Alarm clock, Snooze

Hi. I’m Nathan Calis and I’m a snooze button addict. No, I’m not addicted to the ‘outy’ belly button women get when they’re pregnant or falling asleep after intercourse without first decoupling (thanks Urban Dictionary). I am, in fact, addicted to that button on the alarm clock that offers nine precious extra minutes of sleep each morning. In that one moment when I am woken up by my alarm, I want nothing more than to have just one more snooze. It is my drug. This is a story of my battle with the slothful snooze button.

My snooze usage started innocuously. Working as a labourer on a building site a few years back I had to get up much earlier than usual. To make the transition to early mornings easier, I decided to set my alarm ten minutes before I needed to get up so I could use the snooze button once, thus waking up slowly and luxuriously. Like any addiction, it grew exponentially from there. In no time I was setting my alarm for an hour before I needed to wake up so that I could hit the beloved snooze button 6-7 times before actually waking. Alas, the satisfaction of the snooze wore off quickly, but I was already hooked.

I am not alone either. I would bet many of you are snooze-aholics just like me. A stat I found on the internet (so it must be true) suggested that one in every three people press the snooze button an average of three times each morning. The question is: what is the appeal of the snooze? Is it that ecstatic feeling that although you have woken up, it is not time to get up and go to work yet? Is it the feeling that you are indulging in a sleep-in? Or is it simply that cocoon of comfort and warmth that is just so irresistible? For me, it is a mixture of the three.

Given the fact that the snooze period is traditionally nine minutes short, I thought it was appropriate to consider nine different techniques to breaking the snooze button addiction and waking up earlier.

1. Move alarm out of snoozer’s grasp

The most common advice for breaking the snooze habit is to put your alarm out of reach so that when the alarm goes in the morning you have to get up to hit the snooze button. The theory that getting up will be enough to wake up the snoozer sounds good but it is not universally true. Say you woke up in the middle of the night. From my experience, getting back to sleep is a piece of piss. I therefore question whether walking across the bedroom to hit snooze is going to be any different. For me, the answer was no.

2. Wake up to an uplifting song you enjoy

Most alarm clocks are cursed with the most horrendous of noises to wake up to. However, with many people now using cell phone alarm clocks there are several options at one’s disposal. Regardless, after a while of using even the most pleasant alarm, I end up despising the sound. The same thing happened when I tried waking up to a song I liked. Safe to say my alarm clock ruined my Shapeshifter album for me.

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3. Bribe yourself

Another common suggestion floating around the interweb is to give yourself some incentives to wake up early. Online contributors suggest buying really nice breakfasts to treat yourself for waking up early. The problem I see with this idea is that it requires self-control. Who’s to say you won’t eat the yummy breakfast once you’ve indulged in a cheeky snooze?

4.Get an annoying pet

This was one of the more ridiculous ones I found on the web. People suggested you get an annoying animal—like a child—that keeps you awake when they are awake. This seems like a drastic action and a poor reason to invest in a new pet, but the theory has merit.

5. Make a positive start

My grandfather always tells me I should shout “Hallelujah!” when I wake up to celebrate the fact that I did in fact wake up and am still alive. In saying that, I’m sure when you’re over 80 every day would seem like a blessing. Another similar suggestion was to crack a big smile when the alarm first goes off. This didn’t work for me, but could be worth your while giving a go.

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6. Talk to someone

The success of this one depends on your ability to talk whilst still being asleep. The theory goes that the brain capacity needed to have a conversation with someone is enough to wake you up. Wrong. Whilst still living in the nest, I got my Mum to wake me up. “Are you awake?”, she would yell down the hallway. “I’m awake”, I would lie back to her whilst still very much asleep. I took it as a clear message from my body that it too wanted to have an extended sleep-in.

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7. Make it difficult to hit the snooze button

If moving your alarm clock out of reach didn’t work for you, perhaps you could make it even harder to hit that magical snooze button. Common suggestions on the internet include putting the alarm in a safe box that requires a combination to get into, wrapping a bike lock around the snooze button, and buying a rascally alarm clock that hides itself somewhere in your room.

8. Make up some consequences

For those of you lucky enough to have a coffee maker with a timer on it, you could set it to make a pot of coffee for just after your alarm clock goes off. What makes this extra fun is that you keep the coffee pot in bed with you so that if you press the snooze button, you’re going to have a lot of cleaning up to do once you do get up. This sounds like a great plan, so long as you don’t mind explaining to people why you take a coffee pot to bed with you each night.

9. Make your bed uncomfortable

Some wise guy on the Internet concludes that people get addicted to the snooze button due to the warmth and comfort of our beds. Considering this, he suggests that simply making the bed less warm and comfortable would cure the snooze addiction. This technique would be likely to break your snooze habit; assuming you could get to sleep in the first place. And the time you save by not snoozing can be spent at the physio fixing your resulting back problems.

I hope that these tips will be helpful in assisting you to break your slothful snooze addiction. Just remember, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Words By Nathan Calis.

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