Here's how to get moving and face the day—without getting frostbite:

Programmable timers. Before you go to bed, lower the temperature on your thermostat to help you save on heating costs, then program its timer to a higher temperature about half an hour before you wake up so your room is warm.

Call on coffee. The aroma of fresh-brewed java can be a powerful incentive to rise and shine, so set the coffeepot to start perking about 15 minutes before you need to be up. You can even leave a mug in the refrigerator the night before with milk and sugar in it so all you have to do is pour and sip when you get into the kitchen.

Foot warmers. Either sleep with an extra pair of socks on or make sure your slippers or a soft rug are beside the bed. This way, bare feet never have to hit freezing wood or tile.

Open the shades. Forget drawing the blinds at night—let the sun be your alarm clock. Not only is it less jarring than a blaring radio station, the rays will warm your bedroom as the sun rises.

Crockpot oatmeal. The most filling, delicious, and healthful oatmeal is the steel-cut kind—but it can take up to a half-hour to cook. The solution? Set it to cook the night before in a crockpot. Do a test run in the daytime to make sure nine hours—even at a low temperature—won't cause the oatmeal to scald. Then put the ingredients in just before bedtime and you'll wake up to a fragrant, warming breakfast.

Dryer-warmed robe.  If you've got an understanding partner who's up before you, ask him or her to throw your robe into the dryer for a few minutes, then leave it on the bed for you. It'll be an extra-toasty treat.




Apartment Therapy