How to Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

Three Parts:Learning to Avoid the Snooze ButtonInvesting in TechnologyUnderstanding Sleep

Hitting the snooze button to gain an extra 10 minutes of sleep is a temptation for many. However, repeatedly hitting snoozes interrupts your sleep cycle and can result in you feeling more tired throughout the day. There are a variety of ways you can adjust your lifestyle to resist the temptation to hit the snooze button each morning.

Part 1
Learning to Avoid the Snooze Button

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    Improve your own sleep habits. Our bodies are good at regulating sleep/wake cycles on their own. Improving sleep schedules and practicing good sleep hygiene can result in us feeling more rested in the morning. This means we're less likely to reach for the snooze button when the morning comes.
    • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including weekends. Our bodies will begin to adjust to that sleep cycle and begin moving into lighter stages of sleep in preparation for our alarm. In fact, if you're on a regular sleep cycle you may end up waking up before your alarm goes off at all.[1]
    • Avoid eating heavy protein-based meals before bed. Protein is harder for the body to digest, which can keep you up at night. Some studies indicate whole grains might promote sleep.[2]
    • Avoid the TV and the computer Blue light emitted by many electronic devices energizes our brain and makes sleeping difficult. You should strive to power off all electronic devices an hour before you aim to go to sleep.[3]
    • While alcohol can make you sleepy, drinking before bed decreases the amount of REM sleep you experience. This means when morning comes you're more tired, which might result in reaching for the snooze button.[4]
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    Expose yourself to light. Our circadian clocks are wired to wake us up in the presence of sunlight. Exposure to natural or artificial light early in the mornings can help us feel energized at the beginning of the day. This can help us get up and get moving rather than hitting snooze.[5]
    • Try opening your blinds or curtains as soon as you wake up. You could even leave curtains open overnight so the natural sunlight creeps in gradually as morning comes.
    • If you don't have a window near your bed, try flipping a light switch on immediately. If you share a bedroom with a significant other or roommate, try immediately leaving the bedroom and turning a light on in the hallway.
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    Manipulate your alarm clock. Oftentimes, we press the snooze button out of convenience. If you change where your alarm clock is set up, this might reduce your likelihood of pressing snooze in the morning.
    • Set up your alarm clock on other side of room. Simply having to get up, cross the room, and turn the alarm off sometimes wakes us up enough that we do not want to go back to sleep.[6]
    • Set up multiple alarm clocks. Having a variety of alarms you need to turn off can take extra time. This means we start feeling awake before the temptation to press the snooze button arises.
    • Adjust alarm by a few minutes. Sometimes, hitting snooze is simply a comforting habit and the extra 10 minutes are gratifying. It becomes a problem when 10 minutes turn into 30 minutes or even an hour, however. If you're really addicted to the snooze button, adjusting your alarm 10 minutes before you need to get up allows you to indulge the habit without it having too much effect on sleep.
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    Entice yourself with morning smells. If you associate certain smells with morning time, your brain might be wired to get up in their presence. Try creating scents that motivate you to get out of bed and forgo the snooze button.
    • Coffee is a morning staple for many. If you have a coffee pot with a timer, try setting it to begin brewing 15 minutes before you need to be awake.[7]
    • Peppermint and citrus fruit also have the power to wake us up. Using a citrus scented hand wash in the bathroom might motivate you to remain moving in the morning.[8]

Part 2
Investing in Technology

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    Invest in smart alarms. Smart alarms are a relatively new technology that monitor sleep cycles in order to wake you up when your body begins to enter a lighter stage of sleep. This results in you feeling less groggy when the alarm goes off, as you're physically prepared for morning.
    • Prices range from affordable to very expensive. Mobile device versions, which connect to an iPod or Android, are generally $99. Stand alone alarms are about $150.[9]
    • Some alarms attach to your wrist while others involve the use of a headset. They monitor brain activity and sleep patterns and are scheduled to go off when you're ready to wake up.[10]
    • There is also a 99-cent app called Sleep Cycle, which analyzes sleep patterns using an algorithm. The app may be less accurate, however, than more expensive devices.[11]
    • There are some phone apps in which you can only deactivate an alarm by completing a math problem or vigorously shaking the phone. Such activities might help wake you up in the morning, meaning you're less likely to press snooze and fall back to sleep.
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    Buy a Clocky alarm. A Clocky alarm clock is a robotic clock that moves around the room when the alarm goes off. You have to chase and catch Clocky in order to turn the alarm off, and while there is a snooze option it can be disabled. Clocky costs around $40, but can be more or less depending on the retailer.[12]
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    Get a sunrise simulating alarm clock. As stated, sunlight can help get you out of bed fast. If your bedroom is not near a window, a sunrise simulating alarm clock can be a big help.
    • Sunrise simulating alarm clocks come with a built in light that gradually brighten in the hours before an alarm is scheduled to go off.[13]
    • Sunlight alarms are ideal for people who are already the morning type. If you have existing issues waking up, the sunlight alarm is not likely to have any major effects on your sleep cycle.[14]

Part 3
Understanding Sleep

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    Familiarize yourself with the different stages of sleep. The reason the snooze button can be bad for rest is related to the different stages of sleep. Alarms often interrupt the brain during crucial moments of rest. This drives your desire to hit the snooze button.
    • REM sleep is the deepest stage of sleep during the sleep cycle. The body has a natural clock that regulates sleeping and waking, and about an hour before we need to be up we start moving out of REM sleep in preparation for morning. Sleep gets lighter, body temperature rises, and hormones designed to spark energy are released.[15]
    • If we don't have a normal sleep/wake cycle, our alarm clocks often cut REM sleep short and we wake up before our bodies have begun preparing for the morning. This often results in people feeling tired or jolted, and hitting the snooze button for added sleep.[16]
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    Understand how the snooze button affects sleep. Sometimes, with sleep, less is more. Oftentimes, especially if we do not have a regular sleep/wake cycle, hitting the snooze button results in us feeling more tired.
    • If you wake up during REM sleep and then hit the snooze button, you may return to deep sleep mode. Waking from deep sleep mode before moving through a lighter stage of sleep shocks our bodies. Hitting the snooze button doubles the impact, causing feelings of grogginess later in the day.[17]
    • It's better to set your alarm for the actual time you get up and allow yourself to get the REM hours uninterrupted. If your alarm is set for 8AM but you always end up hitting snooze until 8:20, for example, just set your alarm for 8:20.[18]
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    Learn why good sleeping habits are important. While there is no scientific consensus on the exact reasons humans sleep, the effects poor sleep habits have on the mind and body are well documented. Understanding the consequences of poor quality sleep serves as a great motivator to eliminate the snooze button.
    • Our brains prep for the coming day when we sleep and high quality sleep aids in memory, learning, and problem solving. Sleep deficiency can alter activity in certain portions of the brain, leading to issues with concentration, controlling your emotions, and making decisions.[19]
    • Physically, not sleeping can take a toll on our bodies. Risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke increase with poor sleeping habits. Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity and causes hormonal imbalances that trigger hunger, fatigue, and mood swings.[20]


  • To motivate yourself, consider setting aside some early-morning me time in which you do something you love for 20 minutes.
  • If you have a pet, keep them out of your bed at night.


  • Be careful of over the counter sleep aids. They carry a risk of dependency and can be dangerous in high amounts.
  • If you have consistent trouble falling asleep or getting up that does not improve with lifestyle adjustments, see a health professional. You want to make sure your sleep patterns are not caused by an underlying health issue.

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Categories: Improving Waking Up