How to stop hitting the snooze button seems like somewhat of a myth when you and the snooze button are really close friends. That use to be me.
Like many people, I fell into the trap — “If I have a few more minutes of sleep I’ll feel rested and awake, I’ll just hit the snooze”. I repeated that bit about five times each morning as I continued to hit the snooze over and over. I usually didn’t even realize how many times I hit the snooze, it became an unconscious reflex, a habit.
The unfortunate part is, the nine extra minutes of “sleep” the snooze button gave me never really made me more rested. After hitting snooze several times, I didn’t feel better at all. I was groggy, foggy, and I was annoyed with myself for spending 45 minutes hitting the snooze — neither sleeping well or getting my day started.
Ditching my snooze button habit might have been the hardest part of transforming myself into a morning person. Once I learned how to stop hitting the snooze button I started to make the morning a productive time instead of a dreaded and frustrating time, and I also started to feel better in the morning.
Through some experimenting, I found eight things that help me get up and stay up when my alarm goes off in the morning. If you’re frustrated with your snooze addiction, give these a try!
1. Say your intention out loud
If I want to wake up at 5:00am and skip hitting the snooze button. I say it! Out loud. At night and in the morning. Several times.
Saying my intention out loud before I go to bed and truly believing it, then saying the same thing come morning and truly believing it, is key to how I stopped hitting the snooze button.
Truly believing that you will wake up at 5:00am, turn off your alarm, and get your day started is the most important part — and it might also be the hardest part.
The best way to believe that you’re going to wake up is to prove it, so this is kind of a chicken or the egg situation. But think about it this way — eventually (snooze or no snooze) you wake up every morning, right? So you already know you can do it, you just need to train yourself to do it after the very first alarm.
It sounds a little silly, but sometimes when I’m saying my intention I even shake my head and smile a big toothy grin to mimic the feeling of pride that I will feel when I actually complete that early morning wake up and honor the commitment I made to myself.
2. Keep your alarm clock away from your bed
GAME CHANGER ALERT. Instead of sleeping with my alarm clock right next to my bed, I moved it across the room. Actually, I moved it into a different room entirely. I keep my phone, which also serves as my alarm, in the bathroom that’s connected to our bedroom so I have to physically get out of bed to turn my alarm off.
The act of getting out of bed usually feels a little painful to me in the moment, but I’ve realized that getting out of the covers is the hardest part for me! So when I move my alarm out of reach, I’m forced to get out of the covers and I’m 75% of the way there to officially be up for the day.
Bonus: putting my alarm in the bathroom is especially helpful because it helps me transition right into my next strategy for how to stop hitting the snooze button.
3. Brush your teeth and splash some water on your face asap
Since I’m already in the bathroom turning off my alarm, it’s a perfect chance to give my body yet another sign that it’s time to start the day — not hit the snooze and crawl back under the covers.
You know that minty fresh feeling after brushing your teeth? And that feeling of ahhhhh after you wash your face? That’s why I brush my teeth and splash my face with water first thing in the morning. Those two simple things are so amazingly refreshing and awakening that they help me avoid the snooze and start my day.
4. Turn on your lights!
Painful. I know. But it’s so incredibly helpful to wake my brain up and it only hurts for a few seconds. This is another reason why putting my alarm in another room, like a bathroom, is a great practice. Jeff doesn’t normally wake up at 5:00am with me and I don’t want to wake him up so I close the door to the bathroom and turn the lights on when I go in to stop my alarm, brush my teeth, and splash water on my face.
At this point my eyes and body already think it’s time to get the day started so it’s not worth turning back.
p.s. there is an alarm clock that simulates a sunrise to gradually wake you up — I’m dying to try it. Seems like turning on the lights wouldn’t be nearly as painful with this thing and a gradual wakeup sounds nice on the mind.
5. Drink a big glass of water
If I went for 8 hours during the day without drinking water I’d be cotton-mouth thirsty. And that’s exactly what we do when we sleep. We dehydrate ourselves for 7-8 hours (hopefully, you’re sleeping that long. Sorry @ new moms with infants still learning to sleep). And that’s why I always keep a full water bottle next to my bed. Rehydrating my body in the first several minutes wakes me up, gets my digestion going, and feels darn good.
Side note: I always drink a full 20 ounce water bottle before I drink any coffee. And another full 20 ounce water on my way to work. That way I’m starting my day about halfway to my goal amount of water.
6. Move your body
The worst thing I can do for myself when I’m in that vulnerable in between — do I snooze or stay up — is to sit down, stand still, or “just lay down for a few more minutes”. That is a seriously slippery slope. To get up for good, I always get my body moving!
Most days for me this means, changing into my workout clothes first thing (which I also leave in my bathroom) and getting on the bike for a workout as soon as possible. But other days when I’m not working out, it might just do a few squats or jumping jacks. When I get my body moving and get my blood flowing, it only helps me feel more awake.
7. Define your why
I truly think defining your why is the single most important thing to help you wake up early. Our brains are so incredibly powerful and can help us do amazing things or quickly put us in a rut.
I wrote a post about why defining your why is so important and motivating.
“If you’re struggling to wake up consistently every morning chances are you haven’t truly identified a good enough reason to put in the effort (pain?) to set your alarm and make 5am (or whatever time is early for you) a thing. I totally get it. It took me a while to figure out what kept me from hitting snooze and climbing back into bed.
Read the full post here…
For me it’s a combination of things — I feel better when I wake up early, I get time for myself, I don’t have a chaotic start to the morning, and, most importantly, I can be present with my favorite people after work if I put in the work before work.”
8. Set your alarm for when you actually want to get up
You might be thinking, “but I’m so tired, that’s why I hit the snooze. Isn’t sleep important?” Yes, sleep is so very important. I’m not sure about you, but when I don’t sleep enough, especially several days in a row, my body starts to shut down — I’m easily annoy, exhausted, and less focused. But snooze button sleep is not the sleep any of us need.
If sleep is what you’re after, get to bed earlier and/or set your alarm later. On most days, I go to bed between 9pm – 9:30pm get up at 5am. But on days when I go to bed late, I wake up later. I don’t force myself to wake up at 5am under any circumstances, that’s not sustainable, happens!
If you really aren’t going to wake up at 5am when the alarm goes off and you’re just going to hit the snooze over and over, set your alarm later so there’s no time to hit the snooze and just get up. You’ll get much better sleep than the 9 minute intervals your snooze button provides.
Now you know how to stop hitting the snooze button
But you still have to do it!
If I reflect on the days that I have a hard time waking up, it’s because I don’t stay disciplined to working through this list. Some of them might feel silly at first, but I promise they are helpful. I’m not saying you have to do all of these to make it work — just try a few of these (and maybe a few of your own) and keep layering and ditching them until you find what works best for you.