How to Stop Hitting Snooze at 5 A.M.

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on unsplash

Five seconds is 0.006% of your day. Less than five seconds is all it takes to make that decision to get out of bed.

I started making 5 a.m. my new wake-up time almost three years ago. The habit began when I switched majors. I transferred from Environmental Science to Computer Science in my junior year of college, and I was fearful of being behind, so I started getting up early to study.

Reading articles on Medium, YouTube, podcasts, and, of course, my mom were all sources of inspiration for me. When I, the youngest of five children, was born, my mom began waking up at 5 a.m. She had five children under the age of ten and discovered the only way she could get time to herself was to get up at 5 a.m. Despite the fact that we have all moved out, she still wakes up at 5 a.m.

Like my mom, the 5 a.m. routine stuck. I love my early mornings to focus, and complete tasks on my own projects. But the adoration and ability I’ve acquired for rising before the sun, didn’t magically strike me one day. No it’s developed gradually over these years. And it still isn’t effortless. I’ve experimented with numerous morning routines to invite more ease into getting out of bed at 5. Cold showers, running, journaling, etc. Personally, I find having dynamic routines to be the most effective for me. After all…

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

But ultimately, it’s when that alarm goes off that you will decide whether or not you execute your morning routine. After three years I’ve learned of five tricks which immensely help to invoke my launch out of bed.

When striving to adopt new self-improvement habits, you need to acquire tools to help maintain them. Otherwise, they’ll begin to fall apart over time and putting it all back together will feel impossible. A tool I highly recommend is the —

  1. 5 second rule

“The next morning the alarm goes off and I pretended NASA was there. It’s the stupidest story, I literally went 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then I stood up. And for the first time in three months I had beaten my habit of hitting the snooze button.” — Mel Robbins

2. No negotiation.

When I hear that alarm my immediate reaction isn’t a montage of me achieving all my goals. Nope. It’s often, “Five more minutes please?” Initially I will negotiate with myself. This negotiation is by far the most difficult habit to quit. Which is where the 5 second rule also comes into play. When you start the count down, you’re not giving space for yourself to negotiate.

3. Motivational videos

On the mornings in which I feel particularly sluggish, a pep talk is a great way to ease into action. I can watch a 10 minute video while sipping coffee, and nine times out of 10 this brief bit of inspiration will increase my productivity for the day.

4. Create an environment that fosters this behavior

Environment — the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded. For me this is doing the dishes before going to bed, that way I wake up to a clean kitchen. Prepping the coffee, set the delay brew, so it’s already ready when I come into the kitchen at 5. Clearing off my desk in my home office. There are numerous adjustments you can make to your space that will foster the behavior you are trying to instill. Aim to minimize even the smallest obstacles in your space which will hinder your habit.

5. And finally — Celebrate yourself.

Find ways to celebrate yourself for sticking to this habit. It might be going to a coffee shop Friday morning after a week of successfully waking up at 5.

“I don’t think you get celebrated enough. You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, for your persistence and determination. You should be celebrated for all the effort that you put into building your future, for being different, for not being given enough credit” — Rihanna


Matheson, K. S. (2018, November 9). Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on unsplash. Beautiful Free Images & Pictures. Retrieved June 8, 2022, from




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Elisabeth Ashley

Elisabeth Ashley

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