How to Get Out of Bed When You Have ADHD

sleeping-690429_640Getting out of bed in the morning is an essential part of life. Many people do it without ever giving it much thought. It is just something they do, like breathing. However, people with ADHD give the topic lots of thought! This is because  it doesn’t always come easily to them and can cause considerable problems in their life for example,  late getting to work, tension in relationships and feeling down on themselves.

Here are the 3 main reasons why ADHDers have problems getting out of bed in the morning

Can’t Wake Up

Being able to wake up in the morning at a given time can be a big issue for you if you are living with ADHD. ADHD affects your sleep, which is why so many people with ADHD are chronically sleep deprived. When you have a sleep deficit your body will do whatever it can to catch up on sleep and one way to do that is to press snooze again and again.

Pressing snooze might feel like a treat or a necessity, but snoozing confuses your brain and leaves you feeling tired and fuzzy for the rest of morning.

Procrastinate Getting Out of Bed

You might be wide awake, but  having the motivation to actually get out of bed and start the day is another matter. Even if you have a logical reason to get out of bed, perhaps needing to be at work in an hour, you still seem to procrastinate getting up. It can eat away at your self-esteem and the trust in yourself.

Underlying Health Problem

Some health problems can make getting out of bed hard, such a depression. If this applies to  you, book an appointment with your doctor today and start addressing your health problem directly.

Whether you are a snoozer or a procrastinator, there are lots of sleep strategies to help with these issues. We cover them in detail in the Sleep Solutions course.  However, sometimes you need a quick technique that will work right now, while you are implementing more complex or long term solutions. This is where alarm clock training comes in!

Alarm Clock Training

Alarm clock training conditions your mind and body get to get out of bed when your alarm rings.

Here is how it works:

1) Pick a time during the day when you feel awake, for example at noon.

2) Carry out your normal bedtime routine, such as brushing your teeth, put your pj’s on etc.

3) Set your alarm clock 5 minutes from now.

4) Place the alarm across the room from your bed so you physically have to get out of bed to switch it off.

5) Climb into bed and stay there until the alarm rings.

6) When it does, leap out of bed and do an exaggerated happy jump (even if you feel silly doing it). It won’t be too hard to get out of bed quickly because you will be awake.

7) Switch the alarm off.

8) Reset the alarm for another 5 minutes and climb back into bed.

9) When your alarm rings, leap out of bed, do a happy jump and turn it off again.

10) Repeat for a total of 5 times.

11) Then  repeat the whole exercise again for a total of 7 days.

I know this might sound like a lot of effort!  However, we want to train your brain to hear the alarm develop a  Pavlovian-like response. Alarm = leap out of bed.  It will help snoozers to break their snooze button habit and procrastinators to turn off their back and forward mental reasoning.

Try it as an experiment, and let me know how you get on!

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  1. Grampa says:

    I have almost no short term memory. I forget a name quickly and can remember things only with repeated practice. yet I have become a master electrician with only sheer will. I found it hard growing up when we had no such studies for memory. even meeting girls was terrifying because I would forget their name. I met a girl that had the same name as a neighbor and I had the name in memory. I had to overcome my problem on my own. now I find I have little patience with people who dont try but just blame others.

  2. Cara says:

    Hi, Jacqueline! Thank you for the idea to retrain my brain! I might need to do that someday (so I can exercise in the mornings, perhaps?)! For now, I actually like my 45-minute pray/snooze routine (takes me the full 45 minutes to feel alert & happy enough to get up). 🙂

  3. Cassie says:

    I just read your article about getting out of bed. I am going to try that. Since you asked for feedback, heres an example of this method that worked for me before:
    I kept forgeting to lock the front door when I went over to my ex-boyfriends apartment (he always locked the door weather he was home or not, but left it open for me when he was expecting me to come over). Many times I tried to rememeber and forgot. So the next time I arrived, and my BF gave me gruff of course, I turned right around and walked back out the door, closed it, and walked halfway down the long hallway and turned back again, came inside, locked the door and sat on the couch. I did that 7 times. I never forgot to lock the door again! It really works.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your success story with us Cassie!!! Great job with your new habit and thrilled this strategy works for lots of things, besides getting out of bed. YAY!

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