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7 steps to defeating the dreaded snooze button

Put your hands where we can see them and back away from the snooze button…

YOUR FIGHT WITH the snooze button is won, not when you wake up in the morning, but in the work you do to prepare the night before.

Before you try to get up with your alarm here is your Snooze Academy homework to set you in the right direction.

1. Set meaningful goals

Starting each morning on your own terms and in a relaxed manner can have a big impact on your general well-being, rather than spending each morning chasing your tail and rushing out the door. It’s important to work out why you want to stop snoozing. Is there an activity you could do instead of snoozing?

Action: Take some time to think what difference stopping snoozing would make in your life. Write down what you hope to achieve.

2. Practice waking up

If you have snoozed for the last 5 years, at an average of 30 minutes per day, roughly 300 times a year, with the alarm going off every five minutes, you would have hit the snooze button 9,000 times. You have been training your body to snooze.

Action: Practice your ‘getting up routine’ during the day or early evening. Get into bed and practice getting up. This may sound like an odd thing to do, but it works. We are retraining our minds to get up when the alarm sounds.

3. Remember: Snoozing isn’t sleep

Research into sleep fragmentation and sleep cycles carried out by Dr Edward Stepanski of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago indicates that fragmented sleep like that carried out during snoozing does not provide any additional rest, and may in fact reduce your levels of rest. If you still feel tired when you wake and think that you need more sleep, then you can only fix it by going to bed earlier or setting your alarm later, but snoozing isn’t going to help you out here.

Action: Remind yourself before you go to bed that you won’t get any sleep benefits from snatches of 5 – 10 minute snoozes.

4. Get up for you

Make sure that the first thing you’re doing in the morning is something you actually want to do. This positive thing might take only 5 minutes, but will get you started and out of bed.

Action: Decide the night before what the first thing you’ll do in the morning is. For example: Write a few pages of diary, have a nice long shower or send an email to a friend overseas.

5. Alarm set-up

Your alarm, if used correctly can be a key component of your stop-snoozing arsenal.

Action: Put your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Disable the snooze alarm on your phone or get an alarm clock without a snooze alarm. Get an alarm that lights up your room in the morning (we can’t overstate the importance of this, particularly in winter). Keep a glass of water beside the alarm and have a drink as you turn your alarm off.

6. Overcome the excuses

It is cold. I still feel tired. It is raining outside. I feel like sleeping more. It has been a long week. I’m not a morning person. It is still dark outside. The alarm is really annoying.

Action: Choose which is more important to you, snoozing or getting up with your alarm.

7. Commit, declare and track progress

You know why you want to stop snoozing and you’ve followed all the steps above. Now is the time for you to commit to your goal and declare it to the world.

Action: Find a friend who also wants to stop snoozing and text or call each other in the morning. Track your progress in a notebook and stick with it through the initial difficult period.

Darren Ryan is the Founder and ZzzEO of Snooze Academy. Snooze Academy provides support to people who want to stop snoozing, through workshops and online programmes. Find out more information and join the Academy by visiting

Read: 7 tricks to waking up earlier>

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