Sleep inertia is a transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performance. (1)

There is study demonstrating what increases sleep inertia

One of the most critical factors is the sleep stage prior to awakening. Abrupt awakening during a slow wave sleep (SWS) episode produces more sleep inertia than awakening in stage 1 or 2, REM sleep being intermediate. Therefore, prior sleep deprivation usually enhances sleep inertia since it increases SWS. (1)

I am interested in what can be done to alleviate sleep inertia (rather than reducing the causation).

Finally, sleep disorders represent risk factors which deserve new insight in treatment strategies to counteract the adverse effects of sleep inertia. (1)

(1) Sleep inertia.
Tassi P, Muzet A.


Not a completely scientific answer, but a few suggestions that I'd make based on a general understanding of the sleep literature:

  • Increase the amount of sleep you are getting in general and thereby reduce sleep debt
  • Increase the amount of sleep you are getting on the immediately preceding night (i.e., both these points are that its easier to wake up when you are less sleep deprived)
  • Permit morning light to enter your room (to trigger various arousal responses)
  • Maintain a regular sleep pattern to ensure that your various circadian rhythms are aligned (i.e., sleep with temperature with arousal, etc.)
  • Set a mental alarm clock the night before regarding when you want to wake up
  • Have a consistent morning routine to minimise the need for executive control after waking.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I know you haven't cited any studies, but all the points you make are well established within research on sleep. You are also a professional in the field of Psychology & Neuroscience (although it is broad), but for that I respect your answers and approaches $\endgroup$ – user10932 Dec 4 '13 at 3:56

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