Britons are being warned to brace for a sudden dip in temperatures this week as more snow is forecast to hit the UK. Plunging temperatures of -10°C overnight triggered an amber health alert, with a cold snap expected to last weeks.
With the cost of living rising, energy bills soaring, and the news as scary as ever, it’s so much easier to stay snuggled in your bed and forget about the outside world and not have to put the heating on.
With this in mind, Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay has shared seven simple tips to help you get out of bed during the “cold snap” without spending too much.
1. Don’t let the bitter cold air in
Martin Seeley said, “When you’re asleep, you probably won’t be aware of cold air sneaking in through gaps in your door or windows, but you definitely will notice when you wake up!
“Try placing a draft excluder by the bottom of your door to stop the cold coming in and the hot air leaving, or simply place a towel down instead; that should work just as well.
“Make sure your windows are closed properly too; don’t leave them on the latch. A heavy set of curtains can stop drafts of air coming through and make sure they’re drawn properly.”
2. Wear something warmer to bed, like cotton pyjamas
A simple but effective way to keep your body warm is to add a few extra layers on top of your pyjamas. If you’re going to bed with only a few items of clothing on (or maybe none at all), you’ll have to awaken to the cold morning air without any layers of protection.
Martin Seeley said, “A full set of PJs (top and trousers) and some fluffy socks to keep your toes warm should do the trick. You should opt for natural fibres when deciding on your PJ set, such as cotton. Cotton has a natural softness that creates extra comfort, and it has hypoallergenic properties if you’re prone to allergies.
“However, if you feel uncomfortable wearing that many clothes to sleep, keep some warm clothes nearby that you can grab and put on when you wake up instead of reaching for the thermostat.”
3. Make sure your alarm is soothing and calm
If you’re struggling to wake up in the cold, the last thing you want to do is set a super loud alarm, which is going to scare the living daylights out of you in the morning. Instead, you should have something that is calming and relaxing – something that will help you rise with little to no friction.
Martin Seeley said, “There are a range of alarm apps available for this kind of setting, many at no extra cost. Lots of alarms have a gradient setting, which allows you to set an alarm that builds up gradually, getting louder and louder until you turn it off. This means you get woken up gradually, rather than being bolted awake.
“If you’re already worried about the cost of living, you’re not going to want to start your day in a bad mood caused by an annoying alarm. A gradual alarm will help you rise out of bed and face the cold with bravery.”
4. Don’t try to justify staying in bed
Martin Seeley said, “We get it – there’s nothing better than wrapping yourself up in your duvet and giving yourself an extra five minutes, especially when it’s freezing on the other side of the blankets and especially when you don’t want to put the heating on. It’s good to know that mental willpower is free and can get you up and out of bed quicker than you’d think.
“We have a tendency to believe those 2–3 extra minutes in bed will benefit us hugely. Despite this, they often do more damage than good. In fact, in some cases, they can actually make us sleepier when we do end up getting out of bed.
“To combat this, you need to turn off that logical side of your brain that is telling you to justify your need to stay in bed. Plot twist: Your brain is lying to you! Don’t listen to it. Look forward to getting up and getting ready. Realise that by staying in bed, you’re missing out on having a productive morning. With the right mindset, you won’t need any of the nifty hacks in this article; you’ll be able to do it all by yourself.”
5. Have a shower immediately after waking
Martin continued, “Having a shower straight after you wake up is an excellent way to get you started for the day ahead and is one to try if you’re struggling to wake up because of the cold.
“A hot shower will get your blood flowing, warming you up and helping you face those cold winter mornings.
“Although, if you’re trying to cut costs, keep your shower time to a minimum. Give yourself just enough time to warm yourself up and then switch the water off.”
6. Have a warm breakfast when you wake up
Sleep expert Martin Seeley said, “When you wake up to cold temperatures, not only are you shivering, but you’re also going to be hungry and lacking energy. Getting yourself a nice warm cup of tea or coffee and a hot breakfast is going to heat you up and replenish your energy levels.
“To save money, you can try boiling a full kettle of water and placing the water you don’t use in a flask for your next drink. This way, you only have to boil the kettle once, and you don’t waste any water.
“If you use the oven to make yourself a nice hot breakfast, leave the oven door open when you’re done (and it’s turned off) to slowly release the heat and warm up the rest of your house.”
7. Invest in a lightbox
Waking up to dark, gloomy skies and cold temperatures can come into effect, and getting out of bed can get even harder during the colder months.
Martin Seeley suggests investing in a lightbox. He said, “A lightbox is a small, bedside table-friendly light-up box that mimics sunlight, helping alleviate the problems that come when faced with a lack of it. This can also help with your internal body clock (your circadian rhythm), letting your body know that it’s time to get up because the sun is up (even when it’s not).
“These boxes can come with an alarm clock installed, going off and lighting up when it’s time to get up, so you can wake up and jump out of bed, not worried about the cold. Adding a bit of sunlight to your room in the mornings has the benefit of improved well-being, energy, and productivity, and it is a useful thing that you need to kickstart your day.”