How To Get Out Of Bed When It’s Cold

5 Min Read | By Sam Atherton

Last Modified 31 August 2023   First Added 16 October 2020

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Why is it harder to get out of bed when it’s cold?

Dark, cold mornings can make getting out of bed harder than it already is. Our circadian rhythm is designed to wake us with the rising sun, so the lack of sunlight during winter mornings makes things difficult. Especially considering cooler temperatures actually encourage sleepiness.

Staying snuggled under a warm duvet is a much more inviting prospect when we’ve got to get up for work or get kids ready for school. But, unfortunately, hibernating for winter isn’t an option.

Does winter affect your sleep quality?

Learn more about how the season can disrupt your sleep routine from the sleep experts on our Sleep Podcast:

Top Tips for Getting Out Of Bed When It’s Cold

No matter how cold it is outside, there are things you can do to make that wake-up routine a little easier. Here, we explore our top tips for getting out of bed on a when it’s cold:

1. Set a timer on the central heating

When it is -5C outside and you’re sleeping in a cold room, the last thing you want to do is get out of your warm, cosy bed. To make the idea more inviting, set your central heating to turn on half an hour before you get up.

Nowadays you can control your central heating from your mobile to avoid waking up cold. So, if you want to make your home even warmer and avoid sleeping in a cold room, just turn it up via your app. Martin Bennett, CEO of HomeServe recommends:

Between 18C and 21C is ideal for health and well-being and will help to ease pressure on your finances in the long run.

2. Decide what to wear the night before

If you decide what clothes you are going to wear for the next day the night before, you will gain a few extra minutes in bed. Get them out and put them by the radiator before you go to bed. That way they will be warm and snug ready for you to put them on in the morning. You could also make your lunch and pack your bag to save more time in the morning.


3. Set a calming alarm

If you have a really noisy alarm that plays the likes of heavy metal to wake you up, you will be startled awake and you will begin to resent your alarm. Instead, choose a calming alarm or tune it to a classical radio station such as Classic FM. Even if you don’t enjoy classical music it will help you to awaken gradually. This will make the waking process feel a lot more natural. We recommend ‘Norah Jones-Sunrise‘ as a great morning alarm for horrible, rainy days.

4. Put your alarm out of arm's reach

For some of us, the alarm itself is not enough. Resist the urge to press snooze one too many times by keeping your alarm out of reach so you’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off. If you use your phone as your alarm and need it in your bedroom, pick up an alarm clock that you can keep elsewhere. Just make sure it’s loud enough to wake you!

Cracked egg and toast

5. Enjoy a warm breakfast

As soon as you wake up, make yourself a warm cup of tea or coffee, and a warm breakfast such as porridge. Many studies have shown that a healthy breakfast gives you energy helping you begin your day on the right foot. A warm breakfast will also give you something to look forward to, which brings us to our next point…

6. Have something to look forward to

It’s much easier to get out of bed when you focus on something you actually want to do instead of what you must do. Try setting aside a few minutes in the morning for a ritual that will help you look forward to waking up.

Maybe it’s coffee in bed, a shower with a special invigorating soap, or reading the next chapter of a good book. If you need even more motivation, try booking an early gym class. Committing to an activity will give you that push to get out of the house on time – especially if you’ve already paid!

Whatever it is, try to give yourself something that will help you start the day right.

Related: The Best Morning Routine to Start Your Day

7. Don’t reason with yourself

This is a mistake that many of us make when our first alarm goes off.  Our 6 am brains tell us that we will feel much more awake after an extra 10 minutes of sleep (which inevitability turns into an extra half an hour!).

There is no doubt that we can find millions of excuses for why we need to stay in bed when we are tired, but unfortunately, duty calls.

Try to shut off the ‘logic’ that an extra few minutes will do you good. Make getting out of bed as soon as you wake up an automatic routine. Eventually, getting out of bed straight will become second-nature.

8. Consider buying a light box

Lumie Light


If you long for your warm, cosy bed more than usual during winter, blame the lack of sunlight. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that usually strikes during the winter.

It is thought to be caused by a lack of sunlight. Reduced exposure to light can disturb your internal biological clock (circadian rhythm) and your sleep-wake cycle, leading to poor sleep quality and a depressed mood. This means you won’t want to get out of bed when you wake up in the morning as you’ll be tired due to disturbed sleep.

Learn more about how light therapy can help you sleep.

A light box alarm such as a Lumie‘ will help to adjust your body clock by mimicking the sunrise. It will help you feel more awake in the morning and lift your mood, energy and productivity all day. Likewise, it will help you to feel ready for sleep when it’s time for bed.

About the author

More from the Sleep Matters Club