Here’s How To NEVER Hit The Snooze Button Again (5 Steps)
End your snooze button addiction

Here’s How To NEVER Hit The Snooze Button Again (5 Steps)

I admit it. I used to be a snooze button addict.

Every morning my alarm clock would go off and I would hit that damned button at least 2-3 times. Eventually I would manage to crawl out of bed - 20, 30, 60, or even 120 minutes after originally planned - feeling worn out, still tired, confused, and feeling like the biggest loser ever.

Sounds like you? I thought so, why else would read an article titled “How to never hit the snooze button again”. Maybe Probably you’ve tried giving up this habit many times before. I bet you’ve used all kinds of strategies such as putting the alarm clock far away from your bed, using multiple alarm clocks, and what not. Yep. Been there. Done that.

Thankfully, about a year ago, I finally cracked the code and figured out a way to beat this terrible addiction. I’ll present the 5-step system to you in a sec, but first I want you to understand the massive costs of hitting the snooze button.

NOTE: If you’re someone who hits the snooze button on purpose, then that’s totally fine. If you’re consciously doing it, find it enjoying, don’t feel more tired or groggy after doing it… no problem.

Do I think it’s a smart move? Absolutely not. But as long as you’re not a slave to your snooze button, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

This article is catered to people who DON’T want to use the snooze button, but do it anyway. It’s for people who want to get up at a pre-determined time, but can’t get themselves out of bed and keep on sleeping instead.

The Monumental Costs of Using the Snooze Button

I’ve found 6 main reasons why hitting snooze is so bad for your health, your motivation, and your overall well-being. Here they are in no particular order:

1) By going back to sleep for another 10 minutes, you will actually feel more tired and groggy than when the initial alarm went off. ASAPscience explains in their video:

“Fragmented sleep [that happens if we snooze] is much less restorative and leads to sleepiness related daytime impairment. By breaking up those last 30 minutes of sleep, you are more likely to feel tired and perform poorly during the day.”

2) You start your day with an utter and complete failure. You literally show yourself that you’ve got no self-discipline and no self-respect whatsoever.

Hey! This could be your last day… and you start it in such a loser-like fashion? What message are you sending yourself by doing that? Is that message going to motivate and inspire you to have a great day?

3) It drains your willpower. Every time your alarm goes off, you’re faced with a decision. Making decisions takes willpower. What a waste if you use that precious commodity for something so silly so early in your day?! Just imagine: Person A gets up automatically the first time his alarm goes off. Person B snoozes 5 times before eventually struggling out of bed. Who’s got more willpower left?

4) It takes away your control. When you’re a casual snoozer, you’re always at the mercy of your mood and energy levels when your alarm goes off.

Has this ever happened to you? You plan to get up early to learn for a test, go on a trip, or do anything else productive. You’re super motivated and inspired the night before, but in the morning it’s like you’re a completely different person. You wake up at the sound of your alarm, don’t feel like getting out of bed, say “fuck it!”, hit the snooze button, and sleep on.

As I said, you’re completely at the mercy. If you’d be the kind of person who never hits the snooze button – no matter what - and always gets out of bed when the alarm goes off… you wouldn’t have such problems. Instead, you would be in total control. And that’s generally a good thing, right?

5) From the minute you step out of your bed, you are already stressed out. It feels like you have to rush through your morning in the search of those lost minutes the snooze button stole from you. Feelings of calm, peace, and confidence are nowhere to be found.

6) You feel guilt, shame, and other negative emotions. You are probably beating yourself up over hitting the snooze button, telling yourself that you’ll never achieve anything in this world and that you’re a total loser. Or maybe you go the other route… drown in self-pity, and feel sorry for yourself.

Whatever it is… you feel like shit. And guess what? All those negative feelings are NOT going to help you have an enjoyable and productive day.

And that’s it. Those are all the downfalls of hitting the snooze button that I’m aware of. And YES. Indeed: That little snooze button sucks balls.

So let’s now move on to the 5-step system that will put an end to this misery once and for all. Let’s do this:

Step 1: Commit 100 Percent

How would your life change if you would never hit the snooze button again? Think about it. Wouldn’t your life surely, with absolute certainty, change for the better?

Of course it would. Just consider the massive costs we’ve looked at in the previous section. It’s a TERRIBLE habit. Considering this, it makes sense to make a commitment to NEVER use that misery-inducing button ever again.

And when I’m saying a commitment… I’m talking about a 100% commitment - there’s no wiggle room.

Jack Canfield explains the importance of making your commitment absolute in his book “The Success Principles”. Principle 35 is fittingly called: 99% is a bitch; 100% is a breeze. Here’s a quick excerpt:

“Successful people adhere to the “no exceptions rule” when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Nonnegotiable. Case closed! Over and out. If I make a 100% commitment to monogamy, that is it. I never have to think about it again. There are no exceptions no matter what the circumstances. I don’t have to wrestle with that decision every day. It’s already been made. The die has been cast. All the bridges are burned. It makes life easier and simpler and keeps me on focus. It frees up tons of energy that would otherwise be spent internally debating the topic over and over and over, because all the energy I expend on internal conflict is unavailable to use for creating other achievement.”

Do you see the power behind that?

When you make the 100% commitment to never hit the snooze button again, no matter what, then it is settled. You simply don’t do it. It doesn’t matter how tired you are or how little sleep you’ve had or whatever. There’s no wiggle room. You simply don’t do it. Plain and simple.

So that’s the first step - Commit 100%!

Step 2: Create Implementation Intentions (and Read Them Every Night Before Going to Bed)

If you haven’t heard of implementation intentions yet, you’re missing out. Implementation intentions are if-then plans that pre-decide how you will act in a future scenario. They look like this:

“If [such and such happens], then I [will do such and such].”

Another word for this could be pre-decision. You simply decide beforehand how you will react in a certain situation.

And while this may sound too simple to work, it’s actually been PROVEN extremely effective in almost a hundred scientific studies. Just look at this mind-blowing study: 20 recovering drug addicts were instructed to write a résumé before 5pm that day (this would help them find a job once they’re released from treatment). There were 2 groups:

  • Group 1: They defined a time and place to write their résumé (in other words, they created an implementation intention). For example: “At 2pm I will write my résumé in my room.”
  • Group 2: They didn’t define a time or place to write their résumé (aka no implementation intention).

Of the 10 addicts that didn’t define a clear time and place, none had written the résumé. Not a single one. Of the addicts who used implementation intentions? Get this: 8 of them wrote the résumé.

What a difference! What a HUGE impact such a simple strategy can have, eh?

And even if you’re still not convinced that this will work… it doesn’t matter. Implementation intentions work their magic partly on your subconscious mind. This means, once the pre-decision is set and locked in, you will almost automatically do what it says.

In our case, you will almost automatically – almost magically – get out of bed when the alarm clock goes off… without even consciously thinking about it.

Here are the two implementation intentions I would suggest you use:

  • “If my alarm goes off in the morning, then I get out of bed immediately – no matter what!”
  • “If my alarm goes off and I feel an urge to hit the snooze button, then I get out of bed anyway – immediately – no matter what!”

You lock it into your subconscious mind that you’re not going to hit the snooze button no matter what.

NOTE: This does NOT mean you won’t need to use any self-discipline the first mornings you try this out. The first 10 – 20 times can still be a challenge, but the beauty is this: Once you’ve gotten over a few days of drudgery, it will pretty much happen automatically.

Getting right out of bed will be the default action when your alarm goes off. And get this: every time you stay disciplined and get right out of bed, you are making it more likely to stay disciplined and get out of bed right away the next day. And the next day. And the next day.

The more repetitions you make, the stronger the habit will become. For me, after a year of doing this, hitting the snooze button doesn’t even come to mind anymore. Once the alarm goes off, I get out of bed automatically… without hesitation and without even thinking about staying in bed.

So here’s what I recommend you do with those implementation intentions:

Just write them down somewhere, read them, and play them through in your mind a couple of times before going to bed every night. (Just use the checklist I provide at the end of this article.)

Once the habit is formed you won’t need to do this anymore.

(You can learn more about implementation intentions here.)​

Step 3: Download THIS Alarm Clock App

While the previous steps will do most of the heavy lifting for you, this one will be your back-up plan. Your insurance policy. Your safe guard. Your life west. Whatever you want to call it… it will ensure that you’ll never hit that damned snooze function ever again.

The trick is simple; all you have to do is download and use the Step out of Bed app for Apple or the Alarmy app for Android. What these will do for you is force you to get out of bed in order to stop the alarm.

The iPhone app will require you to walk a certain pre-determined amount of steps to turn off the alarm. The Android app will require you to take a picture of a pre-determined object to turn off the alarm (set the object to something that’s far, far away from your bed).

The effect is the same: You literally get forced out of bed. Once you’re up and out of bed, you’ll remember your commitment and chances are you won’t go back to sleep again – you got up early successfully. Well done!

Step 4: Optimize Your Sleep

This isn’t really a step, but more something you want to work on consistently.

By optimizing your sleep, I mean three things:

  1. Learn to fall asleep faster
  2. Learn to stay asleep through the night
  3. Make your sleep as rejuvenating as possible

Improving these things is smart because it will allow you to wake up less tired, less groggy, and more refreshed… frankly, it will make getting out of bed in the morning much easier.

One of the main reasons you’re hitting the snooze button in the first place is because you’re still feeling tired when you wake up. Maybe you couldn’t fall asleep the night before and just slept too little. Maybe you woke up countless times during the night. Or maybe your sleep is just fucked in another way.

The point is, the more optimized your sleep, the easier getting up in the morning becomes. Considering the massive benefits of a good night’s sleep, it makes sense to optimize it anyway.

Final Step: Stay on Track

Let me guess, you’re pretty motivated right now.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Fuck that snooze button. I will never use it again. Hah! This is awesome. I will implement all these strategies. I will use them and fuck the snooze button in the ass! Yes. That’s great! Let’s do this!”

I applaud your enthusiasm. But let’s get serious for a second. Motivation is a fleeting phenomenon. It will last for a few hours or maybe if you’re lucky until tomorrow morning, but then… PUFF – gone it is.

You’ll have forgotten about the costs of snoozing. You’ll have forgotten why you were so motivated in the first place. You’ll have other priorities and slowly curing your snooze addiction doesn’t look so sexy and important anymore. And then…

…you’ll wake up one day… feeling dead tired and worn out after a rough night… you’ll ask yourself why you’re doing this to yourself in the first place… you’ll say “fuck it!”… hit the snooze button… dream away… and then give up everything.

If you’re anything like me, this has happened to you many times in the past.

never hit snooze button again

But not this time. This time you’ll be prepared. You’ll go all the way. And you’ll end your snooze addiction once and for all. You see… to help you with this final step, I’ve created a small checklist that will all but ensure you stay on track this time.

The checklist consists of a commitment statement, the two implementation intentions we’ve talked about earlier, the costs of hitting snooze (so you won’t forget), and some of my favorite quotes to help you stay motivated. Just click the button below to download the checklist for free.

You can download the checklist here (it's free)

Do you use other strategies to keep you from hitting the snooze button? Share them in the comments below!

Nils Salzgeber

Nils Salzgeber is the author of two books and co-founder of the popular NJlifehacks blog. He is passionate about anything that helps him become a more peaceful, productive, and loving version of himself. After quitting university twice, he has recently gone back to get a psychology degree. Nils lives in Thun, Switzerland.

  • KG says:

    Awesome article, Nils!

    The apps and implementation intentions are great nuggets of knowledge!

    I would add that it’s pertinent to avoid the dreaded snooze button on the weekends! Make the decision to either sleep in without an alarm or leverage the alarm for a later time in the morning.

    I think it’s easier to stay motivated during the week, and say (as you so aptly put it) “fuck it” on the weekends. Snoozing both on Saturday AND Sunday is an extra 8 times a month or ~104 times a year for you feed that ugly “Snooze” habit! Good luck!

    • Thx, mate! Yeah, I agree. I would make a 100 percent bright line commitment to never use the snooze button again – not even on weekends. So yeah, just don’t use an alarm at all or use it later on weekends.

  • Christine says:

    I sleep in an extra 30 minutes because I know I can make it out the door on time, but this involves rushing around and becoming frustrated. It’s no wonder I arrive at work in a bad mood!
    Thanks for this Nils! I’m going use these steps to help change my habit starting tomorrow . . . but it’s especially hard when the mornings are so cold haha! (Its winter in Australia)
    Keep up the good work guys! I always look forward to reading your articles.

    • Thanks, Christine! If you can give yourself some 30 to 60 minutes of private time in the morning before heading off to work, that can make a huge difference. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass for the first couple of days, but the payoffs are well worth it.

      And yeah, it’s tougher in winter haha! We had 30 degrees Celsius here in Switzerland yesterday 😉

  • Abdul says:

    Great article.

    Thanks for sharing the scientific study.

  • Frank says:

    The link to the checklist links back to this article?

  • Kay says:

    I’ve tried so many different apps (and one special alarm clock called Clocky) to get myself out of bed every morning without hitting snooze. All of them have worked for a short period until I learned to get around the anti-snooze features. The alarm I currently use is the Alarmy app which forces me to get out of bed and take a picture of my bathroom to turn off the alarm. I thought that forcing me to physically get out of bed would be the solution, but no such luck. It worked great for a few months, but now my groggy morning brain has learned to get out of bed, turn off the alarm, change the alarm to 5 or 10 minutes in the future, go back to bed, and repeat the process several times. I’ve also tried the Sleep Cycle app which is supposed to wake me up when I’m not in REM sleep, but I just ignore that alarm too and go back to sleep. I’m going to try your tip about forcing myself to commit to not hitting snooze.

    • Hey Kay,

      Yeah, the alarm clocks didn’t work for me, either. Perhaps the most important elements that helped me were:

      1) generally working on my self-discipline. Compared to even a couple of years ago, my discipline is a LOT higher. Takes time. Takes effort. But there’s no way around it.

      2) optimizing sleep quality. I actually feel refreshed and hardly tired when I wake up nowadays. In the past, I felt as if I had been run over by a train when I woke up. I was tired. I was in a terrible mood. I had no energy for the first hours of the day.

      If you focus on building self-discipline and optimizing your sleep, then you’ll get there eventually. Just stay patient.

      All the best!

  • Elizabeth says:

    This article changed my life! I tried everything to quit the snooze button, for years. This article, combined with going to bed a lot earlier, have helped me stop using the snooze button. So grateful for this article!

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