When your alarm clock goes off, most of us don’t bounce out of bed. It’s all too tempting to reach for the snooze button for just five more minutes. And when your alarm goes off again, it’s all too tempting to reach for the snooze button for just five more minutes…
See what’s happening here?!
With the recommended level of sleep being eight hours a night but with so many of getting less than that, how you react to your alarm can have a huge impact on your day ahead. Studies have shown that hitting the snooze button repeatedly makes you more lethargic and puts a greater strain on your cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Of course, getting enough sleep is difficult enough – and sleeping for less than six or seven hours a night has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including numerous studies which link sleep deprivation to weight gain. But the ‘extra’ sleep you think you’re getting in-between alarms doesn’t count towards your overall total because you’re not slipping back into a deep sleep pattern.
Here are four reasons why you should try and break the snooze button habit:
It makes you sleepier
Of course, when your alarm first goes off, everyone feels a bit groggy. It’s called sleep inertia and it’s perfectly natural. But if you hit snooze and then doze off again, you’re being abruptly woken again and again, which can make this sleep inertia worse, leading you to retain this groggy feeling right throughout the day.
You don’t ‘gain’ deep sleep
The type of sleep you get between alarms isn’t the type that does your body the most good. The small window of time doesn’t allow your body to reach the deep sleep phase before you’re jolted awake again. Try and train yourself to get up on your first alarm.
Your productivity actually reduces
Rather than feeling rested, because you’ve gone into a cycle of light sleep and being abruptly woken again and again, your cognitive functions are actually affected for the full day. This has a huge impact on your ability to make decisions as well as concentrating on any tasks at hand.
It affects your memory and recall
One of the biggest benefits of the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of the sleep cycle is this is the time where we process new experiences or new skills. If you’re in the habit of setting your alarm that bit earlier – just so you can buy yourself enough time for some snoozes – you’re actually interrupting this important step in your sleep cycle. This could lead to difficulty in remembering new skills, so try and set your alarm for when you have to get up, that way there’s no need to compromise the most beneficial parts of your sleep.