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Do you Snooze? Are your morning habits impacting on your effectiveness?

Up to a month ago I wouldn’t have even thought of asking that question because I assumed it was the way everyone everywhere started their day. Over the last number of weeks I have discovered, to my absolute amazement I might add, that many people get out of bed as soon as they turn off their alarm. Imagine that! Well not only am I imagining it, I actually doing it. For 3 days straight I have got up as soon as my alarm rings because I want to, not because I have to.

How am I finding it? I love that I’m doing it because I’m fulfilling a commitment I’ve made to myself – I am in control of the time I get out of bed in the morning. There have been many, many, many mornings where my gym gear has stayed beside my bed for many, many, many days. To be fair there have also been lots of mornings that I have hopped out of my bed, donned my gym gear and actually made it to the gym. I have often wondered, in passing, what the difference is between the mornings I make it to the gym and the mornings that I don’t.

It was only when I got a call from Darren Ryan asking if I’d be interested in helping him develop and facilitate a Snooze Academy workshop to help people overcome their snoozing habit that I moved from wondering in passing to seriously considering the impact of snoozing on my life.

I now realize that many people have no idea what ‘snoozing’ means. So for your benefit I will explain: The Snooze Academy’s definition of snoozing is the act of falling back asleep, repeatedly, upon waking in the morning, with the aid of an alarm clock or other waking device. It can often involve a battle of wills between alarm clocks, house mates or significant others.

The first Snooze Academy workshop was held in Dublin on 27th May. The participants were surveyed in advance about their snoozing habits. 12 respondents snoozed an impressive 37 hours between them over 5 days. That sounds like a lot, a full work week. However, when you break that down that’s 37 minutes per day per person on average – so if I set my alarm for 6.30am and get up at 7.07am that’s not so bad is it? What’s the big deal?

Anne from Ananda did a session on mindfulness with us in the afternoon and her take on it was that it’s about us being in control of our thoughts and actions. If I want to snooze, I should snooze. But if I want to get up at a particular time I should be able to do that. It’s about me being in control of my actions rather than my actions being in control of me.

Now back to the 37 hours of snoozing. You might be thinking what sort of people participated in this workshop – are they lazy, unfulfilled, aimless, unproductive? I can’t speak for the 3 that didn’t show. But I can assure you that the 9 people who did make it are young, successful, motivated professionals. Their work colleagues likely have absolutely no inkling of their snoozing habits because they are very productive members of society.

So why did they bother with the Snooze Academy? Well they want to be in control of when they start their day and between them they came up with a whole list of great reasons for gaining that control ranging from having time to eat breakfast, time to exercise and getting to work earlier so they can have time in the evenings.

Practicing how to wake up is a key part of the workshop

Darren read a lot of research around the topic of snoozing and it seems that snoozing actually doesn’t have any tangible benefits. Yes it feels really nice to curl up under the covers for another 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes, but it’s not actually contributing to a better night’s sleep. It does not help the body alleviate tiredness; in fact it may add to our feelings of sluggishness.

This has been my main motivation for tackling my snooze habit. I really believed that I would be less tired if I snoozed for a while. If this is not the case, I may as well just get up. As a coach I am fully aware that this knowledge in itself will not necessarily be enough to motivate me to change my behaviours. There is a whole host of emotions, assumptions and faulty thinking that I’m challenging if I don’t snooze. At that moment when the alarm rings, the big question is, is that trade-off worth it?

Great question!

Behavioural change takes time. The first Snooze Academy graduates have committed to keeping us informed of their progress. We will continue to support them on their journey and we will track what works and what doesn’t. I have also committed to 28 days consecutive days of no snoozing to see if I can form a non-snoozing habit. Early indications are positive!

 

You can find Snooze Academy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/SnoozeAcademy

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Filed under: Business Coaching,Change,Goals,Snooze Academy,Workshops

Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Interesting post.

    I’m not altogether convinced we know what’s good for us. Convention in years long gone, it wasn’t common for us to sleep through the night. Instead, we’d wake in the middle, for a period of relection. And then sleep again. A second sleep. Nowaday, we’d hear mother’s praising the child that slept straight through. We organise our day to ensure we sleep straight through.

    So my question is this. Is it really better to sleep the whole night through? So what if snoozing means we actually wake up in the middle of the night? Maybe waking up in the middle of the night is what we are supposed to do. A more natural rhythm. Therefore, if snoozing is something that leads us to move back to a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night, then maybe that’s a positive thing too.

    How about questioning if a “good night’s sleep” is actually one that goes straight through for 8 hrs.

    That said, I’m all for the mindfulness attitude in this article. It is great to question things, and to challenge our own habits.

  2. Isolde Norris says:

    Hi Bob, I’ve read about that practice in days gone by of having a first and second sleep. I don’t know the answer. But I can say I’m noticing a huge difference in my energy levels throughout the day and my alertness in the mornings as a result of not hitting that snooze button. I’m a convert:)

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