Most everyone reading this wakes up via alarm. They have places to go, people to see, and weights to lift. When your alarm goes off, you get the option to make the most important decision of your day…
Do I hit the snooze button and groggily slumber for another 5 to 10 to 20 minu
tes or more, or do I get out of bed, excited for another day?
You’re probably wondering, “Most important decision of the day? Is laying in bed for an extra 10 minutes really that detrimental to my day?”
Think about another “most important” of your day, BREAKFAST. The single meal of breakfast isn’t what makes it important, it’s how THIS FIRST meal affects all the other meals behind it and how you live your day thereafter.
I’ve never eaten a donut for breakfast and then started putting on my gym clothes and prepping my salad for lunch. Maybe it’s just me, but crappy foods at the start of my day tend to lend to wanting crappy foods later in the day.
It’s the same idea behind the snooze button. “Sleeping” (I will get to why that’s in quotes later) for another 10 minutes has minimal consequences in the moment, but in the context of your entire day, it can mean the difference between reaching your goals and not.
I’m a big believer in that if you can win your morning, you can win your day. A great day starts with a great start. The way in which you wake up sets the tone for your day. Begin with gratitude and then stack onto that a healthy breakfast, time in meditation/journaling/prayer, a fun workout, and moments with family or pets and it will be hard to find a morning that can beat that.
Eric Thomas is a motivational speaker who has soundbites about seizing your day that will pump you up way more than I can. His words ring in my ears every time I get the urge to stay asleep.
“You need to know your WHY, and my WHY wakes me up every single morning! Be brave enough to write every one of your goals down. Life is going to hit you in the mouth but your WHY has to be greater than that knock down.”
“Every day you say no to your dreams, you may be pushing your dreams back a whole six months. That one single day. That one day you didn’t get up. Could have pushed your stuff back I don’t know how long. If you want to make it happen, rise and grind!”
Link to ET video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xsGehipLrU
Coach Ben Bergeron of CompTrain and coach to CrossFit Games Athletes and Champions has a similar take on the snooze button. Ben has an episode on his podcast “Chasing Excellence” called “10 Habits to Stop Having”, and the first habit he talks about going without is hitting the snooze button.
Ben ties waking up, to the principle of productivity. He says, “The very first thing you are supposed to do today is wakeup. You are procrastinating the very first thing you are supposed to do. If you do that, the cascade and ripple effect of that is huge.”
Ben continues, “Every day I get tempted by the snooze button. It’s so much warmer under the covers. But I tell myself that’s not who I am. This does reflect what you do with the rest of your life.”
I recently read, or rather listened to on audible, “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins. Her 5-second rule is not the one that helps you save the chocolate you just dropped on the floor. Her’s is about seizing pivotal moments in your life by taking action. She encourages you to perform a 5-second countdown every time you feel hesitation towards an action you feel could move your life forward in some way.
This could be reaching out to a friend. Suggesting an idea in a work meeting. Signing up with that coach. Submitting that application. And of course, shutting off that snooze button and jumping out of bed.
Simply count backwards from 5, and then perform the action you know you should do. Mel was inspired by the countdown method when watching a space shuttle launch, so the visualization of blasting off into action is one that she encourages when teaching this rule. There’s been times where I’ve blasted out of bed after reading this book and picturing the countdown myself.
She also has a section in her book about the snooze button that talks about how bad it is to try and start a new sleep cycle. How it hinders, not helps, your wake-up process. She says that any “relief” you feel from hitting snooze is a mental construct you’ve created and there isn’t any evidence that says those extra 10-20 minutes are actually helping your rejuvenation. This is why I say “sleep” in quotations because those extra minutes can hardly qualify as restful recovery.
While I’ve personally felt the blast off out of bed from the 5-second rule, and channel my why like Eric Thomas teaches, I’ve definitely felt the force to stay in bed and put off the day.
During the height of the pandemic, this pull was strong. I was hitting snooze like I’ve never done before. Knowing what was ahead of me waiting in a world full of unknowns, I opted for the known comfort of my bed.
The biggest thing I noticed was how quickly this became “a thing”. It was a little scary, and how Coach Ben said, I recognized this wasn’t who I was at all. I knew I had to change and get back to the healthy habit of springing out of bed. I feel so much better and my morning and day is so much more productive.
As with a lot of things in life, we can change our habits once we know the importance of performing the correct action. If we don’t understand WHY it’s so important to get out of bed at the first sound of our alarm, we probably won’t follow through with it for too long.
If you are struggling against the snooze, channel your WHY it’s important for you to get out of bed. Think about what a gift each day of life is. Think about who you are living for. The loved ones you support on this earth, and the ones that left this physical world too soon that you honor by living an appreciative life. There is so much worth springing out of bed for.
There are also tactics you can use to help your wake-up process. You can put your alarm out of arm’s reach from your bed so it forces you to take physical action to stop your alarm. Turn your alarm into a song or soundbite that inspires you to wake up. Do something upon waking up that your body looks forward to. When you reinforce your action with positive action right behind it, you are more likely to do more of that action in the future.
Also, if you’re a chronic snoozer, try setting your alarm for later and plan in that extra sleep time. Commit to just one alarm, no snooze, and wake up with more spark! It will pay dividends into your day.
I know this was a long post but I have one last piece of advice. Go to bed visualizing how restful your sleep will be and how good you are going to feel upon waking. The last thought you have before bed is usually the first one you have upon waking.
As someone who had two babies waking us up through the night, I know firsthand that you won’t always get the sleep you planned on. But at 3 am, you can tell yourself, “if I can just get two solid hours I’m going to feel great when I wake.” It may seem silly or insignificant but it truly makes a big difference in how you think.
If your mind has convinced yourself how great “snooze” is against the science of your human body, it can easily convince you how recovered you feel and how energized you feel to spring out of bed in the morning.
Hope you all sleep well. And wake up even better!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -Marcus Aurelius, stoic philosopher, Roman emperor.
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalm 118:24