After a series of dark, damp mornings, many people have been struggling to heed their alarm clocks in the morning. So, FOX 9 News compiled a list of five things that can make it easier to get up and get going.
Sunrise didn't arrive until 7:29 a.m. on Tuesday, and a 2007 change in the legislation puts the end of Daylight Saving Time to Nov. 3. By then, it will be pushing 8 a.m. before the sun comes up.
With weeks of dark beginnings on the horizon, the experts at HCMC's Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorder Center shared their tips to beating the early-morning blues.
1. Light up your life
Dr. Imran Khawaja recommends adding a little more light to your life -- even if it's artificial.
"Sometimes, that can help," he said. "You turn on the bright light and spend some time around that when you are making your breakfast or having a cup of coffee. That can help you perk up a little bit in the morning."
2. Tone down the alarms
Alarm clocks are a much maligned morning staple, but they do make a difference -- but the one difference Dr. Khawaja suggested might catch you by surprise.
"I think waking up with a quick alarm or buzzing noise, that's not a good thing because your heart rate can go up really quick," he said.
According to Khawaja, for those who do need an alarm clock, a gentle sound to wake up to is better than something that sounds like a freight train. That said, in an ideal world, Khawaja says enough sleep should suffice for the body's internal clock.
"We recommend people get enough sleep so, ideally, they should not need an alarm clock," he said.
3. Brew a cup of coffee -- or two
It's a traditional pick-me-up, to be sure, but sleep experts say starting off with a hot cup of coffee can you leave the yawns behind.
While it is possible to over-do the caffeinated cups, experts say one or two each morning is safe -- and another in the afternoon won't hurt.
4. Catch a nap
Dozing for a few minutes during the day can actually boost concentration and help hold off fatigue, but experts recommend limiting the length to a half an hour.
"The length of the nap is also a problem because if you nap for one or two hours, that gets the person into more deep sleep and it's difficult to get out," Khawaja explained.
5. Get a full night's sleep
The most important step to pushing away the pillows with ease is making sure you're getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep each night.