The Snooze Button Effect

February 24th, 2009 by Kevin Ngo

There’s a strange phenomenon called The Snooze Button Effect that’s been plaguing the world for decades. It’s an occurrence whereby a small press of a button at a given time can supposedly delay an undesirable event from happening for 9 minutes. Contained in these 9 “precious” minutes is an unknown substance that seemingly causes people to be addicted to its delusional effects.

This so called Snooze Button Effect causes people to actually believe in the illusion that 9 more minutes of sleep will actually make a positive difference.

(Okay, group therapy time.)

“Hi, my name is Kevin… and, uh, I am a snooze button addict. I can clearly remember the first time I tapped that button, *grins* it was the best 9 minutes of my life at the time… *ungrins* I mean, at first I would just do it once, maybe twice a day, you know? I thought I had it under control but…*sigh*… as the addiction grew, I-I… I found myself uncontrollably tapping that button more and more. It got to the point where I was tapping that button almost 10 times a day just to feel the sensation of those 9 miracle minutes. I’m here today because I need help… I just can’t seem to stop.” (Group claps for the honesty)

All joking aside, does this sound familiar? Are you a victim of the snooze button effect? Do you find it hard to wake up when the alarm goes off and think that the extra 9 minutes will help you? Here are some ways to help determine if you’re a victim.

The Snooze Button Tricks

  1. You place your alarm clock across the room to force yourself to get up.
  2. You use multiple alarms, each placed in different locations.
  3. You set the time ahead 15 minutes and actually think you can trick yourself.
  4. You set the alarm before you actually have to wake up so you can hit the snooze button and still wake up exactly when you intended to.
  5. You bought one of those alarms you have to chase to turn off.
  6. You put your alarm in a locked box and put the key in another room.
  7. You made a CD with angry people cussing so it forces you to turn it off before your parents or spouse hears it.
  8. You’ve thought about setting up a Rube Goldberg style contraption where water pours on your face if you don’t get up in time.
  9. You promise to give your siblings or kids money if you’re not up by a certain time.
  10. You think getting a hydraulic bed that will throw you off is an awesome idea.

(If you have other tricks you use and would like to share them, please comment down below.)

The Snooze Button Problem

If you’re a victim of the snooze button effect, the obvious reason why you tap that sexy button is because you can’t get yourself to get up when that alarm goes off. So you hit the snooze button thinking that 9 extra minutes will make a big difference. Or perhaps you were having a delicious dream and want to go back to it.

The problem with this is that 9 minutes isn’t enough time for you to fall into any beneficial sleep stage, therefore, all you’re really doing is deliberately allowing your sleep to be interrupted.

The Snooze Button Effect

Some common adverse effects associated with these constant sleep interruptions are tiredness, agitation, headaches, mood swings, procrastination, and a worn snooze button. I’m sure you’ve heard how the you start your day will generally determine how the rest of your day goes. Well, if you start you day constantly delaying the start of your day, the rest of your day will either be spent trying to catch up or be filled with procrastination urges.

The snooze button effect is really just a form of procrastination. Think about it. We procrastinate on things because we don’t feel like doing it at the moment. The same thing goes for hitting that snooze button. We hit it because we don’t feel like getting up at the moment.

I don’t think I have to tell you how procrastination can badly affect your life, but hitting that snooze button just tells your mind that your life sucks and that you find more pleasure in those 9 minute increments of sleep than you do living your life.

Although hitting the snooze button seems like a small thing, it WILL have a bad effect on your life. Like the butterfly effect, it can cause a chain reaction that can lead to many storms in your life down the line.

The Snooze Button Solution

  1. Get an alarm that doesn’t have a snooze button. That way, if you go back to sleep, you’ll be screwed… (Note to self: That doesn’t sound right, remember to edit this before posting it live)
  2. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, then set the alarm at a time where you’d actually be late. What this will do is train you to get up immediately when the alarm goes off. As you get used to it, set it earlier and earlier.

    What you’re essentially doing is “burning the bridge”. When you set the clock at a certain time, what you’re saying is that you commit to waking up at that time. So when the alarm goes off, get up! Having a snooze button is just a way of backing out on your commitment.

    Get used to this and you’ll find yourself backing out of your goals and dreams. When you put your back against the wall, when there’s no way out, when failure is not an option, only then will you succeed.

  3. The best way is of course to have a purpose to get up that’s greater than what any 9 minute intervals of sleep can offer you. When you’ve set up your life in a way that brings excitement and passion into each waking hour, getting up will come naturally.
  4. Now if your life is full of things you’d rather delay or avoid and those 9 minutes are the highlight of your day yet you still want to get up, then make it a habit.

    Force yourself to gradually wake up a bit earlier each day by say, 9 minutes, until you’re able to get up at the time you want. The secret is to do it EVERDAY, yes, even weekends. Do it for 30 days and it’ll become a habit.

Hopefully you understand the consequences of delaying your life by now and do what it takes to avoid The Snooze Button Effect.

Until next time…

Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.

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