You love hitting snooze on your alarm, don’t you?
That precious sleep of 10 minutes or 20 seems like the best sleep you can ever have, doesn’t it? Sadly, it might not be good, let alone be best for you. Study says that hitting snooze on your alarm does not have a good effect on your health.
In fact, you should immediately stop your habit of hitting snooze and stealing those few minutes of sleep.
The study behind hitting snooze
According to sleep experts, ” The latter part of your sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep. And so, if you’re hitting the snooze button, then you’re disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep.”
To break it down in simple words, you don’t get quality sleep in those few minutes after you snooze your alarm. And it all comes down to the sleep quality, not the quantity. So, even if you sleep for 10 hours and all the while external stimulus keeps disrupting your REM, you will still feel sleep deprived after you finally leave the bed.
A REM cycle is usually of 60 to 90 minutes. So, if you don’t have 90 minutes to sleep after hitting snooze, just don’t try to sleep again. Get up because you are not giving any sleep to your mind or body. You are just pretending to relax.
It might sound strange, but it is the reality.
What happens if you disturb your last stage of REM sleep?
When you hear the alarm and look for your phone with half-closed eyes, you are actually coming out of your quality sleep. Your restorative sleep is disturbed and you are proceeding towards the last stages of REM sleep.
However, as you are hitting snooze and pretending to drift back to your sleep, your body is experiencing something else. Study says that disrupting the last stages of REM can cause a fight or flight response. As a result, you can experience an increase in your blood pressure and heartbeat.
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Moreover, if you keep hitting snooze, it might even be the case that you have some underlying sleep-related issues. It can become the major reason for your bad mood at work.
The drawbacks of hitting snooze
It’s not just the risk of initiating a fight or flight response in your body, its also about the long term effects that occur due to your habit of hitting snooze each time the alarm goes off. If you keep doing the same, it means that you are not getting enough sleep.
Most of the people think that 6-7 hours of sleep will be enough for a healthy function. However, sleep experts differ on this. They believe that at least a 7-8 hours of restorative sleep is the requirement of a healthy body.
In case, you have been sleep deprived for quite some time, you will end up gaining weight. Also, chances are that you will eventually develop cardiovascular diseases along with several other health issues.
So, what should you do?
Firstly, you don’t need to panic. It might seem like a herculean task but you can very well change a few things in your lifestyle to ensure that you get enough sleep. You need to start by paying attention to your sleep habits.
Refrain using mobile phones after dinner and try to concentrate on relaxing your body. In a few days, your body will get accustomed to the new sleeping pattern and who knows, you might quit the habit of hitting snooze once and for all.
According to Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., Director of Sleep Disorders Research at Cleveland Clinic, “We have so much going on, and in this day and age with technology, and phones, and TVs in the bedroom contributing to light at night, combined with work and family obligations, the time we spend asleep often gets short-changed. Prioritizing 7-8 hours of sleep for our overall well-being and health is very important so that we can optimize functioning during the day and have healthy relationships with our loved ones.”
Quit hitting snooze for better health
Having said that, you should try and take a step towards better health by just getting out of bed when you first wake up. Don’t fall for the trap of getting 10 minutes of extra sleep. It will just end up making you feel drowsy throughout the day.
If you wake up the first time your alarm goes off and freshen up, it will ensure that you feel fresh the entire day. You will not feel drowsy or sleepy and also feel more energetic. You will be more focused and will be able to have a productive day.