Don't Press Snooze
February 26, 2015
Filed In: Philosophy
I have three layers of alarms each morning. My Fitbit has 3 silent alarms scheduled each morning for 4:55am, 4:57am, and 4:59am. At those times, it vibrates on my arm until I press a button to dismiss it. At 5:00am the lights in my bedroom slowly come on. Finally, as a fail-safe, at 5:05am, a very loud, and very annoying, alarm on my phone goes off. Most days, all I need is the Fitbit. Some days, I need the lights to help. On a rare occasion, my phone is there to save the day from getting away from me.
Three layers may seem excessive, but no matter how many sounds, utilities, or devices seek to disrupt a very peaceful sleep in a warm bed, it's up to me what I do with their alarms. I might spring out of bed and get straight to work, or I might silence them all until around 7:30am when Benedict's cries for food and attention stir me. There's no silencing a Benedict alarm.
About 90% of the time, I'm up at 5:00am each day. My entire daily routine is based on a 9:00pm-5:00am sleep schedule. That's adequate sleep for me, keeps me healthy, productive, and can usually preserve my energy levels so I don't feel the need to nap later in the day. When I sleep past 5:00am, I waste opportunity.
Sleep is a wonderful thing and based on the numerous posts that I've written about sleep, no one can accuse me of discounting its value. Sleep is intrinsically valuable and has a lot to say about how successful any given day will be for you. At the same time, it’s easily abused. We can get lazy and stay in bed most of the day. It's tempting to oversleep or "catch up" on lost sleep, but oversleeping often ends up just being a waste of time. Get what you need and no more. There's so much you could be doing!
Morning is a fabulous opportunity. Whether you're a morning person or not, when you first get out of bed, your brain is full of creative power and your batteries are fully charged. As time progresses, you lose creative power and energy. Logically, that means that your biggest chance to make a splash, your biggest opportunity for productivity is at the beginning of your day, not the end. Lost minutes, whether to sleep or frittered away doing meaningless tasks, add up. Think of all of the great things you could accomplish if you were awake and energized in the morning, instead of snoozing.
Let's face facts; one tap of the snooze button is never just one tap. It's never just five more minutes. The snooze button is your biggest enemy in the morning. When you surrender once, it becomes that much easier to surrender again. And again. And again. When you hear your alarm go off in the morning, assuming you've planned your day around your wakeup time and have given yourself ample time to sleep, get up, get out there, and seize the day!
Sleep is a wonderful thing, and like other wonderful things, it's healthy in moderation. Don't surrender to the tyranny of sleep, keeping you in bed during your most productive hours. The best way to take advantage of each day is to go to sleep at the right time and wake up at the right time. Don't believe the lie that the snooze button is telling you.