Lifestyle Organisation and Productivity Physical Health and Wellbeing

How To Get Out Of Bed When It’s Cold and Dark

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At this time of year, it’s getting darker earlier in the evening which I actually love because I think it’s cosy and atmospheric. However, the mornings are also darker. I struggle to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark, and I’m sure many others can relate to this. It’s just not very appealing to get out of a warm cosy bed into a cold room when it feels like the middle of the night!

The clocks recently changed here in the UK, which has actually made it lighter in the mornings so it’s easier to get up. However, it will gradually get darker again from now on until mid-winter. Thankfully, there are some ways to make it a little easier. In this post, I will be sharing my best tips for how to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark.

A sunrise viewed through a window. The sky is shades of orange and there is a tree silhouetted in the background.
Photo by Tarik Haiga on Unsplash

How To Get Out Of Bed When It’s Cold and Dark

Use a sunrise alarm clock

A sunrise alarm clock works by lighting up gradually to imitate the rising sun. This can be really helpful on dark mornings because the gradual exposure to light helps you to wake up naturally. It’s much more pleasant to wake up that way than to wake in the dark and turn on a harsh light. I’ve been using a sunrise alarm clock for a few years and it’s such a useful tool for getting out of bed on dark mornings.

Have warm clothes next to your bed

It’s not a nice feeling to get out of a warm bed into a cold room, so it can be extra tempting to stay in bed when it’s cold. One way to help overcome this is to put warm clothes or a fluffy dressing gown/robe next to your bed so that you can put them straight on when you get up.

Alternatively, you could wear warm cosy clothes in bed, such as fleecy pyjamas, soft jumpers and warm socks. You might opt to use a thinner duvet so that you don’t get too hot during the night. That way, the majority of your warmth will be portable, so when you get up you can effectively take your warm ‘bedding’ with you.

Related post: How to Get Warm Without Turning the Heating Up

A woman sitting cross-legged on a bed, wearing warm, cosy pyjamas and holding a mug.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Make a hot drink in a flask the night before

I often wake up feeling thirsty, but I don’t like drinking cold water when I first wake up, especially in the winter. To overcome this, I boil some water the night before and fill a flask with about 2/3 hot and 1/3 cold water (so it’s the perfect temperature to drink). I keep the flask by my bed so that when I wake up, I can have a warming drink straight away. This really helps on cold mornings! I just have plain hot water, but if you prefer, you could have tea or coffee, or herbal tea.

Put some lively music on

When you first wake up, try putting some lively music or the radio on. This will stimulate you and make you feel more energised, as well as distract you from feeling tired. Music can also set your mood for the day, so be sure to choose something happy and positive.

Get creative with lighting

Consider decorating your room with fairy lights or investing in a light projector. If possible, have the switches near your bed so you can easily switch them on as soon as you wake up. This turns the darkness into a pretty wonderland that will be more appealing to get up into.

Go to bed earlier

This is easier said than done, but it really does help. Personally, even if I’ve had 8 or 9+ hours of sleep, I still feel tired when I wake up on a cold, dark morning. However, psychologically I find it easier to get up because my brain is less likely to try and argue that I haven’t had enough sleep, because I know I have. I recommend experimenting with how much sleep you need in order to successfully get up in the morning.

Related post: My Bedtime Routine For A Good Night’s Sleep

Set up a reward system

Setting up a reward system can help encourage you to get up when it’s cold and dark. For example, if you manage to get up at the time you planned, you could allow yourself to watch one YouTube video before you start your day, but if you sleep in late, even by a few minutes, you don’t get that treat. Customise the reward to whatever will motivate you.

How do you get out of bed when it’s cold and dark?

If you struggle to get up on winter mornings, I hope this post has been useful for you and given you a few tips. Do you have any more tips or advice for how to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark? Do share them in the comments below!

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How To Get Out Of Bed When It's Cold and Dark


  1. These are great ideas! I’ve never seen a sunrise alarm clock before. I’m going to have to check that out. I love the idea of keeping warm clothes by your bed. I sleep with the heat turned down because I can get really hot at night but in the mornings it’s so cold! I’ll definitely be doing this one.

    1. Sophie says:

      I’m glad you picked up some ideas! The sunrise alarm clock is a game-changer for sure.

  2. My sunrise alarm clock is so important for my mornings. I have sleep issues already, so getting up in the morning is not fun. I’m so glad I spent the extra money on a sunrise clock a few years ago. It’s made the mornings, especially in the winter, so much easier!

    1. Sophie says:

      The sunrise alarm clocks are such a game-changer aren’t they! It’s so much easier to get up when it’s light.

  3. These are great ideas! I have to get up early to get my daughter ready for school, but I’ve been tempted to just stay in bed for an extra 10 or 15 minutes…
    Having warm clothes & a hot drink ready are things I’ll have to try

    1. Sophie says:

      It’s always so tempting to stay in bed for an extra 10 minutes, isn’t it! Having a hot drink ready definitely helps me so much so I recommend it!

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