To Snooze or Not to Snooze

by Shreya Birudavolu ‘24

Source: Pinterest

Published Jan. 25th, 2021

Have you ever heard of a morning person? You know, those magicians who somehow manage to wake up feeling rested and ready to start the day? Yup, they exist. And then there’s the rest of us, who lay in bed wishing we could get more sleep. And so what do you do? Hit the snooze button. Ah, the sacred button that solves all our sleep-related problems. But does it really?

A survey showed that out of about 20,000 people, half of all respondents resist the snooze button while the other half hits it. So clearly, there are a lot of people out there who depend on the snooze button. But what really happens when we hit snooze?

According to a study published in the Public Library of Science, waking up with the snooze button repeatedly causes more grogginess than if you woke up right away. This lowering of energy levels can make it hard to focus on work or make decisions. Though snoozing longer may seem like a way to get more sleep, it actually prevents deep sleep. The few minutes of sleep between snooze buttons is not enough to make a difference in your total sleep, so if you want more sleep it is a better idea to set your alarm 15 minutes later or have a nap later in the day. Another unfortunate side effect of the snooze button is that it throws your sleep schedule out of whack. Instead of waking up later on some days and earlier on others, going to sleep and waking up at the same time can make a big difference in how you feel when you wake up. 

Even though there are bad effects from it, resisting the power of the snooze button is a lot easier said than done, but here are some ways you can do it. Hitting snooze is probably a habit by now, so in order to change it, you can put your phone across the room. That way when you wake up, you can’t click snooze with a flick of your wrist and will instead have to get up and go across the room. This may seem like too much work, but once you get used to not hitting the snooze button, you can put your phone back where it was. Just don’t get tempted to return to your old habit! Another trick is to sit up right away instead of laying in bed until you fall back asleep because then you have to deal with the agony of waking up twice! 

You should also have a set routine once you wake up so that when you do these things it tells your body it’s time to be awake. Last but not least, don’t set your alarm earlier than you need to! Some people have three or even four alarms in a row, but if you know when you need to wake up, don’t interrupt your sleep until then.

The New Year has finally arrived, so here’s to hoping we can all get more sleep this year!

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