Waking up every morning and hitting the snooze button? You’re not alone. Recent research has found that Brits spend a total of five million hours every day delaying their alarm.
According to a new study commissioned by Naked, a third (32%) of UK adults find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, with more than half (58%) of UK alarm clock users regularly press the snooze button.
While we can’t shake our snooze button habit, putting off waking up in the morning means a fifth of snoozers are frustrated they didn’t wake up easily, 17% are more tired than when they first woke, and 13% regret the time they lost to have.
It’s no wonder then that an extra nap can impact the rest of the morning, as 9% of respondents feel rushed to get out the door and 8% panic about the day ahead.
Continue reading: What your bad dreams mean and how to avoid them
It turns out that waking up late isn’t exactly the best way to start the morning, as experts claim that regular snoozing can lead to daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, irritability and a bad mood.
“Sleep isn’t just a single activity—we go through multiple stages of sleep throughout the night, culminating in restorative REM sleep,” explains Dr. Meg Aroll, Psychologist at Healthspan.
“When we force ourselves to wake up, we may be mid-cycle and experiencing an overwhelming desire to hit the snooze button.
“When you fall asleep again, there just isn’t enough time for a full sleep cycle, making you feel even more tired.”
Being caught between sleeping and being awake and not really getting the benefits of either is reason enough to interrupt your snooze, but it’s not always easy.
For those who rely on the snooze feature to wake them up, Dr. Aroll to use them only once and not repeatedly by placing your phone or alarm clock across the room.
She also suggests opening the curtains immediately if you want to turn them off.
“Getting out of bed physically and moving around makes you less likely to fall asleep again, as does natural daylight,” she adds.
And if you’re trying to nap, we’ve rounded up some clever tricks and tips to give your morning routine a boost and help you jump out of bed without the need for a nap.
Consider a sunrise alarm clock
This simulates dawn and gives you a much less stressful wake up. “If you’re still feeling sleepy, instead of going back to bed, sit in another room, try some gentle stretches, and connect with nature,” suggests Dr. aroll forward
“When we wake up abruptly, our bodies go into the fight-or-flight stress response, which, if chronically assaulted over time, can contribute to a range of health problems, including cardiovascular and mental illness.”
Continue reading: These viral sleep hacks could solve your sleep problem
let the light in
Draw the curtains as soon as you wake up, or even better, leave them a little open.
“Leaving your blinds or drapes slightly open allows you to take a more relaxed approach to your day and take advantage of the natural light, which can mean a more calming start to the day,” suggests life coach Natalie Trice.
Breathe, don’t snooze
When the alarm goes off, Trice suggests breathing for a few minutes instead of hitting the snooze button and falling back into a temporary sleep.
“It can be tremendously soothing and calming,” she explains. This can help deal with morning stress or anxiety about the day ahead, and slow, deep breathing can help you feel calm and awake.”
Consider: People who have trouble getting out of bed are smarter, says study
hold the coffee
You might think a double espresso is the best way to start your day, but according to Trice, it could actually put you on high alert and increase your stress.
“It’s not about 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 helps keep you and your body hydrated,” she explains.
Jump in the shower
Sure, snuggling the dog on the sofa is appealing right now, but according to Trice, there are many positive benefits of a short, sharp burst of cold water.
Add the pluses by using an essential oil-infused shower gel and putting on some music to wake you up and get you breathing.
Change up your pre-bed routine
To avoid that dull, tired feeling in the morning that forces you to hit the snooze button, Francesca Gamble, wellness and life coach and podcast co-host become more human suggests changing your behavior pattern the night before.
“Go to bed earlier and start your nighttime routine at least an hour before you intend to hit the pillow,” she says. “Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind calm in order to sleep well.
“I advise clients to take a bath before bed, switch off from technology, and either read a book or use a meditation app like Headspace to help them fall asleep. You will wake up refreshed and less likely to nap.”
Continue reading: The sleep calculator shows the exact time you should go to bed so as not to feel tired in the morning
Choose your sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a set of daily habits that help you and your sleep stay healthy and can help you avoid snoozing. Sleep Junkie’s sleep expert Christine Lapp has some tips for improving your sleep hygiene:
Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. Sensitive people may need to avoid it after 12pm.
Train in the morning or early afternoon. Exercising too close to the bed increases blood flow to the brain. Extra blood flow can signal an alarm to your brain, telling it it’s time to wake up.
Expose your body to natural light for at least 20 minutes a day. Invest in a light box to reproduce the effects of the sun if you live in a place 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 street light is spilling into your bedroom. Avoid using blue light screens in your bedroom.
Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime. Eating stimulates blood flow to the stomach. The increased blood flow can alert your body that it’s time to wake up. To induce drowsiness, also introduce some of the best foods for sleep into your dinners.
Get into a daily routine
Breakfast, self-care, yoga, walk, meditation, reading. Whatever you decide to do with a routine mindset coach, Keryn Potts says these are things you can turn to when you need motivation to get up and get your day started.
“Sometimes we lose focus on what we’re doing in life, your daily routines help you anchor,” she explains.