Waking up early each day can be such a pain, but you’re probably thankful for the snooze button. With this small knob, you get extra sleep, especially throughout that particular morning hours after an extended break from work. For many people, striking the snooze button is nearly 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 an all natural way of knowing its about time so that you can awaken, so sleep becomes lighter. Other activities happen, such as cortisol and other human hormones increase and our temp rises. Lacking any alarm clock, your body will steadily prepare itself for getting up.
But there’s your pesky alarm clock and usually it moves off without allowing your body to ready to be woken up. That is why you are enticed going to the snooze button. But as one does so, sleep inertia can occur, a phenomenon that causes you to feel groggy as you open your eyes. When you snooze, your sleep cycle starts again. You can find people who immediately enter the deep sleep part, which makes it difficult for these to awaken. This clarifies why you don’t feel alert and you also still feel slow regardless of the extra minutes of sleep you got.
Snoozing leads to fragmented sleep, so you don’t get the real benefits of a full sleep. 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-sleeped upon waking up if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Plus, when you wake up, get exposed to morning hours light as this may also improve your nighttime sleep.