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Dark Mornings

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:20 pm
by June012
What are top tips for getting up on dark mornings and combatting the feeling of grogginess?

Re: Dark Mornings

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:22 am
by lisaartis
Hi June
Thanks for your message.
You're not alone in struggling with dark mornings and feeling groggy.

That grogginess you feel first thing is something called sleep inertia - it's because we are still in a sleep state. It usually lasts from around five to 30 minutes but it can last for as long as two to four hours. During this time you may feel like your concentration is impaired and you don’t feel as alert.

Sticking to a regular wake up time helps as we have less feelings of grogginess by waking up naturally. Being rudely awakened from sleep means our melatonin (sleep hormone) levels are still high causing sleepiness. Natural light is a great way of suppressing melatonin levels and reducing sleep inertia to make you wake feeling more refreshed.

Light will also help you on the dark mornings. When it's dark our melatonin levels increase so in a morning when it's still dark our melatonin is still high which is why we find it harder to get out of bed.
Things you can do include opening the curtains straight away, that natural light will start to come through and help reset your body clock - also turn a light on in your bedroom. Have a shower to wake yourself up. If possible, try to get outside for a quick morning walk. If you really do struggle to get out of bed, you could try using a light box or a sunshine alarm clock which gets brighter and helps you to wake up.

Hope that helps.