Perhaps the irresponsible person who thought they were doing us a favor by inventing the snooze button was just sleep deprived and unable to think it through clearly?
The sleep button is not only a terrible idea, it’s a detriment to our health, and a glaring sign that by using it we aren’t sleeping properly. Despite this, over 50% of American’s hit that sucker every morning (30% hitting it three times), like their lives depended on it.
Sadly, the reverse is true. It has been shown that pushing yours, not only doesn’t offer ‘valuable’ sleep, it actually works against it. Yes, you are worse off. Here’s why:
- Pushing the snooze button will make that ‘don’t want to get out of bed’ feeling worse. “Post-snooze sleep isn’t high quality and leaves you more tired, not to mention, rushed.” (Natalie Dautovich, PhD, National Sleep Foundation)
- It messes with your sleep cycle. Hitting the snooze button puts us back into another cycle of sleep, until the alarm goes off 9 minutes later and pulls us out again. As a result, we can feel even more foggy and disoriented.
- Your waking up/morning routine resets your internal clock, essentially programming you for sleep that night. (Sets in motion all kinds of processes, when to eat, when to get tired, etc.) With irregular or confusing sleep/wake cycles, the clock simply doesn’t function as well.
Post-snooze sleep isn’t high quality and leaves you more tired, not to mention, rushed.
So, if you’re a button-pusher, use it as your wake up call. Know that it’s telling you you’re not getting the quality sleep you need. Put your alarm on the other side of the room and force yourself to get up. You’ll feel better after a few minutes than if you did go back to sleep. Then try to improve your sleep: look at your bedtime habits, your consistency in going to bed and getting up at the same time, your stress levels, and how much light you get in the mornings. (This is a biggie, because a good dose of sunlight is very efficient at programming you for the next sleep.)
Ironically, when you get more sleep, quality sleep, you won’t need an alarm. Let alone that nasty little button.