I’ve been hitting the snooze button for pretty much my entire life — every morning, multiple times.
It’s so much a part of my daily routine that it’s nearly a reflex.
However, I’ve read a lot of articles about the negative effects of snoozing — in short, if you snooze, you lose.
So when my editor suggested that our team try adopting a new morning habit, it was a no-brainer.
It’s been a little over two weeks since I decided to quit hitting snooze and immediately get up when the alarm goes off, and it’s been much harder than I expected.
If I were half as persuasive in other areas of my life as I am at convincing myself I can and should remain in bed, I could be an extremely successful litigator.
Trying to break the cycle
The first morning of the experiment, I tried to quit cold turkey — I would wake up in the usual way, only instead of hitting snooze, I would just get up.
Needless to say, that didn’t work. I walked into the office shame-faced, having utterly failed on Day One. I realised that I would have to significantly change my morning routine to break the snooze cycle.
After hearing about my experiment, a friend suggested that I put my alarm clock on the opposite side of the room from my bed, which would force me to get up. The following night, I set up an alarm on my iPad and placed it on my desk, which is impossible to reach from my bed.
When the alarm went off the next morning, I laid in bed, filled with anguish, for a full 60 seconds before getting up to turn it off. It worked, but I was miserable.
Over the next few days, I tried a few things that made getting up more bearable.
- Letting in light: The second my alarm went off, I opened my curtains and let the daylight in.
- Turning off the alarm and walking out of the room right away: I found that if I left my bedroom immediately upon silencing the alarm, I was able to keep that momentum.
- Absolutely no looking back at my bed: This is a death sentence.
The results were mixed.
Twice, I woke up at my first alarm, got up and opened my shades, and left my room to take a shower. Then, after my shower, I actually got back into bed to “rest my eyes.”
And worse, there have been a few times when I woke up to my alarm, got out of bed, hit the snooze button, and got back into bed. Awful.
There’s hope for me yet
I’m hoping that if I can get up without snoozing enough days in a row, it will become a habit, and I will finally be rid of this pesky compulsion.
Here are two additional strategies I plan to employ:
- A different alarm: The default ones on my iPad are all extremely jarring. I might go with an old-school clock radio so I can wake up to NPR.
- Setting a later alarm in general: I’ve continued to set my alarm to the time I would when I used to snooze several times. Perhaps just waking up a bit later will help.
Interestingly, though, on the mornings when I did jump out of bed without snoozing, I didn’t feel as refreshed as I’d thought. I felt just as groggy as I did when I snoozed a couple of times before getting up. It might be time to admit I am just not a morning person.
Either way, I still want to stop snoozing, if only to avoid the pain of waking up three times each morning, instead of just once.
Check out the morning routines of super successful people (who never snooze) in The Success Series.
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