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Five Things to Do Instead of Hitting the Snooze Button

Your alarm screeches. It’s barely light out. You reach over and tap the snooze button on your smartphone. Just ten more minutes—that’s all you need. Some mornings you may repeat this several times before you drag yourself out of bed.

And when you finally do get out of bed, chances are you don’t feel well-rested at all. In fact, that five to ten minutes of snoozing you get is stage one of non-REM sleep. It isn’t a restful sleep, and when you wake up, you won’t feel like you slept at all.

You will feel better if you can break the snooze button habit. Here are five things you can do instead:

  1. Relocate Your Alarm Clock

Try moving your alarm clock across the room. It’s so easy just to reach over and hit the snooze button. That takes away any motivation to get up. You may find that you’re more likely just to stay awake if you have to get up and walk over to your alarm clock.

  1. Try Sleeping Earlier

The simplest solution to your sleep problems could be the easiest one. If you struggle to get up in the morning, you may just need more sleep. Change your bedtime using 15-minute increments. Before long, you could find that you wake up naturally. 

  1. Use an App That Makes Snoozing a Challenge

Would you go back to sleep if you had to solve a math problem to turn off your alarm clock? What if you had to get up and take a picture of an object inside your home? There are alarm clock apps that help you stay awake. They force you to engage in mental or physical activity to get you going.

  1. Get Help from Natural Light

Your body responds better to waking up naturally than it does being jolted awake by a loud sound. If you can arrange for your room to be slowly filled with natural light in the morning, that might make waking up easier. If possible, open a blind that will allow light from the morning sun to come into your room. Otherwise, there are specialized alarm clocks and lamps that use natural light. You can add an alarm with sound if you still have difficulty waking up.

  1. Find Your Motivation

Hopefully, you have a good reason for getting up early. Think about what it is that motivates you to get up early. Maybe you’d like 20 minutes of peace and quiet with your coffee before everyone else wakes up. You could use the time to get extra work done or enjoy a podcast without disruption. Focus on that in the morning instead of your desire to go back to sleep. You might even make a little sign to place in front of your phone or clock to remind yourself.

Still Tired? Keep Investigating

Remember that grogginess isn’t normal. If you are constantly struggling to get out of bed, something is going on. You're either not getting enough rest (sleep deprivation can be very dangerous!) or getting poor or light (non-REM) sleep. If you can fix your sleep problems, you might even forget your alarm has a snooze button.