It’s a love/hate relationship. The snooze button can be a wake up addiction with few rewards. But sometimes it feels so good to be so bad. In 1956, General Electric introduced what it called “the world’s most humane alarm clock,” which amounted to an alarm clock with a snooze button.
And decades later we’re still paying the price. It would be best if we didn’t need alarm clocks at all. If only our circadian rhythms were fine tuned enough for us to wake up naturally when it was time to rise. For many of us that’s downright unrealistic but you can break the snooze button habit naturally with a few helpful hints. Wanna rise and shine without snoozing? Try these 5 tricks to outsmarting your alarm clock:
1. Don’t set your alarm clock too early.
Setting your alarm clock too early deprives your body of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During REM sleep your muscles twitch constantly and your brain exhibits high levels of electric activity. Once your alarm clock goes off, you’ve already disrupted your sleep cycle, meaning that your body isn’t able to restore as it should. Avoid disrupting this much needed therapeutic sleep by setting your alarm for the latest time possible.
2. Reward yourself.
Do something first thing in the morning that you really love doing so you want to wake up. Don’t load your morning up with unappealing tasks. This way you’ll be rewarded for waking up and if you feel rewarded you start to form good habits.
3. Set your coffee maker timer.
A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that the aroma of coffee actually activated the brain. So if possible, set the timer on your coffee maker to go off right before it’s time to wake up each morning.
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4. Take it slow.
Lurching up in the morning can start your day off on the wrong foot. It’s just fine to linger in bed. Enjoy a good stretch and a yawn, just don’t let yourself go back to sleep. Keep your alarm clock across the room so you won't be tempted to hit snooze.
5. Let the light in.
Exposure to daylight convinces our inner alarm clocks that it’s time to wake up. If possible, keep your curtains open in the evening, so when the sun peaks through, you're awakened naturally. Or consider a sunrise stimulating alarm clock, if outdoor sunlight isn’t an option.
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Image: khalid almasoud