Why Hitting “Snooze” Could Be Bad For Your Health

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We’re all guilty of hitting ‘snooze’ on our alarms each morning we wake up.

While some people are great in the morning and can easily hop out of bed, ready to attack the day, the rest of us struggle to drag ourselves out from under our comfy duvets. We tell ourselves that ‘just a couple more minutes’ in bed will make us feel better.

Well, quite unsurprisingly, it doesn’t. According to experts, hitting the snooze button could be causing you to feel even more tired.

This is because giving yourself an extra 5 or 10 minutes of sleep doesn’t allow your body to fall back into a deep slumber. You interrupt your brain in the middle of a sleep cycle.

If you have had a good night’s sleep and you allow yourself to gently wake up, rather than fall straight back asleep, then the snooze button could benefit your waking up the process. However, generally, people who hit the snooze button fall straight back asleep, which results in fragmented sleep.

But does hitting snooze actually help or hinder you?

Hitting snooze regularly can also cause an association in your brain between hearing your alarm and having a delayed reaction to waking up.

‘Since you want to start your day at 7am, you may be tempted to set the alarm a bit early – let’s say 6.40am –and hit snooze a few times until it is 7am or maybe even 7.15am. But if you pick this snooze strategy, your body can’t learn the conditioned response between hearing the alarm and getting up.’ – Dan Ariely, Behavioural Scientist

It is much better to teach your brain a clear rule, so as not to confuse it or get into bad habits that will impact your health in the long run.

If you wake up every morning feeling tired, then the problem could lie in the amount of hours of sleep you are getting each night. You may need to increase the number of hours you sleep to feel more rested when you wake up. Instead of going to sleep later and snoozing for longer in the mornings, try going to bed earlier and wake up straight away to see if your tiredness levels improve.

Playing around with your sleep patterns could be the way to find out what truly works for you. You’ll be waking up feeling ‘fresh as a daisy’ before you know it.

If you struggle to get to sleep on an evening, why not try listening to one of our sleep stories available in the Sleepiest app.