To Snooze or not to Snooze: That is the Question
You were up later than usual last night, and you know it’s going to be tough getting out of bed tomorrow morning. You’re dependent on your alarm, so what do you do: push back your alarm to give yourself an extra 15 minutes of sleep, or keep your alarm as is, knowing you’ll hit the beloved snooze button a couple of times? According to sleep experts, if your default is to snooze, be prepared to lose throughout the day.
Why You Snooze
Hitting the snooze button is likely a result of poor sleep quality, and could be your body’s way of telling you that you aren't getting enough sleep. Dr. Robert Rosenberg from the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, Arizona, explains: “most people are doing this because they’re not getting enough sleep on a daily basis. You may be suffering from what we call ‘social jetlag.’” Social jetlag is the new term for chronic sleep deprivation, which poses severe health risks, such as a higher body-mass index and an increased risk for diabetes.
Cause and Effect
Dr. Rosenberg believes that snoozing can pose detrimental effects, explaining that “when you hit the snooze alarm, you are disrupting your current stage of sleep.” How can an extra 6 minutes of shut eye be disruptive? The answer is fragmented sleep. Fragmented sleep means the sleep cycle doesn’t have much deep sleep, and deep sleep is what our bodies require in order to wake up feeling refreshed. The other troubling effect is called sleep inertia, which is the excessive feeling of grogginess immediately following an abrupt awakening. As a result, we feel cranky and moody, and our mental capabilities are even impaired. So between the low quality, fragmented sleep and the disruption to the sleep cycles, the answer is not to snooze.
How to Avoid Hitting Snooze
Since we’ve learned that having a happy finger for the snooze button is indicative of inadequate sleep, the most logical fix would be to get better sleep! But it can be easier said than done. To keep it as simple as possible, we’ve rounded up the three non-negotiables on improving sleep quality:
- Improve your sleep surface: consistently provided at the #1 reason you can’t sleep is the old mattress you can’t stand. Or maybe it’s a new mattress, but it isn't performing as you’d like. Regardless, your sleeping surface is paramount to getting high quality sleep each and every night. Long ago it was believed that a firm mattress was best, but now science has demonstrated the transformative properties of memory foam. The ability of memory foam cells to relieve pressure on the body is unlike anything else. You’ll toss and turn less, along with decreasing back, neck and hip pain. Nature’s Sleep memory foam mattresses and pillows are made from very high density memory foams and come in a large variety of thicknesses and comfort levels. Investing in a new memory foam mattress today means a healthier and happier you tomorrow.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier: it may not seem like a life changer, but it is. Getting to sleep earlier helps normalize your internal alarm clock, making it easier for you to wake up on time in the morning. Start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual (even on the weekends) and then graduate to going to bed a full hour earlier. You will undoubtedly appreciate the extra hour come the morning.
- Eliminate electronics: two simple words, one extremely difficult concept! Devises that emit blue light (smart phones, tablets, televisions) delay the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleepiness) and results in prolonged levels in your blood in the morning (hence the grogginess). So put them all in sleep-mode, and you will soon follow suit.
Chronically hitting the snooze alarm means something is probably wrong. So next time you’re in doubt – do without!