November 04, 2016
DID YOU MEAN to get up at 7 a.m. but ended up rushing in the morning because you pushed the snooze button until 8 a.m.?
You may be surprised to know that not only did you spike your stress levels, you actually shorted yourself on sleep, because interrupted snoozing is a far cry from good sleep.
In a normal sleep cycle, we experience five levels of sleep. We start moving out of deep sleep and into REM sleep about an hour before we need to awaken. Your sleep becomes lighter, your body temperature goes up, and energy-sparking hormones are released to help you start your day.
But an alarm clock set earlier than necessary to leave time for hitting the snooze button can jolt your body out of REM sleep before you’re prepared for the day. As a result, you may feel overly tired when you finally arise, and you may feel fatigued and sluggish during the day.
You’d be better off setting your alarm for 7:30 and getting up when it rings. The extra half-hour of sound sleep will give you a better day. But how can you break a longtime habit of pointless snoozing?
1.Put your alarm clock out of reach.
If you place your clock elsewhere in the room, you’ll have to get up to stop the ringing. That gives you a chance to start waking up more fully.
2.Go to bed earlier.
Turn off your computer and put your electronic devices away an hour before bedtime as you unwind in a comfortable chair and read a few chapters of a good book (an actual book, not a Kindle). Then go to bed in time to get a good seven to eight hours of shut-eye.
3.Follow your nose.
Program your coffee maker to brew a pot or cup of coffee 10 to 15 minutes before your arm goes off. If you aren’t near enough to the kitchen to smell the coffee from bed, consider placing a small coffee maker in your bedroom. If you’re a coffee lover, the smell might pull you right out of bed.
4.Plan a daily morning activity you enjoy.
You could work on a jigsaw puzzle over your first cup of coffee, read the paper, practice yoga stretches, or do whatever gets your creative juices flowing.
5.Enlist wearable tech.
If you wear an activity tracker, such as a Fitbit on your wrist, use its alarm function to vibrate you awake.
6.Groove to the morning music.
Set up playlist of ready-to-meet-the-day music on your tablet or cell phone. Start the music as soon as you arise. You may find yourself dancing as you start your day.
7.Develop a positive mindset about waking up.
Through meditation, reflection and/or self-coaching, learn to appreciate the day from the ground up. It’s way better than muttering profanities while feeling for the snooze.
8.Use your sleep cycles to your advantage.
New sleep technology exists to help you feel less groggy in the morning. Find a sleep sensor that monitors your heart rate, breathing and movement to determine when you are in a light sleep phase (the easiest time to wake up), and then wakes you up during that stage within your selected alarm time.
Getting up with your alarm rather than hitting the snooze button is like jumping in the lake rather than inching your way in and agonizing over each new height of chilled skin. Get it over with and position yourself to have a great day.