Do you jump out of bed in the morning the first time your alarm clock rings? Or are you someone who likes to hit snooze several times before rising? While hitting snooze and getting a few more minutes of sleep may seem like a good idea, it is actually counterintuitive. Your body goes through several sleep cycles every night. Interrupting these cycles in the morning can leave you feeling more tired than if you just woke up at the time your alarm really needs to sound.
What Happens When You Snooze
When your body hears the alarm go off that’s meant to wake you up and you hit snooze, you are teaching your body that it can ignore the alarm. Several minutes later the cycle repeats. How is your body to know which alarm is the alarm that means you have to get up now? As you train your body to ignore the alarm, it may become more difficult for you to wake up to an alarm clock.
In addition, when you’re hitting snooze in the morning you are only getting a few extra minutes of sleep each time. Scientists believe you are starting your sleep cycles all over again, meaning you are getting your body ready for deep sleep with every tap of the snooze button. Unfortunately for your body, light sleep is the phase you enter each time you snooze. Waking up in light sleep may actually make you feel more tired.
To really feel rested your body needs more of the deep, restorative sleep it receives when you get uninterrupted sleep. This type of sleep allows your body to transition through the sleep phases at its’ own optimal pace.
I know, you’re tired! So how can you stop hitting snooze?
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Alternatives to Hitting Snooze
- Go to bed earlier. When you are waking up tired on a regular basis you may not be getting enough sleep. Instead of trying to get sleep in 7 minute intervals, go to bed a little earlier at night. Your sleep will be higher quality sleep and you will wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Make sure to limit caffeine, exercise and screen time before bed so you can fall right to sleep.
- Set your alarm clock for the time you really need to get up. You will need to train your body to listen to the alarm the first time. This alternative allows you to continue with the sleep cycle your body is naturally in instead of getting lots of interrupted sleep in the mornings. You will be getting up at the same time and feeling more rested than when you snooze off and on for half an hour.
- Have regular bed times and waking times. A regular sleep schedule helps your body learn when to go to bed and when to get up. As your body learns this new cycle, you may even find yourself waking up before your alarm clock rings!
- Set your coffee pot up the night before and have it automatically brew coffee at your waking time. Smelling the coffee and knowing it is waiting for you is a little incentive to get out of bed.
- Meditate prior to going to bed. It is a great way to ensure that you are fully relaxed and ready for a restful night’s sleep.
Is Snoozing Ever OK?
Snoozing one time can help ease your body into the day. Using those few minutes to gently wake your mind and body (while remaining awake!) can ease your transition into the day. In addition, there are always going to be those occasional days where you really feel that you just need a few extra minutes of sleep. You know your body best!
(Learn more about sleep cycles here.)
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What tips do you have to stop hitting snooze?