5 Ways To Stop Hitting The Snooze Button

Woman throwing alarm clock away

By Shannon Sweeney

Let’s face it: Getting up early sucks. I’ve tried for years to make myself a self-proclaimed “morning person,” but I’m just not wired that way.

My old morning routine went something like this: Sent an alarm for 6 a.m., snooze every 15 minutes for an hour, and finally drag myself out of bed at 7. From there, it was a mad rush to shower, quickly throw myself together, and leave for work with a sopping wet head of hair.

I’ve never understood how people could just wake up at 5:30 a.m. to take on their day and still have energy after work to do other activities. It wasn’t until I started doing more research and talking to others that I realized that I was approaching waking up early all wrong.

There’s so much more into waking up earlier than just setting an alarm and going for it — and that’s what took me years to realize. The reality is this: An extra 10 minutes of sleep in the morning isn’t going to help you. If anything, it’s going to make it that much harder to wake up.

If you’re looking for steps to take to help you stop hitting the snooze button, I highly recommend trying these five tips. These steps have (slowly but surely) helped me get up earlier with more energy. Trust me, if they can help me, they can help you, too.

Keep your phone off your nightstand

This might be the number one culprit of why you’re having trouble waking up early. It’s so easy to plug your phone in on your nightstand, but that also makes it unbelievably easy to hit the snooze button and roll over for an extra 10 to 15 minutes of sleep.

An easy fix for this is to put your phone on the other side of the room before bed. This will physically make you get up to turn the alarm off, which will lessen the urge to keep hitting snooze.

Use light to your advantage

Having natural light enter your bedroom in the morning is a natural way to help wake your body up. We already naturally rise with the sun, so do whatever you can to let the most light in in the morning will help you wake up.

Consider curtains that will let light in while still giving you privacy — these usually include fabric curtains that are white/ivory/off-white (light colors are usually best). Avoid blackout curtains, because those are made to keep light out (if you work at night, that’s a great option, but not ideal for what we’re talking about here).

For a little extra help in the winter when it’s dark in the morning, consider wake-up light alarm clocks that slowly light up to ease you awake. Having any sort of light in your room will naturally help you wake up in the morning!

Stop scrolling before bed

A lot of times we don’t think about the stuff we do before bed that affect us the next morning, especially when it comes to using our phones. It’s a habit for a lot of people to wind down their day by laying in bed scrolling through social media, but this totally hinders your ability to fall asleep.

When you’re on your phone, not only are you stimulating your brain, but the blue light emitted interferes with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. This will create problems when you’re trying to fall asleep, thus making you fall asleep later than you should.

One way to combat this is to set a nighttime alarm that tells you screentime is over — if you go to bed around 10, consider putting your phone away for the night around 9 or 9:15. Give yourself 45 minutes to an hour of reading, prepping for the next day, or doing something else that doesn’t involve looking at a screen. Not only will this help you be more productive, but you’ll sleep way better. Also make sure to set your phone to do not disturb!

Write your to-do list the night before

This is a tip I’ve heard from multiple people that has worked wonders for them. Stress and worrying about what you have to do tomorrow can severely affect falling asleep. When you’re trying to keep track of everything you have to do the next day, it’s no wonder you want to just avoid it all and stay in bed as long as you can.

Perhaps you can do this when you’re putting your phone away in step 3. Keep a journal or calendar next to your bed, and write down everything you have to do the next day — this will help you stay organized, and you’ll no longer have to stay up at night worrying about if you’re forgetting anything or what you have on deck for tomorrow. Bonus: Write down ONE thing you want to accomplish for the day as a goal. Trust me, it’ll feel so good to come home the next day and cross it off your list.

Having goals in mind and an organized calendar will make your mornings that much easier, instead of scrambling in the morning to run errands or to make sure everything is set for the day.

Change your morning routine to your nighttime routine

This is a small exercise I just did a few weeks ago, and it’s helped me out a lot with keeping my mornings open. A trainer I work with had me write down my usual morning routine and then had me circle three things that I could do at night instead. For me, that included making coffee (now i program my coffee pot the night before), picking out my outfit for the day, and making sure my plants are watered.

It took less than five minutes to step back and take a look at my routine to figure out what I could do to free up some time in the morning. Now, I have an extra 30 minutes of time in the morning to prepare for the day and take time to myself. What can you change about your morning routine?

You might find that one of these tips is the fix for you, or maybe a mixture of all of them will help! No matter what you find helpful, know that learning to wake up earlier takes time — don’t worry if you’re not able to get up earlier right away. Like exercising or learning a new skill, it takes training. But once you get there, you’ll find yourself waking up energized and ready to take on whatever comes your way.