Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning and just feel too excited about life to stay in bed?
Sometimes I fantasize what it would be like to hear my alarm in the morning, rip off the covers, and jump out of bed thrilled to embrace the day. This fantasy also includes me getting up at 6:30am to workout, shower, and make a green smoothie—all before heading to work at my dream job. Most of which have yet to fruition, but you know…baby steps.
Let’s be honest, how good does it feel to hit that snooze button? Especially when we’re cuddled up with another human, furry pet, or soft blankets. But this instant gratification might result in some unexpected issues.
Why Snoozing is Problematic
- Disrupts our REM Cycles
- Not Restorative
- Brief 5-10 minute sleeps are not enough to obtain the benefits that sleep usually provides.
- Increases Drowsiness
- Snoozing in the morning can make us more sleepy during the day than if we woke up right away.
- Confuses our Brain and Body
- Our body does all these cool things when we sleep like release chemicals that transition us to wake up. When we snooze our alarm, we interrupt this waking process and our brain can get confused transitioning to and from sleep states so rapidly.
- Wastes Time
- Those precious morning minutes spent snoozing our alarms means less time spent on positive and productive self-care activities such as eating, stretching, meditating, or actually getting to work on time.
Recently, I started noticing how groggy and tired I felt repeatedly snoozing my alarm. Wanting a better alternative to my morning routine, I researched ways to actually wake up at that first alarm (not the second, third, or tenth one).
Over the past few months, I’ve experimented with something called alarm-clock training. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t. I’m still not quite convinced that it’s a real thing. When I google “alarm-clock training” I find a bunch of links about how to sleep train your children…
For those of us still trying to get ourselves to wake up, I present to you the “Alarm-Clock Training Protocol.” The idea is to create an automatic habit of getting out of bed at the first alarm. Hopefully, when the alarm clock goes off in the A.M., our body’s default will be to get up!
- Select a time during the day (ideally not at night)
- Set your alarm to go off in 1-2 minutes
- Lay down in bed (as you would when you’re sleeping)
- When you hear the alarm go off, literally jump out of bed and walk around a little bit (simulating how you want to get out of bed in the morning)
- Repeat 5x in a row
You can try this training protocol as often as you need. Remember, we’re instilling habits in ourselves! Creating habits requires practice, repetition, and consistency.
My Personal Experience with Alarm-clock Training?
Short answer: pretty well, but consistency is key.
My first experience with training was successful. While it felt unnatural getting in and out of bed multiple times in a row, the next morning I actually got right out of bed. However, a week later I was back to snoozing. Not one to succumb to the challenges I create for myself, I repeated the training again and noticed a more prolonged impact. I guess it really comes down to reinforcing ourselves with successful repetitions before new habits finally become ingrained.
Although I am not perfect at always waking up immediately, I’ve noticed huge improvements in my wake-up routine. Plus, it feels rewarding to make a positive behavior change in my life. Because when it comes down to it, I want to feel excited to live another day. To me that means fully realizing, hey, I get to be alive today, how amazing is that?
Other Tips for Waking Up to Alarms
- Move your alarm clock to other side of bedroom so you’re forced to get out of bed.
- Go to bed earlier (easier said than done, am I right?).
- Get in sync with your REM cycle. Aim for at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night.
- Get consistent. A routine sleep schedule can help our bodies fall asleep and wake up with more ease.
- Right after your eyelids flutter open for the first time, think or say aloud 3 things you are grateful for. Hopefully, this will give you 3 more reasons to get up and enjoy the day.
- Create a habit to do something you love right after waking up. Mine is drinking lemon water first thing in the morning. Other ideas include stretching, eating a yummy breakfast, showering, working out, and having a fun morning skincare routine.
How do you feel about snoozing your alarm in the morning?
Also by Lindsay: Remarkably Good Confidence Advice From Vegan Comedian Russell Brand
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