Published: 9 months ago

Lose The Snooze

For the last few weeks, I’ve been conducting a little experiment. And while I’m far from the point that I can definitively say “this works,” I’m pretty convinced that it does.

I’m talking, dear readers, about the snooze button.

I love a good snooze button. I love the fact that a good snooze button gives me a few minutes more sleep, as many times as I’d like. I do not like the fact that the snooze button only snoozes for nine minutes. What’s wrong with an even ten, huh? (For the record: science.)

I also don’t love that one tap of the button leads to two, which leads to three, which leads to Cranky Danny getting a later start on the day than he planned, and almost certainly feeling groggier than he anticipated after a an extra three seven snoozes.

I’ve even attempted tricks to get me up and moving. My phone / alarm clock charges in the bathroom, not beside my bed, which means I have to get up and walk a few feet to turn it off. But then I attempted even more tricks to out-trick my tricks: I set three different alarms at 15 minute increments, allowing me to sleep for 45 minutes past the alarm. That is, if I didn’t snooze alarm #3.

It’s ridiculous, really, because I’m still an early riser, even with all of those acrobatics. But it still just wasn’t working.

Which leads me to the experiment.

While reading What’s Best Next a few weeks ago, I was intrigued with Matt Perman’s description of the “5 AM club.” While my first alarm was going off before 5 AM, I wasn’t rolling out until 30-40 minutes after that most unholy of hours.

But something about the on-the-dot nature of 5 AM lit a spark in my bleary-eyed soul. So that night, I sat one alarm and one alarm only. It was for…you guessed it: 5 AM. And before hitting the sack, Jesus and I had a conversation where I explained how much I loved my snooze button, and how much I loved my three alarms, and how much I needed him to make me hear the solo alarm and how much more I needed him to get me up and keep me up.

After a few weeks of the 5 AM club (which doesn’t happen on the weekends, because let’s not be psychotic), here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • My mornings are more structured. It’s amazing how my getting ready time, my Bible study and prayer time, my get-my-mind-on-my-day time, and a a little straightening up time all fits in a neat little package before I leave for the office.
  • My productivity level is higher. That extra half hour of not traipsing back and forth to the alarm means I have an extra half hour to prep my head for what’s on my calendar and task list for the day. I walk into work ready to go, rather than playing catch up after I get there.
  • My energy level seems higher. I’m still tired by 9 PM, but the during-the-day energy appears to have been jump-started because I got up and stayed up. Some research shows that’s because the almighty snooze is a losing battle.
  • My body clock is getting me up…alarm clock or no. I’ve noticed a (maybe scary) trend: somewhere between 4:50-5:00, I’m getting up anyway. While I believe I’m risking turning into my own grandfather, it’s kind of nice to know that the old internal clock is cooperating with the external one.

I get it: you may not be a candidate for the 5 AM club. That’s not the point of this experiment, nor this blog post. But could you join me for a week in losing the snooze? I’d love to hear your results.


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  1. I’m in the 6am club! That’s me getting the sleep I need overnight AND still going to be early. 🙂 It’s amazing how much a person can get done in those first hours of the morning. All before the day “starts”! As for alarms I’ve been a wake-up-with-the-alarm gal my entire life. Until a few years ago when I thought, I’ll just set this alarm for another 15 minutes or so. Well, that tanked my productivity for sure! Then I made the connection and got back to my alarm.

  2. Amy says:

    I didn’t realize I am doing it all wrong. It takes me 30 minutes to get out of bed and I’m dragging every morning. I do not, however, self-medicate with caffiene. I will consider this that you speak of and I will have to have the same talk with Jesus that you did.

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