Waking up early in the morning can be such a pain, but you’re probably thankful for the snooze button. With this tiny knob, you get extra sleep, especially during that particular morning after a long break from work. For most people, hitting the snooze button is almost automatic and often, we do this more than once. While it does give you extra minutes for sleep, there are actually consequences to this habit.
What Controls Sleep?
Sleep is controlled by two elements:
- Homeostatic process dependent on previous wake and sleep pattern
- Circadian process or the body clock
Together, these two work together, so we can have a restful sleep at night.
Snoozing Means Losing
There are two parts of sleep:
- Deep sleep: Difficult to wake up from and usually takes place during the early parts of sleep
- Light sleep: Easier to wake from and is generally close to the time you normally wake up
The body has a natural way of knowing it is time for you to wake up, so sleep becomes lighter. Other things happen, such as cortisol and other hormones increase and our temperature rises. Without an alarm clock, the body will gradually prepare itself for waking up.
But there’s your pesky alarm clock and usually it goes off without allowing the body to get ready to be woken up. This is why you are tempted to hit the snooze button. But as you do so, sleep inertia can happen, a phenomenon that causes you to feel groggy as you open your eyes. When you snooze, your sleep cycle begins again. There are people who immediately enter the deep sleep part, making it difficult for them to wake up. This explains why you don’t feel alert and you still feel sluggish despite the extra minutes of sleep you got.
Snoozing results to fragmented sleep, so you don’t get the real benefits of a full rest. For some people, it is a bad habit that they find hard to get rid of. But there are ways to actually lose that habit, including:
- Having a schedule and sticking to it
- Avoiding foods that prevent restful sleep, such as protein-based meals at night
- Avoiding TV and your handheld devices
- Stopping alcohol consumption
Experts also believe that our lifestyle can affect how we sleep. You can feel more refreshed and well-rested upon waking up if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Plus, when you wake up, get exposed to morning light as this can also improve your nighttime rest.