2 Ways to Battle Snooze Fatigue
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
If you are human, you have hit the snooze button.
We all have set our alarms ambitiously at 6am with the hopes of having the best day imaginable - full of productivity and accomplishment. As you start counting your sheep, you begin imagining your best self at day's end.
6am comes around and the snooze button bails us out. It's fine, it's just a 10 minute snooze. But then it happens again. And again. And again. Until eventually it is 7AM and you've been woken up by your alarm six times and have done serious damage to that once promising day.
The Science of Snooze
According to Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., Director of Sleep Disorders Research at Cleveland Clinic, hitting that snooze button can be detrimental to your most valuable sleep.
“Much of the latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep, which is a restorative sleep state. And so, if you’re hitting the snooze button, then you’re disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep.”
Dr. Mehra says that this disruption of late stage REM sleep can cause a 'flight or fight' response, which increases our blood pressure and heartbeat.
In addition to the health risks, the snooze can have dangerous impacts on our day-to-day effectiveness.
The moment we wake up, we're put into a dazed and disoriented state called sleep inertia. A single time can impact you negatively, but if you snooze multiple times, you are multiplying the impacts of sleep inertia (aka grogginess) which can, according to clinical psychologist specializing in sleep, Elika Kormeili, "leave you dragging throughout the day".
Next time you are setting that alarm at an hour that's out of your reach do one of two things:
Out of Sight, Out of Snooze - Put your phone in another room so you have to get up and turn your phone off. That way you're up and less likely to get back in bed.
Be Realistic - Set a realistic time to maximize your sleep and go to bed early to maximize your sleep, and decrease your temptation to hit snooze.
Tough as it might be to battle the early morning temptation, by avoiding the snooze, your body and to-do list will thank you.