You are here
Here’s Why Hitting The Snooze Button Is Not A Good Thing
In an ideal world, the snooze button doesn’t exist. You don’t need to set an alarm clock and you sleep soundly according to your body’s circadian rhythm. You go to sleep and wake up when your body signals it’s time.
But, your reality probably isn’t like that. And if you’re like most people, late nights, interrupted sleep or a demanding job mean that you probably don’t always go to bed when your body needs to. It’s no wonder you feel so tired when your alarm clock goes off in the morning. Of course, you hit the snooze button.
What you might not know is that hitting the snooze button will make you feel even more tired than if you just get up out of bed. In fact, you’re better off setting your alarm a little later and sleeping in for an extra 10 minutes.
As long as you don’t sleep in for too long. Not only will you be late for work or school drop-off, but sleeping for too long may impact your health.
What Happens To Your Body When You Hit The Snooze Button?
You may think hitting the snooze button only impacts whether or not you get out of the house on time. But it actually has a pretty big impact on your brain and body. That’s because if you hit the snooze button and fall back to sleep you enter the start of your sleep cycle. Your body begins to release hormones that trigger deep sleep.
And the start of the sleep cycle is not a good time for being jolted awake by your alarm again. In fact, you’ll end up feeling like you’ve had a really bad night’s sleep. Even though you slept like a baby.
Not only that but when you hit the snooze button your body and brain get confused. After being jolted awake you’re now telling them that it’s time to go back to sleep. And, if this goes on for 2 or more snooze button hits that confusion increases. Eventually leading to extended sleep inertia.
Sleep inertia is that tired, groggy feeling you have when you first wake up in the morning. It usually lasts for around 15-30 minutes as parts of your body and brain go through the waking up process. But that’s only if you wake up towards the end of your sleep cycle.
Recent research has found that waking up during the early sleep cycle or during deep sleep can cause sleep inertia to last for 2-4 hours. So, if you hit the snooze button and fall asleep, being jolted awake again may result in extended sleep inertia.
What Are The Health Effects Of Hitting The Snooze Button?
Hitting the snooze button repeatedly is going to make you feel really tired. And, if there’s no real reason to get up you end up sleeping in. Long sleep periods, in excess of 9 hours, may impact your health in the same way that short sleep periods do. In fact, research shows that extended sleep may increase your risk of dementia, cause memory loss and make you put on weight.
A recent study proves that long sleeping times lead to an increased risk of future weight gain in adults. And, as a result, sleep duration has been added to the panel of determinants that contribute to weight gain and obesity.
And it doesn’t end there. This study found that both short and long sleep duration are associated with a significantly elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. Compared with 7 hours of sleep per day, 6 hours of sleep was associated with a 9% increase and over 8 hours of sleep was associated with a 14% increased risk of diabetes. Meaning, it’s a fine balance between too much and too little sleep.
So, sleeping in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But what if you’re really tired after a week of little sleep. Obviously, you need to catch up.
While you may think having a big weekend sleep-in is the answer, it’s actually not. The best way to catch up on sleep is to have an extra hour or two each night over a longer period of time. For example an extra hour each day over a week or even a month. Here’s more advice on how to catch up on sleep debt.
Why Do You Feel Like You Need More Sleep Anyway?
You’re obviously hitting that snooze button for a reason. And it could be one of many things. As your body heads towards the end of your sleep cycle your temperature starts to increase.
So, if you wake up before the end of your sleep cycle you may feel slightly cold and want to stay in bed where it’s nice and cosy. Or, you may not be getting enough sleep due to stress, anxiety or depression.
If this is the case and you can pinpoint what it is that’s keeping you up at night see your Doctor and discuss your options. If you suffer from daytime sleepiness and you can’t pinpoint the cause, you may have a sleep disorder. Many people suffer from sleep-disordered breathing and don’t even know it. In fact, 1 in 3 people suffer from snoring and sleep apnea, a condition which affects your breathing during sleep.
And in severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, you may stop breathing and not even know about it. In most cases, sufferers of sleep-disordered breathing don’t know they have it. It’s usually a partner or family member who complains about their snoring or who witnesses their breathing stop during the night.
If you wake up feeling unrefreshed, suffer from daytime sleepiness and poor concentration, take our sleep self-assessment questionnaire today. The consequences of snoring and sleep apnea are dire. And it’s very easy to treat. Contact us today.
3 Quick Tips To Stop Hitting The Snooze Button
Ok, it’s actually pretty simple to stop hitting the snooze button. Just get up when your alarm goes off. Of course, it’s easier said than done. That’s because when you wake up you’re feeling really tired.
But if you get into the habit of waking up at the same time each day then your body will start to send signals to go to sleep at around the same time each night. And you’ll get a better night’s sleep. Eventually, your body and brain will be so used to waking up at a certain time every day that you won’t even need to use an alarm clock.
In the meantime, here are 3 quick tips for not hitting the snooze button:
- Put your alarm clock or phone on the other side of the room. That will make you get up.
- Practice good sleep hygiene so you don’t feel as tired in the morning.
- Go to bed when you feel tired.
And, if you really feel the need to hit the snooze button to stay in bed longer it’s not the end of the world. As long as you only hit it once. Hitting the snooze button can actually be a great way to gently wake yourself up. Just don’t fall back to sleep again.
Remember, if you feel constantly tired during the day it’s important to see your Doctor. Sleep disorders can be harmful to your health. And the negative consequences of sleep-disordered breathing are serious. Treatment is so easy and life-changing.
Call us today on 1300 246 637 (or submit a confidential email here) for a free no-obligation chat with one of our friendly Sleep Therapists. Contact us now.
- Jewett ME, Wyatt JK, Ritz-De Cecco A, Khalsa SB, Dijk DJ, Czeisler CA., Time course of sleep inertia dissipation in human performance and alertness, Journal of Sleep Research, 1999 Mar;8(1):1-8.
- Benito-León J, Bermejo-Pareja F, Vega S, Louis ED., Total daily sleep duration and the risk of dementia: a prospective population-based study. European Journal of Neurology, 2009 Sep;16(9):990-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02618.x. Epub 2009 Mar 31.
- Lin Xu, MPH, Chao Qiang Jiang, MD, Tai Hing Lam, MD, Bin Liu, Master of Medicine, Ya Li Jin, Master of epidemiology, Tong Zhu, Master of Medicine, Wei Sen Zhang, PhD, Kar Keung Cheng, PhD, and G. Neil Thomas, PhD, Short or Long Sleep Duration Is Associated with Memory Impairment in Older Chinese: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, Sleep. 2011 May 1; 34(5): 575–580. Published online 2011 May 1.
- Jean-Philippe Chaput, MSc, Jean-Pierre Després, PhD, Claude Bouchard, PhD, and Angelo Tremblay, PhD, The Association Between Sleep Duration and Weight Gain in Adults: A 6-Year Prospective Study from the Quebec Family Study, Sleep. 2008 Apr 1; 31(4): 517–523.
- Shan, Z., Ma, H., Xie, M., Yan, P., Guo, Y., Bao, W., Rong, Y., Jackson, C. L., Hu, F. B., Liu, L., Sleep Duration and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies, Diabetes Care, 2015, Mar, 38 (3), pp. 529-537.