The morning time can be a pleasant, rejuvenated time of day for some, but for those night owls out there, the sound of an alarm penetrating their peaceful sleep cycle can be dreadful. Hence their greatest ally, the snooze button.
But interestingly enough, this 10 minute boost (or perhaps 30 for some…) is actually the forsaken enemy.
A Brief History
In her article, Why The Snooze Button Is Ruining Your Sleep, author Sophia Breene explained that the first alarm clock was constructed in 1787 by a New Hampshire native named Levi Hutchins, set to ring every morning at 4:00 a.m. (yikes) A few centuries later, Westclox introduced its “Drowse” line of electrical alarm clocks, with a 5-10 minute snooze function.
Today we see the use (or abuse) of the snooze function in practically every household. One survey found that more than a third of Americans hit the snooze button three or more times daily, and more than half of people ages 25 to 34 press snooze daily.
What The Biology Of Sleep Tells Us
But this subconscious habit may be sabotaging your daily energy levels, in fact, an alarm clock all together may not be a good idea. To understand why, we need to look at the biology of our sleep cycles.
During a sleeping cycle, the body shifts into different brain level states, the most crucial being the REM state.
Before our bodies awaken, the brain sends out hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which help us to shift from the REM state to a lighter state of sleep. When an alarm triggers an early and sudden wakefulness, it interrupts the natural wakening process, leading to a grogginess that sometimes lasts all day (enters the question, “Who pee’d in your corn flakes?”).
When we hit our snooze button multiple times, particularly if we haven’t had enough sleep, we are actually depriving our bodies of the more crucial type of sleep, REM. And depriving ourselves of this type of sleep can also have a detrimental effect on our cognitive abilities.
A Simple Solution
So how do we solve this problem? It’s simple: you need more sleep. Try setting the alarm for the actual time you get out of bed (after the last snooze).
If that doesn’t work, try leaving your alarm clock far away from your beside to force you to literally get up.
And for the peeps who just can’t live without that snooze function, set a strict limit for yourself. Minimize the deprivation by allowing yourself to hit the button only once (10 minutes of interrupted sleep is better than 30).
For a long term solution, try utilizing your body’s circadian rhythms by sticking to a natural waking and bed time schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the exact same time every day and night will help train your brain and body to awaken without the use of an alarm clock.
So, kick your snooze addiction to the curb and enjoy experiencing more energized and rejuvenated mornings, don’t let it be a daily struggle.
Do you have any suggestions on making getting out of bed easier? Share with us below!
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