How to Gently Wake Someone Up

5 Min Read | By Laura Barns

Last Modified 7 July 2022   First Added 28 October 2014

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

Not everyone would be best pleased to be woken up to a splash of cold water whilst sleeping. Taking more of a gentle approach when waking someone up in the morning is probably the best option, as you don’t want to kickstart someone’s day the wrong way. Below we have listed gentle ways that may help wake both deep sleepers and light sleepers.

Natural Light

1. Natural light

Dr. Jeff Rodgers, DMD, D-ABDSM, D-ASBA, a sleep expert says “When you wake up due to sunlight, your body will naturally be alert.” As the day goes on, and the light gets dimmer, you’ll naturally feel sleepy again. Gradually opening someone’s curtains in the morning while their sleeping or leaving them open overnight, will help them wake up naturally, that’s why waking up to sunlight, makes it easier to get out of bed.”


2. Aromatherapy 

Smelling essential oils naturally found in plants is known as aromatherapy. Spraying scents on a pillow or around the bedroom, adding them to a diffuser or placing them in a bath can help wake someone up in the morning. Amy Galper, an aromatherapist and educator at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy recommends that “energizing rosemary, uplifting grapefruit, and clarifying pine needle oils are best for an early morning“.



Your sense of smell is strongly tied to your memory. Galper says,

If you diffuse the same scent day after day, you will learn and eventually associate that particular aroma with waking up or going to sleep.


3. Music 

Alarm clocks are a morning essential. However, there is no worse feeling than having an aggressive noise bouncing around our heads in the early hours of the morning. Instead, try setting an alarm with a song that will help wake your significant other. This method can help their brain slowly wake up, nothing too soft, or too loud, but enough to wake them up from sleeping. Songs, especially with melodies, have an energising effect, helping them feel less groggy in the mornings. Next time you’re looking for the perfect alarm, consider their favourite song and wake them up with a smile.


4. A gentle nudge

If you live with a deep sleeper, you’ll know that sometimes an alarm clock just isn’t enough to get them up and out of bed. If this sounds like your partner or grumpy teenager, then try interacting with them. Your voice should be enough to wake up most types of sleepers, as you are letting them know it’s time to wake up. And if this method fails, it’s time to give them a little nudge.

While you’re doing so, tell them it’s time to wake up for the day in a serene tone. Don’t leave the room and let them fall back asleep! Make sure you see their eyes wide open and their feet touch the floor, it is not until this moment that your mission is accomplished.

How to wake someone up romantically

Not everyone is a morning person. Making your loved ones’ morning extra special by waking them up with one of these sweet gestures can not only improve their overall mood but start them off to a better day.

  1. Play some music and prepare them a bath – if you want to go the extra mile then place rose petals in the bath water.
  2. Leave a note on their pillow – a simple ‘good morning’ is enough to put a smile on their face.
  3. Bring them breakfast in bed – eggs benedict, smashed avocado on toast, or a creamy bowl of porridge, find out their favourite breakfast food and make them a lovely morning surprise.
  4. Give them a morning cuddle – set the tone for the day and show your partner how much you love them with a big cuddle.
  5.  Give them a massage – if you’re looking for a gentle way to wake your loved one up, this is the perfect remedy. Softly rub their neck or back with long soothing strokes.

The secret to waking up feeling refreshed

Waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the day is down to whether or not you’ve had a refreshing night’s rest. Not sleeping enough, not sleeping deep enough, or sleep that is continually interrupted, often means that you’re less likely to wake up gently.

The key to ensuring a good night’s sleep is to keep your bedroom calm, cool, and relaxing. Avoid bright lights, either at night or early in the morning, and ensure that you leave a window open to avoid it getting too warm. Everyone is different regarding the light and sound level in their bedroom. Some of us prefer a pitch-black room while others can’t sleep without the ticking of a clock. Try different sleeping environment combinations until you find the perfect one.

If you and your partner continue to struggle with sleeping, consider changing your mattress. Over time, your mattress will lose support in certain areas so investing in a new one may be the answer. Waking up gently can be difficult. But ensuring you get a good night’s sleep and keeping your morning routine as calm as possible, could guarantee a nicely refreshed start to the day.

How To Sleep Better At Night


As mentioned, approaches including soothing sounds, natural lighting, and aromatherapy may gradually help someone wake up from a snooze. Others may need a little more help to get out of bed and start their day. And therefore it’s important to test a few different methods to find the best way to wake someone up in the morning.

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