Wednesday, 8 October 2014

You snooze you lose?

In the northern hemisphere days are currently becoming shorter and nights longer. Soon it will be dark when our alarms go off in the morning and getting up will become harder for many of us. The temptation to hit the snooze button will get stronger. But will we feel more rested after having hit it a couple of times?

In a video, AsapSCIENCE authors Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown explain why hitting the snooze button is not such a good idea.


They explain that our body has a biological clock that wakes us up. In the hour before waking up our body prepares for this. Sleep becomes lighter, body temperature raises, and hormones are released. However, our alarm clock often interrupts this cycle and this is why we often feel groggy when the alarm goes off. This state is called sleep inertia. This is when we are most tempted to hit the snooze button. However, our body will go back into the stage of deeper sleep instead of preparing to wake up. Therefore the authors suggest setting the original alarm later instead of interrupting normal sleep. The reason for this is that fragmented sleep has been shown to be less restorative. They strongly recommend following a consistent sleep schedule, meaning going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. In any case, they recommend not using the snooze button because “you snooze you lose”.

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