The Snooze Button | Is It Bad For Your Health?

Waking up with an alarm is something that almost everybody does. It seems impossible to wake up without one and still make it to school or work on time. We rely on it. But we also rely on our snooze buttons. One of my biggest challenges during school was waking up in the morning. It seemed like I was hitting the snooze button at least five times before finally getting out of bed and getting on with the day.

There is 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 terrible for you?

How does waking up work?

Our bodies have a natural way of putting us to sleep and waking 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 the day. When our alarms wake us 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 day. We’ve all been there; not great, right?

The dizzy feeling depends on how deep your sleep was before waking 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 deeper. After 10 minutes, when the snoozed alarm goes off again, we are woken up from deeper sleep, hence an extra groggy morning. Congratulations, 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:

How to break out from the cycle:

  1. The most obvious one is to go to bed earlier! It doesn’t seem very easy initially, but the more you start doing it, the closer you get to your goal. The best thing you can do for this is to avoid using your phone at least an hour before your desired bedtime. 
  2. Try waking up simultaneously every day, even on the weekend. The more you start doing this, your body will begin adjusting to the new timetable and become your natural cycle. Eventually, you won’t need an alarm, so any more snooze!
  3. Set an alarm that you are 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.

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