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I have an annual problem - waking up for work in winter.

The cold forces me to bond with my bed and blankets a little longer, and it also makes it hard for me to get out anyway.

My average arrival time at the office during spring and summer is about 8am. In winter, it's about 9am.

How can I improve this?

  • 2
    I could suggest several strategies that aren't mind hacks, but environment hacks which would make the question on-topic. (1. use a timer to control the heater in your room. 2. use an alarm clock that simulates sunrise, or other lights on a timer to stimulate the natural waking cycle). – Hobbes May 7 '15 at 7:07
  • I agree with @Hobbes, I see no reason why this could only be solved with mind hacks. perhaps using a timer circuit/arduino to start up toaster/coffee maker. Could a space heater attached to a timer (to turn on 5-10 minutes before the alarm) help? – Tyzoid May 8 '15 at 14:37
  • You don't have to use coffee, I drink hot cocoa and that wakes me up. There are also caffeinated teas and other drinks you could use :) – Pobrecita May 8 '15 at 19:27
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I would say to:

  • Set your readied clothes next to your bed. This way you don't get so cold getting dressed. Therefore, you won't dread getting up.

  • Heat your room appropriately. If your room is cold you will have a hard time leaving the warmth of the bed.

  • Go to bed earlier. If you are rested you will be more apt to get up on time.

  • Also, start a good routine. Have something you like to do every morning waiting for you, this will make it easier to get up.

Better Answer:

  • Set a couple of alarms around the room this way by the time you turn them all off you will be awake. Have the alarms loud and set them slightly earlier than you need to get up so that you account for the time you will lay in bed. Also, drink coffee before you have to get up to make it easier. If you have to get up at 7:00a drink the coffee at 6:00a or 5:30a. Have the coffee next to your bed in a thermos.

To add to my above response and taking slightly from another answer having alarms that include light, sound and movement(vibration) help. The vibrating alarm would sit next to you, but the light ones can sit throughout the room.


In conclusion, I don't think there is any Lifehack for lack of motivation :) But I did try to help.

  • I'm not a big coffee guy but I'm going to try readying my clothes earlier first day next week and let you know how it works for me :D – Mark Gabriel May 8 '15 at 17:37
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The obvious way would be to improve your environment: get your room to an agreeable temperature before you get up. If you have central heating, this is easy: just add a programmable thermostat. You can also get electric space heaters with a timer built in.
Adding a simple timer to an existing space heater is also possible, but watch out: electric heaters draw a lot of power, make sure your timer is rated for that.

What helped me was an alarm clock that contains a light: before the scheduled wakeup time it switches on at a low intensity, gradually getting brighter over ~30 minutes. This simulates a sunrise and stimulates the natural waking cycle.

  • I'm interested with these lighted alarm clocks. Do they have a certain name to help me search around? – Mark Gabriel May 8 '15 at 17:32
  • I've got a Philips Wake-up Light. They were the first to market this concept, I've seen some other brands using the same idea. – Hobbes May 8 '15 at 18:08
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Set an obnoxiously loud and irritating alarm on the other side of your room so you're forced to get out of your bed to turn it off. After you're out of bed and have turned the alarm off, go stand in an exterior doorway or open a window and stand in front of it. The cold air will wake you right up.

  • In this case, I'll wake up and close the alarm, then run back to my bed to avoid the cold. My issue here is I stay in bed because I don't like the morning cold. Opening a window and standing in front of it is going to be something fully against my animal instincts. – Mark Gabriel May 7 '15 at 1:36
  • Would putting the alarm im a dIferent room work? – Vincent Campbell May 7 '15 at 1:37
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This is what I do and it's been working. The two issues with waking up in winter are: 1) cold 2) day light

For heat, I just set my thermostat to warm up more than normal 30 mins before waking up. I use a NEST thermostat, so it's easy to program that in.

For the lack of daylight in winter, I use a Philip wake up light. It gradually increases the light brightness to mimic a sun rising. By the time it's fully bright you will be awake and refreshed.

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