When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, your body may be begging for just a few more minutes of sleep. The snooze button can seem like the answer to your prayers, as you press it and roll over, sneaking in a few more minutes of precious sleep. Unfortunately, as good as it feels, that snooze button could be disrupting your sleep.
Your Body Clock Doesn't Work Like It Used To
If our bodies were perfectly in tune with nature, we would get up when it gets light outside, and go to sleep when it gets dark. Each day we would get a consistent and adequate amount of sleep, so that every morning we would wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Unfortunately, our modern world does not follow these patterns. Technology allows us to set our own schedules regardless of when the sun rises and sets. The demands of the working world means that many people get inadequate sleep on workdays, and then try to make up for it on weekends. Our bodies don't get in a consistent rhythm, leading to a condition of perpetual tiredness.
Why The Snooze Button Doesn't Help
Your alarm clock wakes you from your sleep state, which could be during your deep REM sleep. Now you hit snooze, and try to get back to sleep. You may even repeat this cycle more than once. Since you need to get to work on time, you have to set the initial alarm earlier to allow for the snooze. It's better to skip the snooze, sleep deeply until you really need to wake up, and then get up right away.
Those fragments of added snoozing are too short to allow you to regain the REM sleep state that you need. No matter how many times you hit snooze and roll over, it can never make up for the deep, true sleep that you were getting before the alarm went off. Fragmented sleep has even been shown to lead to difficulties with attention, cognition, and moodiness.
How To Avoid The Snooze Button
The biggest reason you find that snooze button so appealing in the morning is because your body is not getting enough sleep. Try going to bed earlier, so that you will feel more rested in the morning. Another culprit can be too much light in your room at night, which can inhibit the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. Ensure that there is no light in your bedroom while you sleep, not even a little night-light.
Another way to avoid snoozing is to put the alarm clock across the room. If you have a blaring alarm clock ten feet away, you will have to jump out of bed and cross the room to turn it off. By then, it's too late to push snooze. Another option is to have a coffee maker set with a timer, so that it automatically starts brewing your coffee when it's time to get up. As long as this is close enough to your bedroom, it's amazing how the aroma of fresh coffee in the morning can help you wake up.