The Rockwood Files: Confessions of a Snooze Abuser

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

I did it again this morning – flopped my arm out onto the nightstand, reaching blindly for the alarm clock and the big button on the top marked “snooze.” I smacked it into silence and was asleep again immediately. This sleepy sequence of events repeated itself two more times until I finally pried my eyes open and squinted at the numbers on the clock.

“Oh, man! I’m running late,” I groaned as I irritably threw back the covers and headed for the shower. “Stupid snooze button.”

I blame the snooze button because it’s easier than being mad at myself for abusing the snooze the way I do. Every night when I set the alarm, I swear I won’t hit the snooze button the next morning. I envision myself popping out of bed to get a jump on the day’s “to do” list, the way those perky morning people do. But it’s easy for a night owl to make herself these kinds of idealistic promises around midnight when she’s happy and wide awake. It’s a whole different story in the morning.

What I find ironic about the snooze button is how easy it is to fall asleep once I press it. Sometimes at night it takes me nearly an hour to drift off. But in the morning, I’m unconscious again about a half-second after I’ve hit that button, convinced that just nine more minutes will feel like heaven. But then nine more minutes is never quite enough, and a couple of successive snoozes can throw a whole morning into rushed chaos.

The part of the morning I dread most are those minutes between turning off the alarm clock and stepping into the shower. What I need is an alarm clock that eliminates that cold, groggy walk from bed to bathroom, when all you can think about is how much you want to sleep. I’d start the day much quicker if the alarm clock was somehow connected to a Looney Tunes-style catapult that could launch me from the bed to the warm, steamy shower. Wonder if the Acme Company makes one of those?

I read an article online that said the snooze button is just one more bad habit we all need to kick. It said hitting the snooze button is another way to procrastinate, and starting the morning off with procrastination doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day’s agenda. And if this is true, then I suppose my habit of setting the alarm clock early enough to allow for several snooze sessions is, in reality, simply planning ahead to be a slacker.

Personally, I always thought the snooze button was more like a gently sloping onramp that lets me accelerate from sleep to “full speed ahead”. But I’ll admit I spend far too much time sprawled out and drooling on the onramp instead of getting in gear to meet the new day.

So what’s a groggy night owl to do? Some say we snooze abusers should put the alarm clock across the room so we’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off. And once you’re up and across the room, you might as well hit the shower, right? It sounds logical, but I know from experience that the only thing more irritating than a buzzing alarm clock is a buzzing alarm clock that’s too far away to receive the strong smack it deserves for squawking at such an early hour.

I’ll admit that having the snooze button close by is certainly not doing me any favors. Having those nine more minutes is just enough to make me want more, which isn’t possible when there are kids to feed, errands to run and work to do. I suppose the best strategy would be going to bed at a decent hour, which would mean my transformation into a bona fide, responsible grown-up would be nearly complete. Common sense might be practical, but it sure isn’t much fun. Sweet dreams.

Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here.