If there’s one genuine, universally accepted truth, it is this: alarms suck. Unless an alarm is set to remind you that a delicious chocolate cake has finished baking in the oven, they usually serve only to remind you that you have to do something, and that something is more likely than not something you’re not looking forward to doing. And nobody likes to be told what to do. Especially when that thing is “wake up and get out of bed and be an adult and accomplish things, lest your body make an imprint on your mattress and you develop bed sores from lack of movement, you lazy, lazy fool.”
Is there anything that will make the soul-crushing, dream-ruining, sleep-stealing alarm easier to bear? Turns out, there are. And we’re going to break them down for you. Here are a few things that you can do to make hitting the snooze button a little bit harder.
If you know why you want to wake up, get out of bed, and seize the day, it might be a little big easier to do so. This suggestion doesn’t mean you have to figure out your joie de vivre, by any means. It would be great if we all had awesome jobs with supportive bosses, or a general life situation where we can’t wait to get up and get to work. But that’s not always the reality. Instead, concentrate on the little motivations of getting up, like having extra time to read the newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee, an early morning workout, or to simply sit and think about your plans for the day. By carving out a little time in the morning to do what you want to do, rather than being in a perpetual rush, you might not hit the snooze quite as hard.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
It seems a little obvious, but the best way to make waking up in the morning easier is by getting enough sleep. For most people, that mans between 7.5 and 8 hours, but each person is different. How much sleep you need depends on a variety of factors, including your genetics. If you know that you need six hours of solid sleep to function, and you have to get up at 7 a.m. for work, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can stay up until 2 a.m., working through your latest Netflix binge. Get to sleep on time and your body will thank you.
Keep a Consistent Schedule
One of the tricky things about being both a Responsible Adult with a 9-to-5 schedule and a Young Adult with a social calendar is merging the two lives. Sure, during the week you’re hitting the books at school or building your career, but you’re young enough that you feel like you should still down to party on the weekends. But switching between getting up at 8 a.m. on the weekdays and rolling out of bed for a noon brunch on the weekends can hurt your sleeping, big time. If you keep a consistent schedule, your body will learn what time to wake up, naturally. A regular schedule can increase the amount of sleep you can get each night, along with improving the quality of sleep you’re getting. And when you’re well rested and your body knows the deal, it’ll make getting up to your alarm that much easier.
Invest In the Sunrise
Getting up in the winter is especially hard. No one likes to wake up before the sun does, right? Try using a sunrise-simulating alarm clock. It will gradually become brighter, like the natural spring or summer sunlight, before waking you up with your chosen sound. The light helps regulate your biological clock and will ease you into the morning, waking you up gradually and helping to increase your mood and energy levels in the morning. This Wake-up Light, while on the more expensive side, will start casting your bedroom with a dim, sunny glow 20-40 minutes before your alarm time.
Here’s the thing about snoozing: it comes at a cost. Because, although there are things we have to do in the morning (like brushing your teeth), there are also things that we can convince ourselves we can skip in favor of a few more minutes of cozy bed time (like packing a lunch). But if you tend to skip making a salad because you wanted to finish your steamy dream involving Chris Pratt, you’re probably going to regret it around lunch time when you’re buying a $13 salad. Chop up those greens the night before. Pick out your outfit. Pack your work bag. By doing as much as you can before you hit the sheets, you can minimize the amount of time you need in the morning and set that alarm a little bit later. And since you’ll only have enough time to do necessary things, you’ll have to get up.
Use Technology for Your Body’s Benefit
If you’re sick of getting woken up by your alarm in the middle of an epic dream, this one’s for you. Sleep Cycle, which is available in the App Store for $1, monitors your movements during the night and learns your sleep patterns. Before you go to sleep, set your alarm. The app automatically begins watching for the lightest portions of your sleep cycle 30 minutes before your alarm is set to go off, waking you up at the optimal time in your REM cycle. This way, you won’t be disturbed during the deepest portion of your sleep. The extra bonus? You can choose to wake up from either the app’s preset tone, soothing sounds, or your own music that is stored on your phone.
Choose Your Jam
There’s something really, really depressing about waking up to Marimba, or whatever default alarm sound is on your phone. It’s soul-killing, really. Switch it up and download a nice, calming song to wake up to, so you aren’t jerked into reality every day by phone-engineered church bells, or whatever other options there are on your iPhone. But if you do go this route, may we suggest something classical? Because if you choose a pop song, you will end up hating it after about a week. Also, who the hell would want to wake up to something like “All About That Bass” every day? Try Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello No. 4 in G Major.
Move Your Alarm
Hey, if all else fails, put your alarm clock (ok, let’s face it, it’s your phone) across the room so you have to get up to turn it off.