Admit it, we have all done it. You are in the middle of a wonderful, carefree dream when suddenly the piercing sound of your dreaded alarm rudely interrupts. You have two choices; jump out of bed and push yourself to begin the day, or, more temptingly, push that addictive snooze button and grab another ten minutes of toasty rest before you absolutely have to get up.
The snooze button is regarded as one of society’s greatest inventions to the night owls and sleep lovers of the world, and some argue that it gives the mind and body a short interval in which to naturally awake whilst still grabbing some last moments of peaceful rest. However, recent research has been undertaken which has discovered that those 10 minutes (or more, for some people) of further sleep can actually be more detrimental than helpful.
Here is why you shouldn't hit the snooze button:
Today it is estimated that more than 30% of Americans press the snooze button every day more at least three times, giving them between fifteen and thirty minutes of extra bedtime after their initial alarm has gone off. This rises to more than 50% when focusing solely on the demographic of 25 to 34-year-olds.
Though it may seem that you are gaining extra rest from doing this, experts believe that instead, this habit could be detrimental to your daily energy levels. This all has to do with the science of our sleeping cycles.
At different points during the night, your body shifts into separate levels of ‘sleep’, the most vital of these being REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Before we wake up, the brain sends our hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which help the body to naturally transition from REM to a much lighter sleeping state. By hitting the snooze button numerous times each morning, you are in effect continuing to put your body into the lighter state of sleep which compared to REM is not particularly rejuvenating or refreshing. Staying in this lighter state of sleep is the reason that on a particular day you might feel as though you haven’t had any rest at all, feeling groggy and tired throughout the day, and this is purely because you forced your body to start the working day after a significant period of light sleep thanks to your snooze button.
So is there a solution to this problem? An alternative to the detrimental snooze button? Experts have recommended that rather than setting your alarm with the thought of being able to snooze for an extra period of time, have your dreams be interrupted at the exact time that you really do need to be getting out of bed. This way, you are getting an extra half an hour of deeper sleep instead of thirty minutes of interrupted light rest. Alternatively, you could move your alarm further away from the bedside table, forcing you to physically get up to turn it off and therefore breaking the attachment to your duvet and allowing you to more easily begin the day.