VIDEO: Should You Use The SNOOZE Button?

The snooze button may seem like your best friend ever for those 5 or 10 minutes after your alarm clock rudely wakes you up each morning. But are those few extra minutes of snoozing really worth the trouble? Well in a perfect world, when we go to sleep our bodies will wake us up naturally once sufficiently replenished. This seems a little crazy right? It turns out we have many chemical mechanisms in place that help us to fall asleep and wake us up as well. In a natural sleep cycle, the body begins to prepare to wake up an hour before the optimal time, which is signaled by a rising temperature, a lighter sleep stage and the release of the Dopamine and Cortisol chemicals which give you the energy needed to get your day started.

Now the major problem with alarms, as you well know, is that they often cut these natural sleep cycles short. Often times when we ‘sleep in’, we’re not really sleeping for that long we just went to bed late and woke up naturally. But with work and other responsibilities, how often if ever do we get to wake up on our own reconnaissance? Ain’t nobody really got time for that…

So when the alarm goes off before our bodies are ready, we get up in this completely lethargic and tired state known as sleep inertia, which has varying levels of severity depending on our lack of sleep. So hitting that snooze button to collect a few more minutes of sleep should help a little though right?

Actually no, hitting the snooze button can do more damage than good! See if you manage to successfully fall back to sleep, you’re entering the initial stages of the deep sleep cycle again, so as a result the second alarm may cause you to feel even more tired than before!

The solution?

Set your alarm to go off a half hour later or go to bed earlier! Studies have found that fragmented sleep is much less restorative and can lead to sleepiness related daytime impairment (aka stay away from operating heavy machinery or doing anything else useful for civilization). So stop breaking up those last 30 minutes of sleep! Also try and adopt a regular sleep schedule to avoid feeling tired all the time.

So your fling might not like predictability, but the body sure does. Try and stick to a consistent sleep schedule and you might be able to eventually lose the rude alarm clock awakening each morning. And finally resist that dreaded temptation to hit the snooze button, as the saying goes, “You SNOOZE, you LOSE.”

Angus Whitton
Sound advice! I only use an alarm for things like 'early' flights and important appointments, otherwise it's any time between 0630 and 0730 (natural wake-up time).
Dave Gabbett
The good old snooze button... seems like a great idea at 5:00am but.. darn! you could'a had time for a v-8 before running out the door while you're still tucking your shirt in!
David Forbes
I stopped using an alarm a few years ago taking advantage of my natural rhythms. I definitely recommend this to those that are a slave to the alarm (and to the snooze button).
Jose A F Carrilho
Hi David, My Dad was a country person before moving to the city and he didn't need any alarm clock. Moreover, he was able to awake at different hours. Country people can do that far better than city ones. Take care, Jose A F Carrilho
Daniel Zeevi
Definitely the choice way of waking up if one can afford it :) I never feel quite right if I don't..
Jose A F Carrilho
Hi Daniel and readers, One of the important things that some people don't pay attention, although they know that going to be really really late on a consistent basis is not healthy and can induce to serious problems, is that our body temperature gets lower as hours advance into dawn. This is one of the causes of having trouble to fall asleep. I guess that I'm right about this :-) Take care, José Carrilho
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