Oh that sound of the 6:00 alarm in the morning! It’s set to alert you that it’s time to wake up and face a bright new day and the promise of what lies ahead as the minutes tick into hours. But, oh how good it feels to reach over and tap snooze to grab just a few more minutes of sleep. You may have heard the saying, “You snooze, you lose,” but research has now shown that these words may be more than a snarky rhyming phrase that slips off the tongue in Dr. Seuss fashion. Hitting snooze actually has negative effects on your health, emotions, and psychological outlook. Here are five reasons why hitting snooze is a bad idea.
1. The snooze button disrupts healthy sleep
Healthy sleep comes in cycles that start with light sleep and moves into deep sleep. Deep sleep allows our bodies to refresh enough to heal, boost our immune system, strengthen bones and muscles, and regrow tissue. Deep sleep leads to Rapid Eye Movement, REM, when our brain is active and allows dreaming to take place. REM comes in stages, and a good night’s sleep includes several REM cycles with the first REM stage starting about an hour and a half after we have fallen asleep. Getting quality REM sleep the night before leads to clearer thinking the following day. Hitting snooze will disrupt a healthy sleep rhythm, throw off our thinking, and could lead to some very serious health issues.
2. Snoozing jolts and confuses your body
Our bodies go through sleep cycles and need to complete the full duration. For instance, if the cycle lasts for 45 minutes, and you hit snooze for 10 minutes, you’re going to jolt your body awake before the next sleep cycle is complete. This creates what is called sleep inertia, which basically means that you keep waking up in the middle of a REM cycle. If you don’t get quality REM sleep, you’re going to be left fatigued instead of rested. Our bodies begin the process of waking up about an hour and half before we actually open our eyes to face the day. This is why having a bedtime and waking time that your body gets used to is healthier than hitting snooze which will confuse your body as to whether you are attempting to wake up or stay asleep. This sleep inertia jolting leads to a feeling much like jet lag. The end result is that you will feel more groggy.
3. Procrastination starts with the tap of Snooze
Hitting snooze is about more than quality of sleep or how much sleep you’re getting and the physical effects on your body. It also effects emotional and psychological health. It’s really a form of procrastination, putting something off. You may think there’s no harm in hitting snooze and putting off waking up as long as possible, but what you are actually doing is dragging your feet and maybe even failing to plan your day which may be a warning sign that there are emotional and behavioral issues to deal with during waking hours that cause you to want to put off waking up to face them.
4. Hitting snooze sets a bad tone for the day
Does the sound of the alarm strike a feeling of dread about waking up to face the day? The way you wake up sets the tone for the entire day, but it goes even deeper than that. When you consistently hit snooze, your body subconsciously starts to react as if you are dreading waking up and may respond by producing excess stress hormone, cortisol, that will create inflammation and put unnecessary strain on your physical body. Wouldn’t it be better to set the alarm for five minutes later or go to bed five minutes earlier so that when the alarm sounds, it triggers more of a sense of ambition and anticipation for a new beginning and a good day ahead?
5. The snooze button is a lie that will backfire
The only real relief you get from hitting snooze is temporary at best. Ultimately, the snooze button’s promise is a lie. It teases with thoughts of a few more seconds of sleep making all of the difference in how tired you will feel once you get out of bed, and that bed does feel cozier in those early waking moments. But, it’s really a lie. By hitting snooze, you tell yourself that if you just can sneak in five or ten more minutes of precious sleep, you’ll be rested enough to face the day. However, the truth of it is that hitting snooze will actually make you feel groggier. Hitting snooze won’t add a few more minutes of deep, quality sleep. It really will most likely end up making you feel more irritated and ultimately more sleepy than if you had never hit snooze in the first place.