So you set you alarm, full of motivation, and go to bed.
One minute later (well, really, it’s more like 6 hours, but sometimes the night seems so short), the alarm rings.
You completely forgot your life changing resolution, and as usually hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.
Some would say “Epiiiic Faiiiil”. I will also say it, since this situation happens to me every single morning. And I decided to change this.
Hitting The Snooze Button Is Bad
10 years ago, a survey uncovered that more than a third of American adults hit the snooze button at least three times each morning. At that time, digital alarm clocks would set the snooze time to 9 minutes. Three times in a row are 27 minutes each day, or in other words, 14 hours a month.
14 hours a month of extra sleep, awesome, no? Well, wrong, it’s not as beneficial as it seems. Actually, you should consider this as 14 hours wasted a month.
I won’t enter in the biological reasons here, because this post on Gizmodo explains very well why the snooze button is running your sleep, and sums up in a comprehensive way the chemistry involved. For the concrete consequences on your mind and body, here they are:
· Whatever “sleep” you get after hitting the snooze button will not be effective for your body.
· It is a way of procrastinating and admitting that your life is not worth waking for. Unconsciously, your mind knows this and you prepare it for the day in a negative way. Although you might have a dreadful job, there is always a good reason to wake up. It might be spending time with your kids, looking at the nice colors of the sunrise, enjoying the birds singing …
· Except if you are doing it just as a bad habit, it probably means you need more sleep. Bottom line, you need to go to bed earlier. And get some good sleep. Studies show that people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Find your needs. A good way to find out is try to wake up without an alarm and find out after how many hours you “naturally” wake up (you can check here on ways to do this)
· The alarm clock sound is annoying and disruptive enough. You associate it with stress, going to work, traffic jam… Not a good way to start the day, duh… And if it’s so annoying… well, hearing it a second or third time in 30 minutes will make things eventually get worse.
· Whatever was planned in those 10 or 30 minutes of snoozing will have to be done later. Or most probably postponed to the following day. Not so much for productivity, right?
Some techniques to help you stop hitting that evil button.
However, you are not a lost cause. Nothing is impossible, and even the worst habits can be changed (well, at least in my case that is one of my worst habits).
Hitting the Snooze Button is one of my worst habits, I’ll admit it. In my never ending quest for improvement, I tried many techniques to stop this, and among them, these are the ones that might work for you:
- Put your alarm clock in a different place every night (in a drawer in the kitchen, on top of your shelves, inside a shoe box, …)
- Change your alarm ringtone every night. Put a motivating music that you love. Record your own inspirational message and your voice. Record your voice saying why you need to wake up on that particular day.
- Leave your curtains or blinds open to wake up with the sunrise. Get your bed in the correct position to catch the rays of light. Waking up with the sun directly heating your face is one of the nicest sensations I’ve ever experimented – even when its 40ºC outside, I’m on the beach and the sun is burning me up… I just love this heat on my skin, don’t you?
- Plan a nap in the afternoon. It’s not the best idea, but it might make up for your missing sleep, as experts suggest. And it’s definitely less damaging than a 5 or 10 minutes morning snooze time.
- If you have a smartphone, use a math alarm that will require a math problem to be solved to dismiss or snooze your alarm clock. That one is really annoying (especially because the alarm sound will not stop until you solve the problem), and you won’t like the idea of having to deal with a math problem a second time in 10 minutes. Here is a math alarm for Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vp.alarmClockPlusDock&hl=en.
- Probably the best tips: be sure to have something to look forward in the morning : a great breakfast that you are going to cook, something work-related, going to the gym, that episode of the Simpsons on the television. You need a reason to not hit snooze, some kind of motivation. This tip is by far the most valuable one, and it has proven useful when I tried it. It might be hard to find something motivating every morning, but well, if you have kids or work a job you love, it should be pretty easy, no?
I tried all these techniques and they all worked for me for a while. But I’d eventually get used to them and they would have no more effect at some point. I guess that what I’ve been missing all along is the most important ingredient : discipline. Without any discipline, you will not get anywhere.
The No-Snooze Challenge
As a consequence, I and Lifeologist are going to engage in the No-Snooze Challenge during 28 days. 28 days of discipline. Sharing this challenge on our blogs is one of the best tricks because we go public and need to hold ourselves accountable. No lies to ourselves, no excuses.
Want to hear the details of the challenge? Even better, do you want to participate yourself and make yourself to stop hitting the snooze button? Click over here!
Nicolas Daudin is the young blogger of You, Every Second, a Personal Development blog giving effective help to people willing to change and get the best out of every second of their life.
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