31 Days

Day 18

End the Snooze Cycle

Words by Scott Woolf

Man hitting snooze button illustration

Being a morning person is a choice. For some it's a luxury, but it's also a habit that's possible for anyone to adopt. I never thought I could be someone at the gym before work, or watching my Peloton screen illuminate a room at the crack of dawn. But a few years ago, I decided it was time to take back the morning and put an end to the shackles of the snooze button.

Don't worry, this won't become an essay against cell phone usage—I'm one of the worst offenders. But, there is a strong correlation that can hinder your ability to get out on the right side of your bed. Studies found between 70% and 80% of us use our phone as an alarm clock. Let's start the morning with some light stretching then: Get your phone away from your nightstand.

Man hitting snooze button illustration

Even if you use a traditional alarm clock, you might have a habit of relying on the snooze button. Apparently, about 57% of Americans are habitual snoozers. Which means our days are starting later than we'd planned. If you're looking to get your morning started off right and end that debilitating “just a few more minutes” mentality, try these proven methods to attack the day early. As with all habits, it takes time—some say 21 days to build them while more recent science has settled on about two months. But, if adopted properly, these steps could help the serial snoozer get up and motivated like never before.


Out of Arm’s Reach

We keep our phones next to us when we sleep, so waking up to an alarm and a dozen notifications puts us in the mindset that we're already on someone else's schedule that demands responses, replies, and more. Don't fall into the trap of doom scrolling the news, responding to that email. Find an outlet further from your bed so you're forced to (gasp) get out of bed to turn off your alarm. The first step is the first step.

Workout clothes illustration
Workout clothes illustration

Pack Prepared

Are you headed for a workout, but your partner isn't quite ready to get up? Do them and yourself a favor and take back 90 seconds right away, and don't fumble around in the dark looking for clothes. The night before, neatly fold up your gym clothes so it's the first thing you see in the morning. Having your shorts, socks, shirt and whatever else you need staring you down could be the motivation you need to get up. Don't let the pile of clothes win! Avoid rummaging through drawers and letting a distraction slow you down.

Hydration Station

Probably not a shock that water made its way on this list. But, do more than just drink it. Yes, drinking water and hydrating your body after sleeping is the best first step and gives you a head start on the day. A quick sink splash of cold water to your face can be a refreshing jolt. It's recommended to end a hot shower with a cool blast, so start the day the same way. Washing your face isn't recommended (that was part of your evening routine, right?) but a natural wakeup that will complement your other steps.


Slow & Steady

We love to make lofty goals around the new year: I'm going to run a marathon, I'm going vegan, I'm waking up at five every morning! By mid-February we're mocking our aspirational resolutions that we bragged about on January 3rd. If your stomach would have an issue immediately cutting out meat, wouldn't your body have a tough time going from 7 am to 5 am every morning, too? Start slow, and inch back your alarm a few days in a row to get into the swing of things. A 15-minute meditation or stretch once a week can lead to a 45-minute jog the next. You're trying to alter how your body starts the day, so it's easier to make small adjustments rather than one huge one.

First, Turn In

Ok, here's the part that's no fun to hear. These 10x TikTok influencers who claim to have hacked sleep and promise you're not working hard enough if you don't have a dozen revenue streams don't have a sustainable plan. We still need around seven hours of sleep a night to be our best version of ourselves the next day. So, if you're planning to be up earlier and stop snoozing, that last Netflix episode might have to wait. It'll be there tomorrow. You're essentially shifting your waking hours, but 45 minutes in the morning, getting a start on the day, is doing more than 45 minutes of scrolling through Twitter before bed.


Alarm clock

62% of adults around the world say they don’t sleep as well as they’d like and part of the coping mechanism is smashing that snooze button habitually.