How to avoid hitting the snooze button

First published: 03-06-2015

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Getting up first thing in the morning can be an absolute nightmare, especially if you just haven't had enough sleep. Well, we've already covered how you can make falling asleep easier, but what about the moment the alarm goes off? Here are a few of our top tips for getting up and ready to go without hitting that snooze button!

Get up at the right time

Forward planning is absolutely key. If you know exactly how long you need in the morning, you can set your alarm for the perfect time to wake you up. Over a few mornings, time how long each different task takes, and work out how long you need between your alarm and locking the door behind you.

This will ensure you're not waking up before you absolutely have to, and it will also cement in your mind that getting up on time is essential, since you will know you've given yourself the exact amount of time you need.

Regular routine

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A morning routine will help you just as much as a bedtime one, and this can involve things like having breakfast, showering, brushing your teeth, and picking out your clothes. The more rigidly you stick to this pattern, the easier your body will find it to accustom itself to mornings.

Factor in things like reading the paper if that's what you need to get you feeling really alert, and make sure you include all these things when you time how long you need in the mornings.

To really help yourself get into this routine, try sticking to this at weekends as well as Monday to Friday. While we all love that Saturday morning lie-in, it will benefit you more to get yourself up at 07:00 at the weekends if this is what you do throughout the week. The bigger the difference between when you wake up on various days, the harder you will find it to wake up on Monday morning.

Another way to save precious time is a little preparation the night before. Having your outfit already ironed and your lunch packed will allow for your morning routine to run a whole lot smoother.

How alarming

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Your alarm is one of the most important things to help you get up on time. There are a few tricks you can try here, so give them a go to see if any of these can turn you into a morning person.

Finding the right alarm is essential. Some people prefer a really abrupt, jarring sound to really shake them out of their slumber, whereas others opt for a more gentle approach, with alarms that start quiet but get gradually louder to coax you out of sleep.

You can also look for alarms that will make you perform a task first thing in the morning. Some alarms are made with wheels, so they roll off your bedside table and off into your room. This will force you to get up and retrieve it, which will really wake you up.

Alternatively, try a more quirky method. Some alarms are made in the shape of dumbbells, and will only stop making noise when you have done a certain number of reps; a great way to squeeze a quick workout into your morning routine!

If you use the alarm function on your phone, try changing the sound it makes every week or so. If you are accustomed to hitting snooze after hearing your alarm noise, chances are your body will have recognised that this is a sound that comes before a snooze. The more you change up which sounds your alarm makes, the more likely your brain is to snap into action when it goes off in the morning.

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When it comes to the alarm clock itself, make sure it is really easy to use. There is nothing worse than spending all night worrying that you've set it wrong, or that it might not go off when you need it to.

Something like this digital Braun clock is perfect, since the display is really clear, and therefore you can see easily that you're programming everything in correctly. Try mounting it on a wall on the opposite side of the room to your bed, so that in the morning you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Bright lights

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Now, we know that light can make it really tricky to fall asleep, but there is nothing better to help you get up in the morning. When light - natural or artificial - comes into your room in the morning, your body stops releasing the sleep hormone, melatonin, which helps you rouse from your slumber with ease.

If you can't bear any light when you're trying to drop off in the evening, invest in an artificial light with a timer, which you can set to gradually lighten your room around an hour before you want to be waking up, and this will make getting out of bed much easier. This is also ideal for winter mornings when you'll be getting up before the sun does!

Up and running

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Literally, get up and running. If the mornings are just a bit painful for you, factor in a pre-work run (or bike ride, or weights session, or whatever you prefer) to get you active. This will get a lot of fresh air into your system, and help you feel a bit more awake before the day begins.

If you can't face the idea of anything too active, fresh air is still one of the best things for helping you wake up. As soon as the alarm goes off, get the window open or pop out into the garden to breathe in a bit of nature's goodness (just remember to throw a hoodie on first if it's a bit chilly). We guarantee you won't be so desperate to crawl back into bed afterwards!

Get enough sleep

It might sound obvious, but you're far more likely to get up on time if you've had sufficient sleep. Follow all the advice we've given you before - a bedtime routine, not looking at electric screens before bed, etc. - and you will hopefully sleep soundly the whole night through.

Getting up in the morning isn't always easy, but if you give these tips a try you should find it less of a struggle. Stick to a routine, and hopefully you will find yourself transformed into a morning person.


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