Waking Up Is Hard To Do!

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Do you find it especially difficult to get out of bed these days? The bed is comfy cozy…. can’t we all just hit a global “snooze” button and wake up later?

Unfortunately we’ve got things to do, people to see and money to earn. So here are three helpful tips to wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed to last you ’til the first buds appear.

Nighttime “hygiene”

But before I share some “morning secrets” with you, it helps if you start modifying your “nighttime hygiene” by hitting the sheets earlier and creating some rituals around bedtime.

Unplug any computer related equipment in your room. And make sure that you do not charge your cell phone anywhere near your bed. Floss and brush your teeth, and drink some water before sleeping so that you won’t awaken at 2 a.m. dehydrated and cranky. Breathe with “Bare Attention” until you drift off (see technique below for basic instructions on how to do this).

Observe your breath as you awaken.

Wake up like a champ!

Now that you’ve established your simple sleep rituals, here are some new rituals to help you crawl out of bed awake, refreshed and un-grumpy!

1. Tune in to your breath

The first few moments of awakening we are still in a deeply sedated state of mind (unless your alarm clock was blaring speed metal to wake you!). Try to extend this tranquil time for 3-5 minutes by practicing a breathing meditation for a few minutes called “Bare Attention.”

Here’s how to do it: Notice that you are aware that you are waking up. Instead of opening your eyes and moving, remain perfectly still and let your mind become an “observer” of the way your body is currently breathing. There is no need to change or manipulate your breath in any way — simply watch your breath move in when it moves in, and watch your breath move out when it moves out. It’s as if you are a “breath scientist” studying the behavior of your own breath. This will help you to remain calm, aware and focused throughout your day.

2. Follow your animal instinct

Watch a cat or dog awaken, and notice how they actually tighten their whole body and then stretch while they are still stiffening their muscles everywhere. They literally ripple as they stretch! This type of stretching, called PNF or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, is great for people, too: It unravels and melts stiffness in the muscles and connective tissues and stimulates your cells from inside out. So, after you finish your breath work, start on what I like to call “squirm work.”

How to do it: Upon waking, channel your inner animal and imagine your body is coated in thick elastic. Press your body and limbs into the bed, sheets and blankets as if they are also made of thick elastic. Begin to move against your “opponent” (the bed-stuff) until you have wrestled yourself into a position that feels like an unnaturally “natural” shape. Encourage a deep breath into your body, and then squirm again with even more internal resistance by tightening your abdominals, buttocks, thighs and arms. It will feel as if your whole body is taking gigantic yawns. Aim to do this for 3-4 minutes.

3. Brush up to wake up

Skin brushing is a yogic cleansing technique that focuses on vigorous skin exfoliation. This is done on dry skin before a shower with a firm loofah, bath mitt or other skin brush. This brisk brushing improves circulation and gives you a lively jolt as if you’d downed an espresso.

How to do it: Step into a non-running bathtub or shower in the buff. Take a huge inhale, hold your breath and then vigorously scrub the top and bottoms of your right foot in a circular motion using a loofa, mitt, or skin brush until you can no longer hold the breath. Exhale. Inhale again, hold breath firmly, and then scrub the left foot til you need to exhale. Proceed with this invigorating breathing technique and briskly brush the remaining regions of your body in the following sequence (one breath per section):

–   right calf

–   left calf

–   right thigh

–   left thigh

–   right hip/buttock

–   left hip/buttock

–   right hand and forearm

–   left hand and forearm

–   right shoulder

–   left shoulder

–   abdomen

–   lower back

–   chest

–   upper back (hmm… better try some Yoga Tune Up® shoulder stretches!)

–   neck

This 3-5 minute sequence will flood you with endorphins, get your heart soaring and leave your skin and soul glowing! You’ll feel like you’ve just worked out, and ready to take on the day… Let us know how this works for you!

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

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Allison English

I found this blog as a link to Alex Iglecia’s about waking up more easily. I love the skin brushing sequence you list here and have been trying that in the morning as I am super-snoozer…I have such trouble waking up. I also like the contract/release that mimics how my dog and cat wake up. I looked it up because I love words and it is called pandiculation – and there is a whole science behind using this type of PNF to reset biological rhythms between sleep and awake. I do have electronics near my bed and I wonder if… Read more »


Ohhhh this opens up a brand new way or vision of this shower routine . My body feels tickelish just Reading this 🤩 thanks


It’s amazing upon waking up if you literally get out of bed without stretching you will automatically feel stiff and aches , also I notice if upon waking I start thinking of the “what if’s “ my breathing starts to quicken and so does my heartbeat. By becoming aware and practicing a few stretches and switching the tape player in your mind to gratitude , I can become heathier in my mind and my body.

Dominique Lim

Thank you for sharing these morning routines! I set my tuneup therapy balls at the foot of my bed so I roll my feet every morning and it helps me wake up!

Katelyn K Natalie

Wow, most of these techniques I never thought to do in the morning! I enjoy a good PNF before going to bed but I bet it would be even better in the morning. The skin brushing also sounds amazing. Next morning where I am not woken up by an infant I will definitely give that a try. Thanks Jill!