Tips to Wake Up on Time (And Not Use the Snooze Button) From Sleep Experts

Snooze button

If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning on schedule or if you are guilty of hitting the snooze button one too many times, you need these expert-backed tips on how to wake up on time.

The New York Times spoke to sleep experts and Dr. Ilene Rosen, who studies sleep disorders and sleep deprivation, explains the time spent snoozing is not all that beneficial. “For most of us, that alarm is going off at a time when we are likely having REM sleep, one of the most restorative stages of sleep,” she says, noting once you wake up you will not return to REM sleep while snoozing. “You’re short-changing yourself." 

In order to avoid snoozing and get out of bed on time, the experts suggest the following tips:

Wake up during an optimal cycle of sleep: The experts say waking during an optimal time of sleep is key and say if you are groggy in the morning, you may be trying to wake up during a deep sleep cycle. To find the best time to wake up, the NYT recommends using a sleep tracking app that will track your cycles and wake up at an optimal time.

Use a pleasant alarm: Is your alarm pleasing or annoying? The experts say an annoying alarm does not mean you will actually get out of bed. Sleep expert Dr. W. Christopher Winter explains, “A lot of times, when people hear that jarring sound, they shut it off immediately,” and suggests using something like the sound of birds, bells, or your favorite song.

Light can help you wake: A brighter room may inspire you to get out of bed in the morning, say the NYT's experts. “Light cues our brain to be awake,” Dr. Rosen says. “If you have trouble getting up in the morning, a brighter room will be easier to wake up to.” Try leaving your blinds or shades open and allow the morning light to help you get out of bed. If you need to awake while it is still dark outside, the experts suggest turning on a light in your bedroom if possible.

Time a pleasing scent to your wake-up time: The experts say something like the smell of coffee or baking bread can help incentivize someone to get out of bed and start their day and suggest using timers on appliances to help lure you out of bed and into the kitchen.

Physically get up: The sleep experts say -- as difficult as it may seem as you're laying in bed -- to force yourself to get out of bed and stand up. "If you stand up, even if you’re tired and don’t feel that great, you will at least be able to move through the motions you need to do to promote your alertness,” Dr. Rosen explains. 

Use important plans and events to force yourself to get out of bed: Most people are able to consistently get up for their job or with their kids, but if you do not have plans or responsibilities in the morning, it will likely be much easier to snooze. The experts suggest having a commitment like a non-refundable workout class or plans with a friend that you cannot cancel on, in order to help you get up and start your day.

Call someone who is already awake: After your phone or alarm clock goes off, call someone who you know will be awake and want to chat, the experts suggest and explains when you hear someone else's voice and have to engage in conversation (even if you are groggy), it will help you wake up.

Get consistent and quality sleep every night: The NYT and The Doctors stress that one of the most effective ways to get up in the morning is to make sure you are sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night.

If you need tips on how to get better sleep The Doctors are here to help! Try these 4 expert-backed sleep tips, eating these 3 foods may also help you sleep better, try these suggestions if COVID stress and anxiety are affecting your sleep, and find out when you need to stop drinking caffeine in order to sleep.

More: Does Sleeping in the Same Bed with a Dog Help or Hurt Sleep Quality?

More: The Reason for Feeling Tired Not Related to Sleep

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
Playing Ask an Expert: Essential Summer Sleep Tips to Beat the Heat

Sign up for Our Newsletter!