If I told you I never hit the snooze button when my alarm decides to not so gently wake me, I would be telling a massive lie. Truth is, I’m obsessed with the snooze button. It feels so good to be able to cheat my responsibilities and catch just a few more minutes of shuteye, especially if I can get back to a good dream! (No one ever wants to be interrupted in the middle of Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling fighting over you). Yes, that snooze button is my best friend…or is it?
Our bodies have a natural clock built in. Have you ever woken up five minutes before your alarm is supposed to go off? It may be one of the most annoying feelings knowing you’ve just missed out on a whole five minutes of sleep, but if you think about it, it’s actually quite impressive how it happens. Once your body enters a consistent circadian rhythm of waking up at the same time, it can begin preparing itself to wake up naturally at that time. It does this by raising your body temperature and entering a lighter stage of sleep. These are the steps necessary for ensuring a calm wake up and completing your full and restful sleep cycle. What’s a good way to ensure you’re not getting a calm wake up or completing your sleep cycle…keep hitting the snooze button!
This is because in the early morning we are in our most restful stage of sleep, the REM stage. When that dreaded alarm goes off, it jolts us out of that restful sleep stage, meaning we haven’t completed our full sleep cycle. If we hit the snooze button and fall back into the REM stage, ten minutes later, we are jolting ourselves out of it again. What is actually happening is you are getting fragmented sleep instead of a solid sleep and this can leave you feeling a lot more drowsy the next morning.
So, how do we avoid hitting the snooze button and getting a better nights rest?
- Go to Bed Earlier: If you need 8 hours of sleep, go to bed earlier instead of continuously hitting the snooze button until you’ve reached your 8 hours. The constant sleep and complete REM stage will leave you feeling much more energized.
- Put Your Alarm on the Other Side of the Room: When the alarm goes off and you can’t just reach over and smack it quiet, you may have an easier time waking up. By placing the alarm on the other side of the room it forces you to get out of bed and turn it off. Now, you are up and moving so you can start your day.
- Set Your Alarm When You Actually Need to Get Up: A lot of people choose to set the alarm 30 minutes before they actually need to wake up just so they can have the luxury of hitting snooze and sleeping a bit longer (guilty). If you set your alarm when you actually need to wake up, hitting the snooze button would make you late. End result? You have to wake up the first time the alarm tells you to.
- Get An Alarm Without A Snooze Button: No button means no snooze.
- Set A Second Alarm: Having to get out of bed to turn off multiple alarms will ensure you’re awake when it’s time to get moving.