Mobile Alarm Clock" or "Blowfly Alarm Clock"
  • If you know that you find it difficult to function in the mornings, prepare as much as you can the night before, so that you have less to worry about when you wake up.
  • Before you go to sleep, try telling yourself what time you want to wake up. It may sound strange, but often works.
  • You might want to give yourself a tiny boost in the morning by having something to look forward to. It doesn't have to be something big, but just something that will brighten your day and make you want to get out of bed.
  • Splash your face with cold water. The cold water will wake you up, and you can get a move on from there.
  • Make sure that your alarm is properly set before going to bed.
  • Make sure to remember all the reasons you need to get right out of bed.
  • It also helps to have a loud alarm clock. This will wake you up rapidly and eventually your body will adapt to waking at the sound of anything.
  • A B-complex vitamin supplement may help a person to establish (or change) a natural circadian rhythm.
  • Try putting a slice of lemon next to your alarm, when you shut off your alarm, lick or suck on the lemon. That'll wake you up for sure!
  • Get a whiteboard and write down a few good things that you're looking forward to (even if it's getting home!) for motivational purposes. Also write down a few mandatory things you need to do in the morning. For example, you may need to finish typing your report. Write that down.
  • Try drinking something before you go to sleep, such as a bottle of water. By the time your alarm goes off, you will probably have to use the bathroom and won't be able to go back to sleep comfortably.
  • Make a big breakfast the night before. Put it in the fridge over night. Knowing you have a big yummy meal waiting for you will make you want to get up more.
  • Place a cooking pot upside-down over your alarm clock, and place something heavy and somewhat fragile on that, such as a humidifier with a full tank of water. When the alarm goes off, you will need some level of consciousness and strength to position yourself correctly and carefully remove the humidifier.
  • Set your alarm clocks for multiple times, perhaps each a half hour apart. First one you can safely sleep through. Second one, you should get up for if you want enough time to be well prepared for the day. Third one, you'll have to run out the door to keep from being late. Be sure to memorize which alarms signify which times and meanings.


  • Sleep aid drugs may help you to get to sleep and to get a better night’s rest, but they may also leave you too drowsy to wake up when you need to. They can also be addictive, so avoid using them if possible, especially over long periods of time.
  • Don’t go back to bed. After you’ve been up and moving for a while, it’s sometimes tempting to lie down “just for a minute or so.” Don’t do it; all your preparations will be down the drain if you fall asleep unexpectedly. Your tiredness will soon pass if you stay up.
  • Chronic difficulty sleeping or frequent tiredness may be caused by a sleep disorder or other medical condition. Check with your doctor if these symptoms persist.
  • If you drink something before bed, make sure it doesnt have a lot of sugar or caffeine. Water works best.

Related wikiHows

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Comments (4) -

9/1/2009 3:40:34 AM
Lin Hunnicutt United States
Lin Hunnicutt
I think that all of these are great.  My late wife had a very bad habit of hitting the snooze button and think if she had put the clock across the room, she would have not had many of the problems getting out the door in the morning that she usually had.
9/7/2009 7:14:33 PM
Lynn Lindahl United States
Lynn Lindahl
I just read that if you set a mouse trap on top of your alarm clock you will not likely roll over and go back to sleep!
10/9/2010 1:28:51 AM
Kelly Johnson Singapore
Kelly Johnson
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1/19/2011 4:41:06 PM
Gerry Nepal
I love this blog!
I couldn't stop reading! Good to see more people writing about health tips.
Comments are closed