We have all been guilty of hitting the snooze button before. For some, it only happens on those rare mornings when they are woken up during a deep stage of sleep and can barely open their eyes. For others, it has become a destructive habit that is robbing them of a productive start to their day. Hitting snooze once or twice doesn’t seem like it’s a huge amount of time lost, but it adds up to days or even weeks over the years. Fortunately there are many different tips and strategies you can implement to start defeating this bad habit, and start making the most of your mornings.
Even though hitting snooze might not seem like you are wasting much time, if it becomes a constant habit, it will add up quickly. If you hit snooze one time every morning, it amounts to over two days each year. Hit it a few times on average and you could be sleeping away an entire week or more. And the extra minutes of sleep you get aren’t very beneficial. When was the last time you actually felt more awake and ready to start your day after hitting snooze than you did before hitting it? The snooze button only provides you with a few more minutes of comfort, not beneficial sleep.
Being able to force yourself to get up right away when your alarm clock goes off takes a lot of self-discipline. Our minds are great at giving in to instant gratification right after we wake up. In order for you to resist staying in that warm, comfortable bed, and force yourself to get up and start your day, you need self-discipline. If you are used to hitting the snooze button a few times before actually getting up, you will need a lot more than if you were already in the habit of getting up right away. This is why most of the simple tricks, like putting your alarm clock far away from your bed, only work short-term. These usually work at first due to motivation. You are excited that you’ve found a new way to get yourself up, and you think it will completely change your life. Once this initial motivation fades, you fall back into your old ways of hitting snooze.
In order to create lasting change, getting out of bed right away must become a habit. You must get to the point where as soon as you hear your alarm, your first reaction is to get up out of bed, instead of having that voice in your head telling you how comfortable the bed is, and that it’s no big deal if you hit snooze just once, just this time. In order to get to this stage, your morning routine must become ingrained in your subconscious.
It’s just like driving a car. At first you had to think about everything you did, from putting on your seatbelt, to making sure you were centered in the lane. After doing this for so long, you don’t have to consciously think about doing any of this. Sometimes you get to your destination and forget the entire drive because you were on autopilot. If hitting the snooze button is this ingrained in your mind, then it will take a lot of work to change this.
To start enforcing the habit of getting up right away, you can use some of the tricks to get yourself out of bed. Put the alarm clock away from your bed so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Or if you don’t live alone, set an initial alarm clock next to your bed, and have a secondary alarm set for a few minutes later somewhere away from your bed. This way you can get up and turn it off before it starts blaring. This will at least get you out of the habit of hitting snooze right away without thinking about it.
The key to keep you from going back to bed is having something to do. At first, it can be pure reward, such as a great tasting breakfast, a recorded television show, or something else you really enjoy. Having something to look forward to can help you during the initial transition from hitting snooze to getting out of bed. As it becomes easier for you to get out of bed right away, you could try adding in something productive, such as exercise. This will boost your mood, giving you a sense of accomplish that will have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to transform your entire life in one night. Setting your alarm really early and planning to get a lot done on your first morning will almost always lead to failure. It takes time and discipline to develop this habit, and trying to do too much while starting out can lead to burnout or failure. Start out slow to ensure success.
Take Action Now: Plan out a way to reward yourself for getting up without hitting snooze. Then when you are going to bed, make sure your alarm is far away from your bed so you have to get up to reach it. If you don’t live alone, you can use the method I described above with a secondary alarm clock. When you wake up in the morning, go straight to your reward. Try going a full week without hitting snooze, and then reevaluate your reward. If it’s becoming less effective, change it. If you are getting out of bed with ease, consider adding in a productive activity like exercise. If you stick with it, hitting snooze won’t even cross your mind in the morning.