From Snooze Button to Success: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Combat Morning Grogginess

Morning Grogginess

Tired of waking up with a groggy feeling? For many, waking up in the morning is a challenge. From the moment the alarm clock goes off, the struggle to get out of bed commences. You fight the alarm clock and maybe even hit the snooze button a few times. Sound familiar?

Even after getting out of bed, you still feel groggy and unfocused. Many people struggle with getting up in the morning and feeling alert and energized. But don’t worry, there are solutions that will help you start your day off on the right foot.

Thankfully, there are science-backed strategies to combat morning grogginess, also known as sleep inertia. This post will cover these strategies and how to use them to start your day off right.

Use a Sunrise Alarm Clock

A sunrise alarm clock is a device that gradually increases the amount of light in your bedroom during the night and then awakens you with light instead of sound. By slowly increasing your exposure to natural light over time, you trick your body into thinking it’s time to wake up but you wake up in a controlled fashion, rather than a rude awakening.

This technique is effective for people who suffer from morning grogginess. It’s also more pleasant than being awakened by shrill beeps or buzzers! The best part about sunrise alarm clocks is they’re fairly inexpensive compared to other gadgets on this list (most cost less than $30). The only downside is some models require direct sunlight. If it’s wintertime where you live and there are no sunny days, then these clocks may not work for you.

Hydrate When You Wake Up

Research has shown that even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and a decrease in mental and physical performance. So, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, try drinking a glass of water instead. Rehydrating your body with a glass of water in the morning can boost your energy level and even boost your mood and motivation.

Hydrating upon awakening is smart for your health too. After eight hours with no water, your body is dehydrated since you also lose water during sleep. Drinking water as soon as you wake up helps rehydrate your body and replenishes the fluids you lost while you were asleep.

Get Natural Light Exposure When You Wake Up

Exposing your eyes to natural light in the morning can be an effective strategy for combatting grogginess because it helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm. Your body is designed to be coordinated with the natural light-dark cycle of the day.

When you expose your eyes to light in the morning, it sends a signal that it’s time to wake up and start the day. This signal helps you feel more alert and energized, and it can even improve your mood. Light exposure also suppresses melatonin, a hormone that brings on sleep.  When your eyes are exposed to bright light, your brain reduces its production of melatonin, which can help you feel more alert and awake. There are several ways you can expose your eyes to natural light in the morning:

  • Open the curtains or blinds in your bedroom as soon as you wake up.
  • Go outside and take a walk or sit on your porch or patio for a few minutes.
  • Use a light therapy lamp, which simulates the effects of natural sunlight and can improve your mood and energy levels.
  • Try to get as much natural light as possible throughout the day by opening windows and spending time outside.

Eat Protein and Complex Carbs for Breakfast

When you wake up in the morning, your body has just gone through an 8-hour fast and is low on energy. When you eat breakfast, you’re giving your body a boost of macronutrients and micronutrients that can help kickstart your metabolism and boost your energy level. But choose wisely!

Select complex carbohydrates and protein for your morning meal. Complex carbohydrates, like a bowl of oatmeal, help replenish your body’s energy stores without triggering blood sugar spikes that can make you feel tired later in the day.

Add protein too. (think eggs or Greek yogurt). It will help keep hunger away, so you’re not tempted by sugary snacks or high-calorie foods like donuts later in the day. So, have an egg with your bowl of oatmeal or a cup of Greek yogurt for more protein. So, next time you’re whipping up breakfast, don’t forget to add some protein. Your body will thank you!

Adjust Your Bedroom Temperature

Adjust the temperature of your bedroom. A cool room will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, so you’ll feel better when you wake up. Experts recommend keeping the temperature of your bedroom between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is ideal for most people because it mimics the natural drop in body temperature that occurs when we sleep.

When your body temperature drops, it signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep, so you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you can’t control your thermostat, don’t worry. You can use a fan to keep air circulating throughout the night, which can also help regulate your body temperature and improve your sleep.

Sleep in a Pitch-Black Room

Keep your blinds closed to block out light. Light exposure disrupts sleep patterns and makes it harder to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. Blue light from ambient sources or tech devices disrupts your sleep-wake cycle and interferes with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. This makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep and more challenging to wake up in the morning. Even small amounts of light exposure at night can disrupt your sleep and make it harder to get up in the morning.

Take a Cold Shower Upon Awakening

Cold water is invigorating and can help to get your heart rate going and the blood flowing. Starting the morning with a cold shower will also benefit your skin and hair, as it increases circulation and makes you look and feel more awake. Plus, the shock of the cold water can help to clear your mind and make it easier to focus. Cold showers can be a powerful way to jumpstart your day. Some research even suggests that cold showers reduce inflammation and help with stress management.


A well-rested brain is a productive brain and waking up groggy is no fun. If you find yourself struggling to wake up on time with a clear head, try these tips to get your mornings off on the right foot – with less grogginess!


  • Sarah C.P. Williams. Mild Dehydration Triggers Moodiness & Fatigue in Women. livescience.com. Published May 30, 2013. Accessed January 4, 2023. .livescience.com/36106-mild-dehydration-triggers-moodiness-fatigue-women.html
  • Effects of Light on Circadian Rhythms. Published 2023. Accessed January 4, 2023. .cdc.gov/niosh/emres/longhourstraining/light.html
  • Cold Showers vs. Hot Showers: Which One Is Better? (2023). Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-vs-hot-shower (Accessed: 2 April 2023).

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