Sleep Care

You Snooze, You Lose

The Negative Health Effects From Hitting the Snooze Button

It never fails. Your alarm goes off and you groan. It is really time to get up already? Then, in desperation for more sleep, you feel yourself slapping at the snooze button. And yet, that extra ten to twenty minutes you get after the alarm goes off the first time could be doing you more harm than good. In fact, according to sleep experts slapping the snooze may be the worst thing you can do.

Your body has an extremely accurate natural clock. Therefore, in the hour before waking, your body will start preparing. Sleep will become lighter, your body temperature starts rising and hormones that give you energy for the day are released. But, if you hit the snooze (or if your body doesn’t have a rhythm because of sleep deprivation) then you could wake feeling groggy and grumpy.

The problem is this: When you hit the snooze button, you run the risk of going back into a deep sleep and you are not supposed to wake from a deep sleep. To feel your best, you need to pass into a lighter preparation stage first, then open your eyes. So snoozing can create a huge shock to your system and make you feel awful. This then leads to a vicious cycle because when you wake up feeling worse, you will be tempted to hit the snooze again.

As a result, it is far better for your body if you set the alarm for the exact time you need to

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get up and then get up when it rings. In fact, research shows that if you set your alarm for the same time every day — even on weekends and holidays — in a matter of weeks your body will be able to accurately tell the time. And over time, you may begin to wake up five minutes before your alarm. Furthermore, some studies have found that one in five people can wake up relying on their natural body clock.

Researchers have found that alarms that wake the user based on sleep patterns result in feeling more rested and energized. These smart alarms are able to tell what stage of sleep the user is experiencing and wakes the user during the lightest stage of sleep within a pre-set window of time in the morning.

So what types of problems does the snooze really cause? According to experts, going from being asleep to being awake is a stressful transition for your body. While you’re sleeping at night, all sorts of things are happening in your body. Your temperature starts to fall and your blood pressure goes down. So, when you wake up, it takes time for your body to prepare for that change. Therefore, it is much healthier for you to wake at the same time every day and avoid the snooze button so that your body can get into a rhythm and wake on it’s own and not be jolted awake by a screaming alarm or persistent snooze button.

Relying on the snooze button also can impact your metabolism. If you get a slow start, so will your metabolism which could in the end lead to a few more inches around the waist. Another down side to the snooze button is a feeling of lethargy as well as loss of productivity. And, you could even begin to experience more headaches.

For instance, if you starve your body of sleep for two nights and then try to make up for it by sleeping 14 hours the next night, you may find you get headaches. This happens because spinal fluid can make its way to your brain when you oversleep. Finally, those extra minutes of sleep you get from hitting snooze are fragmented and in no way provide you the rest you need. So instead of depending on snooze button sleep, get to bed a little earlier to catch up on your rest. Because if you rely on the snooze, in the end, your body is the one that loses.

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