Quit Snoozing

Have you started to noticed the sun is rising earlier and earlier each day? I sure have! Soon enough I will be up with the sun at 5 am every morning before work for a training session and then get on with my workday or weekend.

Over the winter, I have been lazier with my morning routines and hit snooze one time. Then Another. Then again. Suddenly, I find myself rushing around trying to get ready as quickly as possible because I’m late for work.  It happens to all of us occasionally, but if you have a “snooze habit” and want to become a chirpy morning person like myself,  here are some tricks I use to get my butt out of bed when I hear that first alarm.

The Alarm Clock

We all wake up a little differently. The difference between getting up with the first sound of your alarm and hitting snooze often depends on what you hear the first thing in the morning.  Some people will say having sirens, horns, or a dreadful buzzer in your ear will wake you up.  Sure, it might wake you up, but will it wake you up in ‘the best mood’.  My alarm is the sweet blissful sound of the ‘Zelda Morning’ song from The legend of Zelda video game, it’s as though I wake up in a sunny forest with butterflies, rabbits and deer around me each morning, it instantly puts a smile on my face and easy to get up to.   I wake up happy, have a good stretch in bed,  step out, open my bedroom window blinds, look at the sky and get excited about starting another day.

The best way to reset your body clocks is via sunlight in the morning. When our retinas absorb light, our central nervous system receives the message that it’s time to get up. Exposing yourself to bright light actually suppresses your melatonin, which is a night hormone. In summer to suppress it bit by bit each morning, I get up eat breakfast outside or go out and exercise in the sun.

If you’re determined to be a morning person, you have to kiss the snooze button goodbye.  It’s better to set your alarm for the time you really want to get out of bed.  You need to mentally tell yourself before you go to bed, ‘I have to get up at this time’, rather than thinking, ‘When the alarm goes off I might get up, or I might hit snooze’.

Sometimes even the best alarm clock in the world can’t force you out of bed in the morning.  In that case, it’s time to start changing your physical environment. Most of us are familiar with the trick of placing your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.  Or try out having several alarms strategically placed, one on the bedside table, one on your dresser, and one in a nearby bathroom or unoccupied room, each set a minute apart to really get you out of bed and moving.

Your Body Clock and How to Train it

Even if you normally set your alarm for 6 am but don’t get out of bed until 7 am, you will need to train and practise getting up early, The New York Times explains:

To start, move up your wake-up time by 20 minutes a day. If you regularly rise at 8 am, but really want to get moving at 6 am, set the alarm for 7:40 on Monday. The next day, set it for 7:20 and so on. Then, after you wake up, don’t linger in bed. Hit yourself with light. In theory, you’ll gradually get sleepy about 20 minutes earlier each night, and you can facilitate the transition by avoiding extra light exposure from computers or televisions as you near bedtime.

Take it slow if you’re changing your schedule to an earlier wake time, and it’ll come more naturally to you.  I promises it does get easier. The first two weeks are always the hardest, But it’s worth it – you’re up and you’re motivated to do something for yourself that puts you ahead of everybody else who is lying in bed.