I love my sleep. I used to survive on very little of it, but I can tell that I am getting prematurely old because I need more sleep that I used to. What makes it worse is that once you get “off” in your sleeping routine, it is hard to get back on. Though I battle with insomnia at times, I just have a hard time getting up in the morning when the bed feels oh so good.
I give this topic more of a positive spin over at WGS today, telling of an old technique I learned once about jumping out of bed that I am trying to implement again. Here, I am just going to complain a little!
Yes, I am going to complain about that evil Snooze Button that every alarm clock includes. I would venture to say that no other invention has done more to ruin the productivity and on time factor of humankind than the ability to put off getting out of bed with just a simple push of a button. Generally, alarms allow you 10 minutes of continued bliss with by just reaching out and slapping that big button of delay. Some are shorter, but 10 minutes is the norm.
What is with that design too? You know we all use the snooze way too much when alarm clocks generally are designed now such that the snooze button is by far the largest feature on the entire device. Most often this button is placed right at the top so you can simply roll over, and in your blind stupor slap around until you hit the clock and stop that incessant sound that is attempting to pull you out of la la land. No doubt you have woken up on many a day to find it is much later than you thought because you hit that snooze two or three times without even consciously being aware of what you were doing.
Alarm clocks need to include the ability to disable that snooze button, forcing us to actually wake up enough to realize what we are doing. Perhaps they could require us to tap it with a pattern of some kind to require a level of consciousness. “Shave and a haircut” would do. I have taken to actually putting my clock across the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off; yet, even then I crawl back into bed and try to quickly get back into REM. With a one-year-old child in the house, I do have some real motivation to get that alarm clock turned off quickly. If I let it go, she is woken up too and the entire morning takes on additional complexity.
We all know that extra 10 minutes (per snooze) is most definitely not quality sleep time. Once we are broken out of the deep sleep cycle, we are simply trying to prolong the inevitable start of the new day. You are not going to warm up to the day any better by slowly waking up. Face reality and set the alarm for when you really need to get up and do it. You will get more quality sleep out of it than the perpetual snooze cycle.
Yet, like any other addiction, trying to break from this snooze crack is harder than it sounds. I am a deep sleeper that can do amazing things without ever breaking into consciousness. As a kid, I could sleepwalk with the best of them. I can carry on entire conversations in my sleep. It scares me to think of what secrets my wife could pull out of me if she were to abuse this ability. Good thing I don’t keep many secrets! Turning off the alarm and tricking myself into continuing to slumber is something my subconscious has done on many an occasion. Thus the across the room technique mentioned before. I even have to vary the location of the alarm on days that I know I have to get up for a specific appointment and can’t get away with a little tardiness.
So, as the title suggestions, I submit that the snooze button is a creation of the devil. It is not inspired as an invention to better humankind, rather bring us down into lazy habits and poor starts to our day. One more example of how we can procrastinate even the smallest of things, just getting out of bed. So it is time to kick that habit. Out with the snooze and in with maximizing my actual sleep time. How about you?