Cartoon of a man in bed. One of his eyes is portrayed as a clockface, and the impression given is that he is either struggling to sleep, or thinking about needing to get up.

Getting Out of Bed

Why is it so difficult to get up?

There are a number of different factors which can contribute to difficulties getting out of bed in the mornings:

  • Low mood,
  • Feeling unmotivated,
  • Late nights,
  • The time of the year- e.g. winter equals darker mornings,
  • Continually snoozing the alarm.

Why should I care?

The consequences of struggling to get out of bed can easily and quickly spread into all areas of your life. You may find that you:

  • Are late for, or missing lectures,
  • Are isolating yourself from others,
  • Are feeling less motivated to do anything.

Our top tips.

  • Write it Down. Before you go to bed, write down a reason to get up the next morning. This can be anything ranging from a lab to attend, a seminar over zoom, an errand to run or friends to meet.
  • Plan a tasty breakfast. By having this planned and ready you have something to look forward to when you wake up.
  • Plan tomorrow’s outfit/clothes. Alleviate the pressure of thinking about what you need to wear first thing in the morning, planning the night before makes sure it is ready and waiting.
Cartoon of an Egyptian Mummy looking inside a wardrobe. On the shelves are various packets of toilet roll. The Mummy thinks "Hmmm... What to wear, what to wear..."
Cartoon from a Halloween card. Image by Mike Mozart.
  • Place your alarm clock out of reach. This way you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off (alternatively see some alarm clock apps further down).
  • Get physical. If you are able, do some quick physical activity to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. The NHS have a gentle routine (note the older fitness model – nice tartan PJs sir!). Or you may prefer something more intense.
  • Make your bed. Don’t give into the temptation of getting straight back into bed. By making or stripping the bed you are lessening the appeal!
Animated GIF of a man dressed in in black with a wizard hat. He points his wand at a bed, and the duvet rolls up. He then flings the pillows into place and stomps dramatically out of the frame.
Wizard chores by GIPHY
  • Go to the bathroom. It may be useful to run the cold tap and splash some water in your face.
  • Give yourself enough time. Not enough will make you more likely to feel rushed and stressed. Make sure you have enough time to wake up from your alarm, have breakfast and get ready. Feeling rushed isn’t a nice way to start the day.

What about Apps?

There are a number of different alarm clock apps on the market currently which could also help.

Walk Me Up (Android and iOS)
The app alarm doesn’t switch off until you get up and walk around the room for as many steps as you have pre-programmed. There’s no cheating this app, the only way to make it stop is to get up, out of bed and start walking around.

Alarmy (Android and iOS)
This app requires you to take a picture in a particular part of the house and when your alarm goes off in the morning the only way to stop it is to go back to the place you took your original picture and retake it! Obviously the further away from your bed the better in order to help with the struggle of getting up in the mornings.

If you discover or have used another app to help you, please let us know.