If you snooze, you lose
Is the snooze button your best friend? If it is, you may want to kick it to the curb. Experts say that people who repetitively hit ‘snooze’ to silence their alarm are groggier and less productive throughout the day than those who do not.
But we all thought those few extra minutes were so glorious. How could sleep be bad for us?
The reason is this: snoozing is breaking up what was meant to be a complete sleep cycle. It also tricks your body into starting a new cycle that it won’t be able to finish when your alarm goes off. Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona, told CNN that “This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”
Waking up before your body is able to complete a cycle makes you experience something called sleep inertia. This basically means that your brain still wants to be sleeping so you experience intense grogginess which can take up to an hour and a half to shake off, researchers say.
Sleep inertia is described by The National Sleep Foundation as “the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that can come from awakening from a deep sleep.” It slows your ability to make quick decisions, impairs your memory, and decreases your ability to complete general daily tasks.
What’s even worse is that by indulging in this ‘snooze’ behavior, your hormones are thrown off balance. This results in not being able to fall asleep at night. Snooze won’t just wreck your day, it may throw off your whole week, Rosenberg said.
To resist the snooze alarm, experts recommend going to sleep earlier at night. Secondly, shut off all electronics an hour before bedtime as blue-light-emitting devices can disrupt your ability to fall asleep naturally. Lastly, place your alarm clock out of reach so it’s harder to hit snooze in the morning. If you can’t hit it, you have to get up to turn it off.
Next time you hear that familiar alarm calling you into consciousness, remember, if you snooze, you lose.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.