8 Loving Ways to Ditch Hitting the Snooze Button

Oh, how comfy our beds can be when the alarm goes off early in the morning. It’s hard to get out of bed. Believe me! I get it. But did you know that it can be harder for you to actually wake up if you hit the snooze button for some extra zzz’s? The reason – those few extra minutes of sleep are not quality sleep and can cause you to feel miserable once you finally do get out of bed.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, it may be a recipe for disaster when it’s time to get up in the morning. So, what are some strategies you could consider to help you get a good night’s sleep that will lead to changing the habit of hitting the snooze button?

Think about the WHY behind why you want to wake up earlier.

Why is it important to you to change your morning routine and wake up earlier? Try this exercise to get some clarity:

If I wake up at _________ time, then I will be able to accomplish _____________________

If I accomplish _________, then I will feel ________________________________________

If I feel _________, then I will be able to _________________________________________

As a Coach, one of the biggest contributors to making lasting changes is the awareness of why you are motivated to change and what is getting in the way. IF you can figure out your WHY, then it will be easier for you to commit to changes because it becomes intrinsic for you.

Stop stuffing yourself night!

You can’t tell me that if you eat a heavy meal, it’s easier for you to jump out of bed in the morning. Really? That hamburger and fries are digesting nicely while you’re sleeping … or are trying to. Actually, they are not digesting that easily because your body is at rest and having difficulty processing food. Plus, eating a heavy meal before you go to sleep can cause acid reflux. Try getting a restful sleep with heartburn!

No more nightcaps! Just stop it.

I don’t care if you become seemingly relaxed with a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail before you hit the sack. Not only does it add calories to your day, but it hampers a good night sleep for most. Having a drink or two may help you fall asleep faster, but you are robbing yourself of that deep, restful sleep. Alcohol can disrupt sleep cycles, and may cause snoring, night sweats, and more frequent trips to the bathroom. Then, when the alarm does go off, you may feel dehydrated and sleep deprived.

Create a nighttime ritual and sacred sleep space

Creating a nighttime ritual and special sleep space will allow you some much-needed time to unwind and relax in a peaceful environment.

  • Turn the TV, smartphones, laptops, and other devices off and get rid of all LED and blue light technology at least three hours before you go to bed. It can affect your sleep and possibly cause detrimental health problems.
  • Take a bath about an hour before you hit the sack. The warm water will allow your temperature to rise but you need to allow yourself time to cool off. Let the temperature drop back down. This is what causes relaxation. Otherwise, an elevated temperature can cause you to be too alert.
  • Add some lavender essential oil to that bath water or to your sheets. Studies show that lavender oil can cause “significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature” in some cases. Light some candles (just be sure to blow them out). Diffuse some oil. Create a sacred bedtime space for yourself.

Get some magnesium on your skin or in your system.

Magnesium has a calming effect on the brain. You can easily get magnesium by adding Epsom salt to that bath, or you can eat magnesium-rich foods that include pumpkin seeds, almonds and leafy greens. You may choose to supplement with magnesium but check with your doctor or health care provider to ensure it doesn’t mix with medications you’re taking. There are also transdermal magnesium lotions and oils you can rub on your skin. Plus, those transdermal applications may help with pain and soreness.

Switch out your alarm clock

The alarm clocks that beep loudly and make you jump out of bed are so 1980s. And using a smartphone alarm clock may be too tempting for some to pick up and check email or social media – which leads to restlessness because of blue light technology. And if someone posts something that gets under your skin … well there goes your peaceful transition into a good night’s sleep. Leave the phone in another room and ditch the old alarm clock. There are now a new generation of alarm clocks that wake you up more peacefully through technology that mimics the sunrise or the sounds of a bird chirping. It is an easier transition to wakefulness and alertness. Check out some of these recommendations by the National Sleep Foundation. You will be pleasantly surprised, literally.

Commit to waking up and not hitting snooze.

You have to take action and STOP hitting the snooze button. Commit to stopping. If you can get completely clear about WHY waking up in the morning is important, and commit to not hitting the snooze button, you can begin to create a new habit of waking up. It takes time to form a new habit, and the more you commit to pushing through the resistance of waking up, the easier it becomes to build new brain changes to accept the new habit of waking up without hitting the snooze button. Have you heard of Mel Robbins and the Five Second Rule? It’s a pretty amazing tool you might find useful to pushing through any resistance you experience in life.

Take time for reading, spirituality, prayer, mindfulness or practice relaxation techniques.

You can do all of the above, but if your mind isn’t calm and relaxed, it’s going to be very difficult to fall asleep at night. So, how can you calm your mind? This is very individualized for each person. What gives you peace? Is it prayer or reading a spiritual book? Do you have the ability to lay down and scan your body from head to toe to remove any uncomfortable aches or pains? Can you listen to relaxation or sleep meditations? This is one area where it may be useful to use a smartphone because so many apps for relaxation and meditation are available. But only if you can avoid the temptation to check email, social media, watch videos, and answer calls or text messages. In a nutshell, what will allow you the peace to lay your head down at night and drift into sleep? What helps eliminate the crazy thoughts of the day or helps reduce anxiety for you? Maybe it is keeping a gratitude journal – or journal, period.

Now, if all else fails … then go back to the old fail-safe of the loud alarm clock placed walking distance away from your bed. Or, try some of these other suggested techniques that allow you to be gentler with yourself.