6 Easy Tips to Avoid Hitting That Snooze Button
Ah, the wonderful snooze button. One of the world’s greatest, and most devious, creations known to man. For many of us, getting up in the morning can be an uphill struggle. That blaring screech of your phone’s alarm clock, ripping you from your much needed sleep and comforting dreams every morning at 7am is enough to put anyone in the mood for the day!
Perhaps you’re one of those who set a good five or six alarms each and every night, desperately hoping that at least one will wake you up? Sounds familiar? I thought so!
Don’t worry, though, I’ve been there. I know exactly how you feel; it sucks!
I know, you’d never have guessed, but I too was a serial snoozer. I was a self-diagnosed night owl, making endless excuses as to why I hated mornings. Why would anyone want to leave the comforting marshmallow of their bed? What exactly is their motivation?
However, there is hope!
I no longer have these issues. I’m up and awake at 6am every morning feeling full of energy and ready to face the day! “How do you accomplish this impossible feat?” I hear you ask. Well… it’s easy! I made six simple swaps in my life, and I’m going to share them with you today. You can thank me later.
Successful people wake up early… so I wake up earlier!
Make these six changes to your sleeping routine, and I personally guarantee you’ll never need to hit that snooze button again.
Get yourself an alarm clock
Remember those? Those things that once inhabited your bedside table before the Great Smartphone Invasion of the 21st Century. Get one of those! Try and find one that doesn’t have that evil snooze button if you can find one. If not, don’t worry — just get whatever you can find. Try and avoid backlit clocks, they can be pretty bright and actually stop you getting to sleep. That’s a little counterproductive…
Bedtime for you, bedtime for your phone
I can just picture the disbelief on your face now. Your phone, more than three feet away from you? The horror! I understand that for most of us, this is going to be the hardest change to adjust to, but it’s probably the most important of all of them.
Let me just ask you this; why do you need your phone near you while you’re in bed? You’re supposed to be sleeping!
I guarantee you, your phone is the biggest thing stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep. Even if you do have your notifications switched off and “Do Not Disturb” switched on, having your phone within arm’s reach is going to be a massive distraction.
Avoid any possible temptation by keeping your phone as far away from you as possible. Charge it in a different room, if you can! By the time morning arrives, you’ll have missed your phone so much you’ll be extra motivated to hop up out of bed and find out what you’ve missed while you’ve been asleep (hint: not much. Everyone else was asleep too).
“But Louis, what if there’s an emergency while I’m sleeping? I need my phone beside me!” Eh, not so much. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you had an emergency call in the middle of the night? Probably never!
If you have children or other responsibilities, make sure they all know your home phone number and to call it in an emergency. Problem solved!
Plan out tomorrow
If you’re anything like me, the second your head hits that pillow, you’re bombarded with a million different thoughts. I quite literally think of everything I should have been thinking about through the day… oops!
Having an active mind is great, but when your brain’s hitting you with everything from the next million dollar idea to your meal plan for the week, it’s not quite so great at bedtime.
The best way I’ve found to combat this is to get out a pen and paper, and write down my plans for the next day before I go to bed. If you do have any get rich quick schemes floating around in your head, write those down too.
This is a great way to clear your mind and help you get into a much more relaxed state before you jump into bed. It also helps get your motivation kick started for the next day; having clear intentions of what you want to achieve will have you opening your eyes and hopping straight out of bed with loads of enthusiasm.
Sleep in the dark
Melatonin is a natural hormone which makes us feel tired when night-time rolls around. This sleep-inducing hormone is extremely light sensitive, however. During the day, our Melatonin levels are very low, and when the sun goes down and darkness falls, the hormone level rises, causing you to feel tired, and less alert.
“So what’s the issue there?” You may ask. Well, most bedrooms have far too much light. Computer screens, your TV, your lamp, you name it, it could be sending signals to your brain, telling it it’s supposed to be awake!
I’ve found that lying in total darkness — and I mean total darkness — for around fifteen minutes usually helps me fall asleep with ease. Try and keep light to a minimum half an hour before you’re due to go to bed; avoid watching TV, or looking at your computer screen or phone.
Read before bed
Remember being read stories before bed? Ever wondered how kids manage to wake up at the absolute crack of dawn with a bundle of energy?
Reading helps you to relax, unwinding and resting your brain. Life can get pretty stressful, but reading a story before bed can help you to switch off from reality and distract you from your worries for the night and get a good night’s sleep!
One thing to note is that you should avoid anything that makes you think too hard. I find that reading fantasy or biographies worked best for me, but you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.
Build a routine ritual
When you’re in a consistent routine, your body can almost run on auto-pilot. Say for example, you never remember locking the door when you leave the house, but it’s always locked when you go to check it? That’s because you no longer think about what you’re doing; you’re so used to picking up your keys and locking the door, you don’t even think about it!
Train your mind to have a night time routine, and a morning routine! This can help you to prepare your mind and body for resting, and wake up with minimal fuss.
My recommended night time routine:
- Brush those teeth — I’m sure this isn’t a new concept, but I thought I’d mention it anyway!
- Drink a glass of water. We all know hydration is good for the soul.
- Write tomorrow’s plan of action.
- Pray, if you like. Or simply spend some time reflecting on your day.
- Switch off your phone and put it on charge for the night. Turn off all TVs and computer screens, too!
- Read a couple of chapters of the book you’re currently reading.
- Switch off all the lights, and close your eyes.
My recommended morning routine:
- Give yourself a few minutes for your brain to reboot.
- Drink a glass of water, there’s that hydration again.
- Re-energise your body by washing your face and taking a shower. Remember those teeth!
- Recap today’s plan of action.
- Switch on your phone and catch up on what you’ve missed.
- Start your day!
I usually follow my morning routine with a 6.30am gym workout, and 20 minutes of meditation.
Let’s have a quick recap:
Step 1: Get yourself an alarm clock
Step 2: Turn your phone off before bed!
Step 3: Plan out tomorrow’s plan of action
Step 4: Make sure you’re sleeping in complete darkness
Step 5: Take a couple of minutes to read before you go to sleep
Step 6: Put together your routine of rituals.
And that’s all there is to it! Six simple tips and tricks to help you fall asleep and wake up full of energy.