Wake up each morning and hit the snooze button? You’re not alone. Recent research has revealed Brits spend a collective five million hours delaying their alarms each day.
According to a new study commissioned by Naked, a third (32%) of UK adults struggled to get out of bed in the morning, with over half (58%) of UK alarm users regularly hitting the snooze button.
Although we can’t seem to shake off our snooze button habit, delaying the morning get-up leaves a fifth of snoozers feeling frustrated that they didn’t just get up, 17% more tired than when they first woke up and13% regretful of the time they lost.
It’s little wonder, therefore, that having an extra snooze can have a knock-on impact on the rest of the morning, with 9% feeling rushed to get out the door and 8% panicked about the day ahead.
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Turns out starting the morning by delaying the get-up isn’t exactly the best way to kick-start your day, with experts claiming regular snoozing can lead to daytime tiredness, lack of concentration, irritability and low mood.
“Sleep is not just one single activity – we go through several phases of sleep throughout the night, culminating with restorative REM sleep,” explains Dr Meg Aroll, chartered psychologist with Healthspan.
“When we force ourselves to wake up, we might be mid-cycle and feel an overwhelming desire to hit the snooze button.
“If you drift off again there simply won’t be enough time to go through a full sleep cycle, making you feel even more tired.”
Being caught between sleeping and being awake, and not really reaping the benefits of either is reason enough to stop the snooze, but that isn’t always easy.
For those who rely on the snooze function to wake, Dr Aroll recommends only using it once, not repeatedly, by positioning your phone or alarm clock across the room.
She also suggests opening the curtains immediately when you go to turn it off.
“Physically getting out of bed and moving around will make it less likely you will fall back to sleep, as will natural daylight,” she adds.
And if you’re trying to go snooze cold turkey, we’ve put together some clever tricks and tips to give your morning routine a boost and help you spring out of bed, zero snoozes necessary.
Consider a sunrise alarm clock
This simulates dawn, giving you a much less stressful wakening. “If you still feel sleepy, sit in another room rather than going back to bed, try some gentle stretches and connect with the natural world,” suggests Dr Aroll.
“When we wake abruptly our bodies go into the fight-or-flight stress response, which if engaged chronically over time can contribute to a raft of health problems including cardiovascular and mental health conditions.”
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Let in the light
Pull the curtains as soon as you wake or better still leave them slightly open.
“Leaving your blinds or curtains slightly open can help you ease into your day and tap into the natural light which can be a more comforting start to the day,” suggests life coach, Natalie Trice.
Breathe don’t snooze
As the alarm goes off, rather than hitting snooze and falling back into temporary slumber, Trice suggests spending a couple of minutes breathing.
“This can be hugely beneficial and calming,” she explains. Doing this can help to deal with any morning stress or anxiety about the day ahead and taking slow, deep breaths can help you feel calm and alert.”
Watch: People who struggled to get out of bed are more intelligent, study says
Hold the coffee
You might think that a double espresso is the best way to kick start your day but according to Trice it could actually put you on high alert and add to any stress you are feeling.
“It’s not a case of not drinking coffee, but a glass of water, or a warm mug of water with lemon, is a refreshing alternative to a latte and one that will help start to hydrate you and your body,” she explains.
Jump in the shower
Sure snuggling on the sofa with the dog is appealing right now, but according to Trice there are many positive benefits of a short, sharp burst of cold water.
Add to the plus points by using a shower gel infused with essential oils and throw on some music to wake you up and get you breathing.
Switch up your pre-bed routine
To avoid the dull, tired feeling in the morning which forces you to hit the snooze button, Francesca Gamble, wellbeing and life coach and co-host of the podcast Becoming More Human suggests changing your pattern of behavior the night before.
“Go to bed earlier and begin your night routine at least one hour before you intend to hit the pillow,” she says. “Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind quiet to get a good night’s sleep.
“I advise clients to have a bath before bed, switch off from technology and either read a book or use a meditation app like Headspace as a tool to help you drift off. You will wake up feeling refreshed and less likely to hit snooze.”
read more: Sleep calculator reveals precise time you should go to bed to not feel tired in the morning
Dial up your sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a set of daily habits to help you sleep and stay healthy and can help you avoid hitting snooze. Sleep Junkie’s in-house sleep expert, Christine Lapp, has some tips for improving your sleep hygiene:
Avoid caffeine after 2 pm Sensitive people may need to avoid it after noon.
Exercise in the morning or early afternoon. Exercising too close to bed increases blood flow to the brain. Extra blood flow can signal an alert to your brain telling it that it’s time to wake up.
Expose your body to natural light for at least 20 minutes a day. Invest in a lightbox to replicate the effects of the sun if you live somewhere with prolonged periods of darkness or rain.
Keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Use a combination of earplugs, and blackout shades or an eye mask if the light from streetlights gets into your bedroom. Don’t use any screens with blue light in your bedroom.
Avoid eating 3 hours before bed. Food stimulates blood flow to your stomach. The increased blood flow can alert your body that it’s time to wake up. To induce drowsiness, introduce some of the best foods for sleep into your dinners, too.
Get into a daily routine
Breakfast, self-care, yoga, walk, meditation, read. Whatever you decide in terms of a routine, mindset coach, Keryn Potts says it’s these things you can fall back on when need motivation to get out of bed and start your day.
“Sometimes we lose focus on what we are doing in life, your daily routines will help anchor you,” she explains.