Waking up with an alarm is something that almost everybody does. It seems impossible to wake without one and still make it to school or work on time. We rely on it. But what we also rely on are snooze buttons. During school, one of my biggest challenges was to wake up in the morning. It seemed like I was hitting the snooze button at least 5 times before finally getting out of bed and getting on with the day.
There is actually a scientific reason why people snooze their alarm to sleep a little more. When we go back to sleep after being very rudely woken up by the most irritating, dreaded sound of the alarm, we get better sleep. A chemical called serotonin gets released in the brain. Serotonin with happiness and satisfaction and it feels nice to fall asleep. But, is pressing the snooze button bad for you?
How does waking up work?
Our bodies have a natural way to put us to sleep and wake us up. We start to prepare for waking up an hour before we naturally wake up. Our body temperature rises, sleep becomes lighter and hormones like dopamine and cortisol are released. Waking up naturally ensures that we have enough energy to start off the day. When our alarms wake us up from our godly sleep, it interrupts the natural processes, cutting the cycle a little shorter. This leads to you being groggy, yawny and sleepy throughout the whole day. We’ve all been there, not great right?
The groggy feeling depends on how deep your sleep was before you got woken up. The deeper the sleep, the groggier you will feel. When we press the snooze button and go back to sleep, we enter another sleep cycle that goes in deeper. After 10 minutes, when the snoozed alarm goes off again, we are woken up from deeper sleep; hence an extra groggy morning. Congratulations, now you have officially entered the never ending cycle of snoozing and sleeping.
Here is why is it bad for you:
We get a false sense of satisfaction when we go back to sleep. After snoozing, we think “okay, just 10 more minutes, I won’t snooze the next one.” Hitting the snooze button does not contribute to any kind of a reviving sleep. The only thing it does is confuse your brain into restarting the sleep cycle. While it may not seem like snoozing the alarm can be harmful, it is quite grim in the long term. Soon enough, your body will lose the natural biological cycle of waking up and going to sleep. Here is an article that you can read for further knowledge: https://www.businessinsider.com/
How to break out from the cycle:
- The most obvious one is to go to bed earlier! It seems hard initially, but the more you start doing it, the closer you will get to your goal. The best thing you can do for this is avoid using your phone at least an hour before your desired bedtime.
- Try waking up at the same time everyday, even if it is the weekend. The most start doing this, the more your body will start adjusting to the new timetable and it will become your natural cycle. Eventually you won’t even need an alarm, so, no more snooze!
- Set an alarm that you are actually happy to wake up to. Get rid of that annoying and horrible blasting sound you wake up to. Don’t hesitate to change your alarm depending on your favourite song at the moment.