Find the Motivation to Get Up | 5 Proven Techniques


Some people happily skip out of bed with the dawn chorus, a spring in their step, and a song on their lips.

However, for a lot of us, finding the motivation to get out of bed can be a true battle of wills.

If you find yourself lacking the motivation to get up in the morning, you might be wondering why and if there’s anything you can do to make your mornings easier.

Illustration of a woman with a lot of motivation to get up
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Why Do I Have No Motivation to Get Up?

We all know the feeling.

Your alarm has gone off, and you know you need to get up now, or you’re going to be late, but it feels almost impossible to get your body to move and get up physically.

This might happen only now and then.

But if a lack of motivation to get out of bed is something you deal with regularly, it can be useful to try and investigate the possible reasons behind it.

1) Poor sleep quality

One of the biggest reasons you might feel exhausted in the morning is that you haven’t had enough sleep.

This can either be because your sleep duration is too short or because the quality of your sleep isn’t good enough.

Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.[1]

If you are burning the midnight oil regularly, you might find that your average drops far below the minimum of 7 hours.

This can have a major impact on your health and is associated with an increased risk of serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

Not having enough sleep can also make you tired, irritable and lower your ability to think clearly and make decisions.

And it can make it much harder for you to get yourself out of bed.

You may be in bed for enough time to get the right amount of sleep duration,

But if your sleep is interrupted, you won’t be getting enough sleep overall, and/or you won’t go through all the sleep cycles you need to get a deep enough sleep to feel rested.

2) Your genetics

You’ve probably heard people referring to themselves as a “night owl” or an “early bird,” but what you may not realize is that these differences are actually right down to the genetic level.[2]

The theory is that we would have needed some people to be awake at all times to protect the group, so we evolved to have some people who would naturally be awake late and some people who would naturally be awake early.

Of course, this causes problems in our modern society for genetically hardwired people to be night owls because they don’t fit the 9-5 mold that our society revolves around.

Some people learn to work around their natural tendency to sleep late (and get up late) by finding ways to modify their sleep habits. In contrast, other people lean in and structure their life around their sleep cycle by, for example, finding a job that allows them to take a late shift.

3) Your external environment

Unless you live in a very rural environment, you will have to share the space around your home with other people.

This might cause problems with your sleep.

One study looked at nighttime road traffic noise and found that it increases the chances of you suffering from sleep disturbance.[3]

If you live in an area with a high level of road traffic noise, you have probably learned to block it out so that you barely even notice it anymore.

But it can still disturb you when you are asleep, even if you don’t notice the noise.[4]

Noise from appliances, flashing lights on the electricals in your bedroom, and notification alerts on your phone can all cause your sleep cycle to get disrupted.

And even a small amount of disruption can be enough to negatively affect your sleep quality and make it more difficult for you to find the motivation to get up in the morning.

4) Your mental health

One of the core symptoms of depression is a change in your sleep habits.[5]

This can mean sleeping less, including having trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, and not going back to sleep.

And it can also mean sleeping more, and finding it more difficult to get out of bed.

If you suspect that your lack of motivation to get up in the morning could be related to depression, it is always a good idea to speak to your primary care provider to see if you can get any help.

Anxiety can also affect your sleep.

A common sleep problem associated with anxiety is insomnia,[6] which is difficulty with getting to sleep and staying asleep.

This is often due to ruminating thoughts running through your head that prevent you from sleeping.

While at first glance, this could seem like the opposite problem to having trouble getting out of bed, the chronic sleep deprivation associated with insomnia can do just that.

After a fitful and difficult night, it can be tough to find the motivation to get out of bed.

5) Social jet lag

For many people, their weekend sleep habits are very different from their weekday ones.

You will probably stay up later at night and get up later in the morning on the weekend than you do during the week.

This might not seem like too big a deal, but it can lead to “social jet lag.”

We often carry a sleep debt throughout the week and into the weekend because we aren’t quite getting enough sleep from Monday to Friday.

We then try to catch up on that sleep during the weekend by sleeping more.

You might feel more well-rested, but it is actually interfering with your circadian rhythm.

People who regularly accumulate sleep debt during the week and then catch up on the weekend tend to find it much more difficult to get out of bed on Monday and Tuesday morning.[7]

How Do I Find the Motivation to Get Out of Bed?

So now we’ve looked at some of the reasons why you might be struggling to get out of bed in the morning. You’ll probably be wondering what you can actually do about it.

You don’t have to live with a lack of morning motivation.

There are many things that you can do that can help you get out of bed much more easily.

1) Have something to get up for

You might already have a reason why you need to get up at a certain time, for instance, to go to work.

Or you might want to get up more easily even without an external reason because you want to feel more productive or happier in yourself.

Finding something to get out of bed for, that you consider high value is a great way to find motivation.

Set up a routine where the first thing you do in the morning is something that you absolutely love.

It can be drinking your favorite coffee or giving yourself time to play a game that you enjoy, or it could be spending some time listening to music in your garden or on your porch.

Whatever it is that you enjoy, build it into your morning routine.

If you know that you will be able to do something that you love by getting out of bed, you can give yourself that extra kick of motivation.

2) Improve your sleep quality

As we have seen, the paths that lead to poor sleep quality are numerous and varied.

So it can be a good idea to keep a diary of your sleep or use an app on your phone to track it so that you can get a good idea of your actual sleep duration and sleep quality.

With that information, you can target your changes to any sleep problems that you may be facing.

If you often wake through the night or find it difficult to get to sleep, make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, calm, and quiet.

Listening to white noise has been found to lower the effects of external noise on sleep disturbance because it helps mask it.[8]

You can use a white noise machine or a white noise app.

Ensuring that your room is at a comfortable temperature can also help make sure that your bedding is comfortable for you.

This could include buying a new pillow that better supports your head and neck.

My favorite pillows are:

  • Iunaoo Bed Pillows – Contains a high-quality filling which provides a great support the neck and head.
  • YourFacePillow  – A pillow for Anti Wrinkle and acne. Designed to alleviate pressure on your face and skin.
  • Utopia Bed Pillows – Feels very soft and provides a good support.

3) Have a regular sleep schedule

Even though it may be tempting to sleep in on the weekend, it will be far better for you to ensure that your sleep schedule is fairly regular every day.

Going to bed at around the same time and getting up at around the same time can do wonders for reducing your sleepiness in the morning.

A regular bed and waking time can:

  • Help you fall asleep faster.[9]
  • Improve your mood.[10]
  • Decrease the risk of heart disease.[11]

4) Improve your sleep health

Having trouble sleeping isn’t just affected by the environment in your bedroom.

There are many other lifestyle changes that you can make to help you get to sleep more quickly and have more energy in the morning.

  • Avoid screens for two hours before bedtime – the blue light found in electronic screens can interfere with your circadian rhythm and make it more difficult for you to get to sleep.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal just before bedtime.
  • Don’t do any intense exercise just before bedtime but do take part in regular exercise – regular exercise can help you to get to sleep more easily but doing intense exercise just before bed can mean that you stay awake for longer.
  • Avoid alcohol – many people fall into the trap of drinking alcohol to help them get to sleep but it actually means that your sleep quality is much poorer so you will be more tired in the morning.
  • Don’t drink caffeine for 6 hours before bedtime – caffeine is a stimulant and it can stay in your system for a surprisingly long time. Keeping caffeine to the morning only can help you get a better night’s sleep later on.

5) Relax

Relaxing before bedtime can help you to get to sleep more easily, sleep more deeply, and wake up easier in the morning.

Different methods work for different people, but you could try reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to calming music.

Mindfulness is a dedicated relaxation method that can help you to get to sleep.

It is a form of meditation that involves being completely aware of yourself and the world around you in a grounded way, alongside deep breathing techniques.

It has been associated with a wide range of physical and mental health benefits, including better sleep quality.[12]

Yoga is another relaxation that can help you to sleep better.

It is similar to mindfulness in that it involves specific deep breathing techniques and awareness of your body, but with the addition of going through specific body movements during the meditation.

Yoga has been found to improve sleep quality and reduce the need for sleep aids.[13]

The Bottom Line

Finding the motivation to get up can be difficult for many reasons, so taking the time to find out what could be leading to your morning sleepiness is important if you want to do something to improve it.

You can take lots of actions to improve your motivation in the morning, including finding a reason to get out of bed, improving your sleep quality, having a regular sleep schedule, improving your sleep health, and relaxation techniques.

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