You Snooze, You Lose: Think Before You Reach for that Alarm

We’ve all been there. Our busy schedules get the best of us, we lose out on sleep and the snooze alarm quickly becomes our new best friend.

Most of the time (let’s be honest, all of the time) I hear my alarm go off and instantly hit the snooze button before I can even give it a second thought. I started to notice that on days I did this, I generally fell back asleep for a short 10 or so extra minutes and I woke up even more tired. How could this be? I was getting extra rest, even if it was just a few minutes worth. It turns out the snooze alarm is actually detrimental to getting a good night’s rest. Here’s why:

According to ASAP Science, your body has a natural sleep cycle to prepare itself for waking. Your temperature will begin to rise, sleep will become lighter and you’ll be filled with all kinds of good, happy-inducing hormones.

However, without a healthy bedtime routine in place, the process will be interrupted. This is why you may find yourself waking up very groggy from the abrupt alert of an alarm. Your trained instinct may be to hit the snooze to help this grogginess, but it actually just reinitiates sleep inertia or the process of cutting you off from a deep sleep before your body is ready.

In a perfect world, alarms wouldn’t be needed and your body would be able to wake up naturally on its own each day. If this isn’t a daily possibility for you, no need to worry. By implementing a set sleep time every night and setting your alarm for the latest possible time, you’ll begin to wake up well-rested. You may even want to consider adapting your morning routine to include meditation or light exercise to jump-start your brain for the day.

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Photo credit: Angelina Truchan (featured), ASAP Science (inset)

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