We all know the dreaded sound of our morning alarm, and while some people are just fine with waking up and facing the morning, many people hit the snooze button to delay and avoid the fact that it’s time to wake up.
While the feeling of getting an extra few minutes of sleep can sometimes feel good, especially when you don’t have pressing obligations to attend to such as work or studying, snoozing can actually be detrimental to your quality of life, and can affect your concentration, motivation and have an effect on your health by disorientating and disturbing your circadian rhythm. Many scientists believe that a regular and consistent rhythm of sleep and waking is very important to our overall health.
What’s worse is that snoozing becomes a bad habit, one that grows and feeds on itself making it harder and harder for you to wake up at the appropriate time when your alarm first sounds. It’s far more healthy to condition yourself to wake up properly when your alarm sounds than to fall into a spiral of snoozing and sleep inertia.
The quality of your sleep is much more important than the length of time you sleep for, but snoozing is often very low quality sleep and serves only to confuse you and make it even harder to actually get up when you eventually have to face the reality of the morning routine.
While it may seem very difficult to break this habit, there are several things you can do to stop hitting snooze, and in this guide, we’re going to highlight some of the best ways to break this habit and start training yourself to wake up promptly, which will have many benefits for your quality of life once you’re accustomed to it.
1. Place your alarm away from your bed
For people just starting out, trying to avoid snoozing or setting multiple staggered alarms can be too tempting to avoid.
To avoid this temptation altogether, you should consider positioning your phone or alarm away from your bed, as this will force you to physically get up and deal with the alarm. It’s much more likely that you will fully wake up and start your day once you have had to leave the warmth and comfort of your bed already, and while it may be difficult at first, it’s for the best in the long run.
This technique is great because it’s very simple and easy to implement and is highly effective. However it’s also more of a beginner technique to force yourself to break the habit, and it need not always be used once you’ve broken the habit completely and gotten yourself used to a regular sleep routine and are finding it easier to wake up in the morning.
2. Make a morning plan
Getting up in the morning is often much easier if you have a plan for exactly what you need to do once you’re awake. Having something engaging or fun to do can make this even easier and could incorporate reading a favorite comic, playing a favorite game, making your favorite breakfast, or even exercise.
All of these activities will also engage your brain and help wake it up fully, setting you up for a more alert and engaged start to your day, preventing and avoiding sleep inertia and brain fog which is often associated with oversleeping and snoozing.
Doing a little bit of exercise as soon as you wake up is one of the best ways to start your day and has a range of benefits. First and foremost, you will wake up your senses and engage various areas of the brain simultaneously as you coordinate yourself and begin to exercise, and there are also many health benefits to getting a little workout into your day even if you can’t manage to workout properly later on.
Some people like to do jumping jacks, while others prefer press-ups or sit-ups, or even yoga which can help improve your body’s flexibility and circulation especially at the start of a heavy day of physical activity.
There are even some alarms that require you to perform specific physical tasks in order to turn them off, such as the Wake N Shake alarm which requires you to vigorously shake in order to turn off.
4. Build a sleep schedule
Make sure you’re going to bed at the same time each night, as this will help your body to naturally awaken at the same time each morning, and this routine will become very strong, enabling you to become alert and fresh in the morning instead of tired and groggy.
There are many apps you can utilize to help with this today, and many of them have excellent features to track your sleep quality throughout the night as well as set alarms and monitor your sleep debt to allow you unprecedented control and understanding of your sleep habits and how to get control over them.
5. Use your other senses
While most alarms use noise to wake us up, this is actually one of the least effective ways to wake up healthily. Our bodies react more positively to changes in light, meaning that you will awaken more gradually and smoothly if you allow light to enter your room and slowly awaken you as the morning progresses.
If this isn’t possible for you, there are some alarms which don’t only use light, but also use sound and even scents to help ease your body gently out of sleep, allowing you to awaken more gradually and thus making is far less likely for you to fall back to sleep or feel drowsy as you awaken.