In the world there are two types of people. The people who rise naturally with the morning, and then people who set and alarm an hour before they actually need to get up – and continue to hit snooze every 8 minutes.
The reality is that most people are the latter. But whilst we hold onto those precious extra minutes, convincing ourselves that extra time will make us infinitely more productive during the day, we are actually doing ourselves more harm than good.
According to Dr. Robert Rosenberg, when you hit the snooze button, you are disrupting your current stage of sleep.
“Unfortunately fragmented sleep is worse than no sleep. As an example, if you are in REM sleep and you interrupt it with the snooze alarm, this can lead to an inability to process and reconcile emotionally laden memories from the previous day.”
If you set your alarm earlier than you intend to wake, for the sole purpose of having “snooze time”, you could be missing out on vital REM in the morning. It is important to understand that by snoozing, you have already disrupted your sleep cycle and it is highly unlikely you will be able to fall back into REM again.
The bottom line is that by hitting the snooze button, the more it can affect your health, your mental functioning and cognitive ability throughout the day.
So how do you break the habit? Try these quick tips to solve your snoozing addiction.
Put your alarm clock out of reach
Putting your alarm on the other side of the room, under the bed, on a bookshelf or somewhere that makes you leave the bed can do wonders for prizing your tired eyes open and waking you up.
Incentivise, incentivise, incentivise! Our brains always respond incredibly well to rewards, so by offering yourself one first thing in the morning, you are in training to become accustomed to less snoozing. Doing something mentally stimulating like reading a book, playing an instrument, listening to music or simply checking our news feed, can ease the pain of leaving the bed. Just 5-10 minutes of this activity is enough to sufficiently engage your brain and stop it from falling asleep again.
Heat up the room
If you’re in a warm bed and it’s cold outside, it can be particularly hard to remove yourself from under the covers. Try setting your heater to automatically switch on half an hour before your alarm goes off to help ease you out of bed.
Let the light in
If you’re in a dark room (and you should be) opening the curtains to let the morning sun in will help your body respond naturally to the calls of the day. Sunlight also sends a message to your brain and body that it is time to wake up. If you are seeing the sun at the same time every morning, it will help reset, or set your circadian rhythms and you will find it easier to wake in the morning.
Practice good sleep hygiene the night before
Things like removing technology from the room, changing the temperature and sleeping without distraction, are important for good sleep hygiene. Struggling to fall asleep? Try our top tips for getting to sleep quickly here.
Do you use the snooze button? Have you been able to successfully kick the habit?