Every morning when my alarm clock wakes me up, I need very badly to use the snooze function which turns off the alarm for some minutes and starts it again. This costs me 10-40 minutes every morning...

It doesn't matter how long I sleep. I just can't resist using it, but I'd rather like to get up on the first alarm or at least after the first snooze. I tried to simply not use it, but it failed and I fell asleep and slept too long.

The problem isn't that big when I get up at around noon. I don't like to get up early in the morning, but I have to. The sleeping duration also doesn't matter a lot. If I set my clock to 7 am after 8 hours of sleep it's much harder than 11 am after 8 hours of sleep. This also doesn't change when I permanently sleep from 11 pm to 7 am.

Is there a good way to get rid of this habit?

Just to clarify: I'm looking for any method. May it be some physical hack (like using puzzle alarms or placing the clock unreachable from bed) or a mental/non-physical one(setting up an urgent ToDo right after the alarm goes). I write this because someone voted to close the question because it's off-topic (reason: it's a brain hack question).

Update (about answers): Thanks for the many good answers for now. A lot of them will help different types of people. The best for me so far are:

  • setup a situation where I urgently need to stand up and stay awake.

  • practicing/conditioning by repeating the go to bed and stand up on alarm-algorithm (Blog post from comments)

closed as off-topic by Just Do It, Adam Zuckerman, Dragonrage, Zeiss Ikon, fuzzy_onesie May 2 '16 at 13:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • ""Mind hacks" are off topic — Questions dealing with personal productivity and self-improvement tips, with memorization, learning techniques, etc. are outside the scope of this site." – Just Do It, Adam Zuckerman, Dragonrage, Zeiss Ikon
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Try to address the underlying cause. Repeatedly using the snooze button suggests that you're being overly optimistic about what time you'll be able to get up. It's surely better to sleep properly until, say, 8:30 than to be woken at 8:00, 8:10 and 8:20, as well. If you're not realistically going to be able to get up at 8:00, and you don't need to get up at 8:00, don't set your alarm for 8:00. – David Richerby Apr 28 '16 at 3:39
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    I can't leave an answer, but time to break out the old trick. Drink 12-16 full glasses of water just before going to sleep. You'll wake up. I promise. Either to use the bathroom, or to change the sheets, you will wake up. – coteyr Apr 28 '16 at 14:56
  • @coteyr haha. no worth the pain. – Otto V. Apr 28 '16 at 14:57
  • Choose something stirring to use as an alarm sound. Turn it up loud. Someone changed my alarm track to the Indiana Jones theme. It was super effective. Plus the phone was on the other side of the room. Once you're vertical, stay vertical. Don't sit or lie down for the next half-hour. – Criggie Apr 29 '16 at 3:41
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    I don't have permissions to write an answer, so here is a shorter comment instead: I have a "Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder" and have/had the same problem. 95% of what people wrote on here won't work and shows a lack of understanding. What helped me: 1. SAD light in the mornings; 2. keeping sleep hygiene (using bed only for sleep); 3. using sleep phase trackers to not wake me during deep sleep (there are apps or hardware/watches/etc); 4. blocking blue light in the evenings via glasses and apps/software; 5. understanding it, accepting that I cannot fundamentally change it and telling my employer. – selfthinker Apr 29 '16 at 20:08

18 Answers 18

up vote 28 down vote accepted

Obviously you do wake up and you are already in such a good shape that you manage to hit the snooze button (and not the finally-off button). So you might also realize that there is not yet an absolute need to get up immediately but you can post-pone this to some minutes later without much of a risk.

So that exactly is where your issue is. You need to pull yourself together to get up. Being sleepy is extremely counter-productive here.

What worked for me is to introduce an urgent need to get up right now, not a minute or two later. This can be achieved with two easy hacks:

  1. Set the alarm to the latest possible time when you really really need to get up to just about make it to get to work in time. You know you will be late if you had pressed on snooze only once.

  2. Do not use an alarm with a snooze button. You will then know that you will oversleep if you turn it off. This alone will help you a lot to actually get up, and not to go back to bed again.

Of course, if we are lucky, we can try to slowly re-adjust our sleep/wake cycle by getting to bed earlier. This can not be done with one or two tries but it needs several days if not weeks. It then may help to better wake up in the morning but it is at the cost of losing all our evenings (which was the main reason it did not work out for me).

  • That works more or less. I know that it needs a longer period to change the sleep time and i also don't prefer to change it constantly because i like it very much to stay awake longer at weekends. After using these methods for a while, do you still need to use them or is it now generaly easier to stay awake even if you don't have urgent reasons to not go back? It would be really good if it works like this, because i can start working between 7 am and 9 am. If it doesn't hold on I'd have the problem that I'm forced to alsways wait until 9 am for best efficiency. – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 14:54
  • @OttoV.actually over time and by getting older I now have an urge different to my alarm that forces me out of bed. In addition I am also responsible for my kids to wake up for school by now. This alone is another strong means to overcome the evil snooze button. I just don't want to ruin the day of others. – Takkat Apr 25 '16 at 15:03
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    Well this would be easier and is kind of the same sort (don't go back to sleep because i have to bring the kids to school now). Anyway did you feel using this method had some kind of permanent learning effect or did you use snooze again after not using these methods anymore? – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 15:07
  • Sidenote: case 2 is what I'm doing in combination with point 1. First I used 1 alarm clock with only point 2. But I catched my self in the morning by just reconfiguring the alarm to ring in 25 minutes again after I got there. This had some site effects like sometimes In deep sleep taking the hours button for minutes and changing my clock to isntead from 6.25 to 6.35 from 6.25 to 16.25.... Some other times while configuring the clock I jsut asked my self why not jsut staying awake now. But the first even more often as the last. – Zaibis Apr 26 '16 at 9:39
  • Now I'm using 2 clocks. 1 which I reconfigure every morning and another acting as backup alarm in case I messed the configuration. What also helped but is nothing to influence. Since I'm commuting by bus and train to work and there is a train with people I like followed by the next where I don't like the people that much makes me target to get the earlyer one, albeit my workin times are flexible. – Zaibis Apr 26 '16 at 9:41

Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to physically get up out of bed and turn it off.

If the device you use for an alarm clock supports multiple alarms also set another alarm to go off at one minute after the main target time so if you do just turn it off and go back to bed you will have to get up again more or less straightaway.

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    This is the best answer. Just make sure you have to get out of bed to hit snooze. – coteyr Apr 25 '16 at 17:27
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    Nothing can stop me going back to bed.. This is just fighting symptoms. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 11:55
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    @otto fighting symptoms is all that it is needed. If you fight them successfully you are up. If you're looking for an underlying medical or psychological evaluation to find the root cause this is out of scope for a life hacks site. – Martin Smith Apr 26 '16 at 13:04
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    @OttoV. I'm sooo having the same problem. My alarm makes a loud and horribly annoying sound of a rooster and it's placed on my desk, far away from the bed. The usual plot every morning is that I either get up, hit Snooze and crawl into bed again, or I just let it scream for a couple of minutes until it gives up on itself, or I wait until somebody else gets up to come over and turn it off! :D Normally I'm then jumping out of bed in shock a few minutes later, when it's just slightly less than enough time to get ready before I have to leave... – Byte Commander Apr 26 '16 at 14:00
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    I actually put my (loud!) alarm clock in the kitchen. That means I have to go all the way across the house to turn it off, by the time I get there I'm usually a bit more awake. – Matthew Lock Apr 27 '16 at 7:34

Use 12 alarm clocks, each one ringing 5 seconds after the previous one, and each one being further away than the last. This way, you would have to get up, walk over, shut off, go to bed, immediately get up, walk over, shut off, go to bed, immediately get up, walk over, shut off, etc. until you get to the point where the next one rings before you even get to bed and before you know it you're up.

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    hahaha. My girlfriend would kill me. But then I'm really up. Not the best option tho. – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 11:58
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    I have used a variation of this: I set multiple alarms a few minutes apart. That way, even if I snooze or turn one off, there's another one waiting a few minutes later. The purpose is to be so persistently annoying that I eventually get up. – Pedro Apr 25 '16 at 16:17
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    Instead of the alarm loop, I prefer the sequence. Set up shirt and pants so as you walk from alarm clock to alarm clock, you get dressed. Position clocks so that they lead to kitchen for breakfast. Alarms should lead you to the car, so that before you know it, you're on your way to work! – Darthfett Apr 25 '16 at 17:25
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    Assuming a typical 9 minute snooze timer, you could place 108 alarm clocks at 5 second intervals, 5 seconds apart from each other. Then, you would have to shut off one clock every 5 seconds for the full 9 minutes. If you snoozed them, you would end up having to repeat the cycle and I'm sure the 9 minutes spent walking around shutting off clocks would help wake you up. – Harrison Paine Apr 25 '16 at 19:56
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    @HarrisonPaine they his girlfriend will really kill him. And the neighbors will line up to kill him next, if there is anything left. – Mindwin Apr 26 '16 at 14:57

The goal here is to make yourself wake up before you can turn off the alarm. There are a lot of ways to do that, one of which has already been suggested.

  1. Move the alarm clock across the room. This is simple but may not be effective enough for you.
  2. Buy a new alarm clock with an annoyance feature built in. There are alarm clocks that require you shoot a target, find a tiny drone it just fired, or find the entire clock which has rolled off somewhere. This option will cost you money but it will also ensure there's a delay between the alarm going off and you being able to hit snooze.
  3. Build / buy a small box with plenty of holes to let out the noise. Put the alarm clock in the box and lock it shut, adding a clasp and padlock if the box doesn't have a lock. Put the key somewhere else like another room.
  4. If you shower in the morning, put the alarm clock in your bathroom. You might decide that it's easier to get into the shower than back to bed as the shower is so close and hot water would be so nice right now.
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    i would probably just smash the darn thing after a few mornings – njzk2 Apr 26 '16 at 13:59
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    the shower idea is nice, but might simply be too far to hear without setting the volume to a level that would seriously bother the neighbors. – njzk2 Apr 26 '16 at 14:00
  • #2 is a cool idea, but did you read those amazon reviews? Caveat emptor! – J.R. Apr 26 '16 at 21:55
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    @J.R. Fair point. I was just trying to find examples of the ideas and not to promote specific products. I could have just linked to the pictures, I guess. – Engineer Toast Apr 27 '16 at 12:24

Check emails and / or Facebook as soon as the alarm rings. We all have an urge to read the unread messages or look for notifications. This makes you read. Once you read, your mind wakes up... And it seems boring to go back to sleep as the mind is already awake and you can't sleep again, but just lying with eyes closed. Eventually, you just want to leave the bed and there is no point hitting snooze.

I always keep the laptop on and earphones plugged in. It distracts me from thinking about unnecessary things and go to sleep. When I want to wake up after the alarm rings, I check Facebook and emails.

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    "unfortunately" I'm not that much interested in checking notifications and mails. i always do that on the way to work (using public transport). but hey, you just found out a good side of social media addiction. and i bet this method already helps alot of people. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:11
  • Yeah tbh I can't help but feel that training yourself to jump straight into social media addiction as literally the first thing you do during the day is unhealthy. Ideally you'd be trying to do things like that less, not more. – Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 27 '16 at 23:22
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    As an alternative to this, reading news is probably better and more general than Facebook, but I agree with your idea to make your brain active. – Andrew T. Apr 28 '16 at 8:07
  • "it seems boring to go back to sleep as the mind is already awake" ...You're not much of a heavy sleeper, are you? – jpmc26 Apr 29 '16 at 0:21

Is there any good way to get rid of this habit?

Disable the snooze function. On some high-end alarms (and several smartphone apps) this is possible.

On most alarms, there is a dedicated button with a snooze function. A judicious application of Superglue will prevent the snooze button from ever working again. I'd recommend several very small applications leaving time for the glue to cure, to prevent Superglue from leaking into the clock's innards.

If it is a touch button or the button is flush and waterproof, you can find some rigid, flat object (e.g. a coin) that can be glued over it to prevent it from being activated. This has the advantage that the function can be restored afterwards.

Update: I have a Fitbit Flex thingy that can be set to vibrate on your wrist at a set time. It hasn't a snooze function and turning it off is next to impossible if it's inside a cloth bracelet. Any reprogramming requires flipping out a Bluetooth smartphone. If you're sensitive to a buzzer next to your skin, that might be an option. Of course you need to sleep with the thing on, which might not be everyone's cup of tea.

  • As mentioned above, simply not using the function is dangerous because some times I forget about it and sleep again with waking up too late. – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 15:14
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    i did that too. But knowing there is no snooze, after a little time you should no longer forget. – LSerni Apr 25 '16 at 16:13
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    I've tried this. It's too easy for me to manually set my alarm clock to go off again 10-15 minutes into the future. – Kevin Apr 25 '16 at 22:24
  • Well, in that case one needs an alarm clock that's more difficult to reset. Perhaps enclosing it in a plastic shell that only exposes the OFF button? – LSerni Apr 25 '16 at 22:38

I find that putting my alarm away from my bed and immediately jumping into the shower works for me. The less I think about it the better. By the time I've realised I'm awake, I'm already half-ready to face the day.

The problem isn't that big when I get up at around noon.

Then the problem is your circadian rhythm, not the snooze bar.

The best advice I've ever heard, is that you can go to sleep whenever you want but you have to wake up at the same time every day regardless if you've the day off. Get yourself on a schedule and you will find it unavoidable to wake up to it, and you will feel better when you do.

Eventually, you'll start finding yourself awake before it even goes off the first time. The key to not wanting to hit the snooze bar is motivation. Mine is having enough time to brew my own coffee. Also, continued employment is nice...

I get the feeling you're a student, where being late is only a waste of your own money. You'll learn real quick, one way or another, how not to hit that bar later on in the real world.

Potentially a problem with "blue" light. Light from TV/tablet/phone keeps your brain active, as late into the night as you use them. I use apps like Twilight on Android, and another for my PC. Still working on a solution for TV.

  • The sleeping time isn't such a big problem. When i stay awake longer, it has "active" reason. It's not that i can't sleep. – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 16:21
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    @OttoV. your circadian rhythms are very much affected by blue light late at night, even if you fall asleep easily. Clearly all is not well; you do not wake up easily, after all. – djechlin Apr 26 '16 at 20:52

My personal method is not to use a traditional alarm clock. They are typically not very configurable at all. Instead I use my android smartphone's alarm.

It gives me the option to enable or disable the snooze feature for each alarm: my morning alarm has it disabled.

You can also set a limit to the number of snoozes, and set the length of the snoozes, etc. So if you wanted to set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier, to allow yourself a single snooze of 15 minutes (9 minutes has never felt like the right length for me, but all alarm clocks use it!), you could.

It also has the feature to require me to solve a simple puzzle before turning off: press four randomly-numbered buttons in increasing order.

It also has the feature that I can set the alarm to something that slowly gets louder, rousing me gently, rather than jolting me and my wife awake.

With these features, I don't have a problem getting up. And I will never go back to a LED alarm clock with infinite 9-minute snoozes and a ghastly beeping alarm.

  • This method is already included in some answers here. Anyway for me it's too dangerous to just disable the snooze. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:17
  • I did not see this combination of four different methods mentioned anywhere, but perhaps I missed something. Ah well. While I understand your fear of disabling snooze, I'd say definitely try the "no snooze" or "limited snoozes" thing, in combination with the puzzle and the gentler waking. You will most likely find there is no danger of sleeping in at all, but we're all different. – Dewi Morgan Apr 26 '16 at 13:22
  • Maybe the combination is not listed, but the seprate parts. It might work well for some people, but i think it doesn't help me. It's not a bad answer. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:28
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    ok, i will try it. if it helps, i add this answer to my question. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:39
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    @OttoV. Just wanted to chime in that it helped me a lot, though smartphone based alarm clocks have a natural disadvantage which you will find out at some point if you're as lazy as I am. Additionally a lot of them offer stuff like sleep tracking and waking you up when you're not in your deep sleep, which sometimes worked great, but is far from perfect (and my current smartphone can't actually turn off the screen whilst staying awake, so haven't used it in quite awhile). com.urbandroid.sleep is the one I would recommend. – David Mulder Apr 26 '16 at 13:54

If you use a real alarm clock, open it up and remove the snooze button, covering up the hole so you don't stick your fingers inside or press the remaining button. The temptation to silence it instead must be resisted - probably by having the clock well away from the bed.

If you use an alarm app on your phone, replace the stock one with an app that doesn't have a snooze, or one that makes you do something significant to silence it. Here's an old list of such apps; some make you walk around before they'll shut up, others just allow you to disable the snooze.

Some people swear by "dawn alarm clocks" that increase the brightness of a lamp before sounding the alarm. The only one I have any experience of was overpriced junk -- not even reliable.

Whatever approach you take, you should regard it as training. So when your no-snooze alarm goes off, you get out of bed and get moving. Leave the room if possible perhaps a second alarm in another room (battery powered in the bathroom) would get you moving. Do not even sit on the bed (e.g. to dress) until the evening.

  • 5
    This is lifehacks ... so: When I read about those "dawn alarm clocks" I decided to try out the method with whatever equipment I already had. Timer relays to turn electric equipment on/off at specific times are readily available, and I happened to own multiple already. I connected one of those to an ordinary lamp (model Not from Ikea, very cheap), and picked an energy saving light bulb which I knew was very slow at turning on. That combination has worked great for me. As an added benefit it has a countdown timer I can use to turn light off with a 1-minute delay as I am going to bed. – kasperd Apr 25 '16 at 22:25
  • @kasperd I thought about a dimmer switch and a servo to turn it slowly, but never got round to it. – Chris H Apr 26 '16 at 5:47

Pushing the snooze button so many times is not an addiction(what you call). It signifies how lazy and irresponsible you are. You don't need a life hack for the reason. All you need is motivation(no offence).

Drink lots of water before sleep so that you will wake up to pee. Once you get into washroom make sure you don't come back and sleep. Rather brush your teeth and finish your morning ablutions and get back to your work. This is what i do my self everyday. It helps! Time is precious make the best use of it.

  • 'Lack of public awareness of the disorder contributes to the difficulties experienced by people with DSPD, who are commonly stereotyped as undisciplined or lazy. [...] People with DSPD who force themselves to follow a normal 9–5 workday "are not often successful and may develop physical and psychological complaints during waking hours, e.g., sleepiness, fatigue, headache, decreased appetite, or depressed mood. [...]"' from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – selfthinker Apr 29 '16 at 20:15

Move the alarm clock across the room. When I physically have to get out of bed I am better about not falling back asleep.

Alternatively, feed a cat/dog/fish/velociraptor first thing in the morning. They like schedules as well, so it makes sense.

  • Be warned though, if you train your cat/dog/fish/velociraptor to expect to be fed on a morning schedule, don't expect to be able to sleep in on weekends. – Marty Neal Apr 27 '16 at 0:00

The method that I used to break my addition to the snooze function was to set two alarms. The first would be appropriate for the entire household to hear, such as the default phone alarm. The second alarm was set to be something very embarrassing that I did not want others to hear. This way, I would be forced to get up and disable the alarms, lest the second alarm go off and my children hear the terrible soundtrack (NSFW) that I put on the second alarm.

The OP mentions that other people live in the house, namely his grilfriend. So the linked soundtrack may or may not be appropriate, but a creative person could always find other things which should not be heard (NSFW).

I solved this problem by eating three meals a day. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifted my circadian rhythm. I started waking up early without an alarm clock. I wake up early now because I am hungry. I have become a morning person.

It took months for my body to adjust, so do not expect instant results from this method. There is a lot of initial effort required in that you will have to force yourself to get up early to eat breakfast for a few weeks. Also, your stomach may not like having food thrown into it when it is not expecting it.

If you are in a hurry and miss breakfast one morning, make sure you eat lunch and dinner. You can also have a late breakfast as long as you still eat lunch and dinner. Try to eat dinner as early as possible without leaving yourself hungry at bedtime. If you are hungry at bedtime, eat just enough to get to sleep.

One of the side benefits of this approach is that you will sleep better. Eating three meals a day seems to cause calories to be released more evenly into the bloodstream. In turn, the even release of calories seems to improve sleep.

Taking a 30 minute walk during the day will improve your digestion and help you sleep. Try to exercise before your evening meal. Exercising too late in the day can make it hard to get to sleep.

At the time of this writing, none of the answers above attacked the real problem: You do not want to get up early. In my experience, alarm clock tricks only work for people who actually want to get up early. As long as you do not want to get up early, your body will adapt to each of these tricks until you are back where you started. Until you fix the underlying problem, you will always have trouble getting up early.

  • Not bad. I will try to combine it with other methods. – Otto V. Apr 28 '16 at 14:30

in a comment you mentioned that your girlfriend might want to sleep in longer than you, this could be part of the problem, if she sleeps in longer she may want to stay up later and counteract you trying to get to bed on time and waking up on time, thus the snooze button.

if you get up together than it is going to be easier for both of you to get on schedule, and probably help other aspects of your life together as well.

there are a lot of things in life that are easier to accomplish when you do them with other people, this is one of those things.

another thing is that you need to be excited to get up, excited for the day. look forward to getting up in the morning. look forward to a new day.

these things will help you get out of the habit of using the snooze button, and may help you get to the point where your body wakes you after it has enough sleep without the need for the alarm clock.

  • Sometimes my gf sleeps longer, but more often I do. My mind just refuses to be fit in the morning.. I know my best schedule but it doesn't work with my core work times. :) – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:15
  • if you always get up at the earliest time you will always wake easier at that time. it's conditioning. I wake around the same time every morning, but on Saturday's I can lay back down and go back to sleep, but not for very much longer. kids help...lol – Malachi Apr 26 '16 at 13:17
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    kids is cheating. I don't have some right now. – Otto V. Apr 26 '16 at 13:19

Short circuit your sleep need by going to bed and to sleep earlier. If you're going down later and continuously shortchanging your body of sleep, then go to bed 4 hours earlier than normal.

TV won't care, the internet won't care, whatever you're doing in the evening can be done some other time if at all.

My best fix was staying off the Imgur website - because it was endless, there was no defined finish, and the clock kept slipping around. 3AM bedtime with an alarm at 7 AM simply won't work for long.

I'd suggest seeing a doctor to be evaluated for depression. Depression can change your sleep patterns and make it very difficult, even if fully awake, to get out of bed. It can also masquerade as sleep deprivation, or vice versa, and have other physical symptoms.

No, not really a lifehack, but there's no lifehack that will solve your problem if you're so depressed you just go back to bed no matter how hard you have to work to shut off the alarm.

Alternatively, if you're medically certain that depression isn't the cause, you might explore hypnosis. It's very commonly used to overcome bad habits.

  • Thanks, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not depressive. I think it's just a bad habit. Also going to work actually doesn't bother me. I just hope that there is some trick to resist going back to bed. By the way the problem isn't that big when get up at around noon. I don't like to get up early in the morning, but i have to. The sleeping duration also doesn't matter alot. If I set my clock to 7 am after 8h of sleep it's much harder than 11 am after 8h of sleep. This also doesn't change when I permanently sleep from 11 pm to 7 am. – Otto V. Apr 25 '16 at 13:02
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    You might add the above information about changing your amount of sleep or sleeping schedule to the question -- it'll help get better answers. – Zeiss Ikon Apr 25 '16 at 13:55

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