Why you should stop hitting the snooze button
It’s tempting to grant ourselves “just five more minutes”. But hitting the snooze button can actually make you feel groggier, foggier and impact your mood.
We all have the best intentions in the evening when we set our alarms for 6AM. But when you wake in a haze and know your first zoom call isn’t until 9AM, how many times do you hit snooze before you roll out of bed at 8.59AM?
Those few extra minutes of sleep might feel like the best idea mid-slumber, especially if you went to bed a bit later than you planned, but the reality is that hitting the snooze button can lead to negative effects on both our body and mind.
The sleep you get after hitting snooze in the morning is poor quality sleep and can actually negatively impact your energy levels.
1. Causes Sleep Inertia. Sleep inertia is the feeling of grogginess, disorientation and haze you feel after waking up. It usually lasts about 15-60 minutes after waking, but recent studies have shown may last up to 2-4 hours if you awaken during the early sleep cycle or deep sleep.
2. Disrupts REM Sleep. When you hit the snooze button, you confuse your brain to thinking it’s entering another sleep cycle. Drifting in and out of sleep for those extra few minutes disrupts the REM sleep or dream sleep, a restorative sleep state. This 5-to-10-minute snooze time isn't enough to return to restorative sleep, and the disruption can increase your blood pressure and heartbeat.
3. Fragments Your Sleep. The fragmented sleep resulting from snoozing can compromise your attention span, cognitive ability, and negatively impact your mood. Fragmented sleep also messes up your sleep cycle, disrupting your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm, leading to fatigue.
Not only does hitting the snooze button negatively affect our physical health, but it also starts our morning in a fight with our alarms, adding to our stress. For many, the reason we hit snooze in the morning is because we’re not getting enough sleep, or we’re going to bed later than we should. You should aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night, and aim to go to bed between 10PM-11PM every night. If you have good sleep hygiene, you should find it easier to wake up every morning.
There are a few things you can do to help you get up easier in the morning and fight the urge to hit snooze
1. Implement Better Sleep Hygiene. Keep the room cool and comfortable, ideally around 16-19 degrees. Unplug from devices an hour before bed, and keep your phone out of reach to avoid hitting the snooze button.
2. Use a traditional alarm clock. It’s very easy to hit any button on your phone in the morning to snooze your alarm. Instead, use a traditional alarm clock or a light therapy alarm like Lumie and place it away from your bedside. This means you cannot easily hit snooze and have to get up to turn it off.
3. Have a consistent wake up time. Practice sleep syncing by going to the bed and waking up at the same time every night (yes even on weekends). This will settle your circadian rhythm and make it easier for you to wake up in the morning.
4. Count down 3-2-1 and sit up. When you wake up, count yourself down to sit up or get up. This way you hold yourself accountable and you don’t think about laying in or having an extra 10 minutes.
5. Expose yourself to natural light as soon as you wake up. Natural light helps signal to your brain that it's time to wake up. Open your curtains or blinds as quickly as you can, and then head outside to soak up the light.
Hitting the snooze button is more than a guilty pleasure; it can impact your mood and energy levels. Whether it’s adopting better sleep hygiene, embracing meditation, or simply getting out of bed when your alarm goes off, these changes can lead to a fresher and more productive start to your day.
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