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Is hitting snooze bad for you? 5 reasons why you shouldn't hit snooze in the morning...
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Is hitting snooze bad for you? 5 reasons why you shouldn't hit snooze in the morning...

Why You Shouldn't Hit Snooze in the Morning

Hitting the snooze button in the morning may feel like a small victory. After all, it's a few extra minutes of precious sleep before entering your own personal corporate hellscape starting your day. (I swear I love my job.)

However, as much as it pains us to write this, hitting snooze can have legitimately negative effects on your health, productivity, and overall well-being. Here's are 5 reasons why you might want to resist the temptation and pop up as soon as your alarm rings:

1. Interrupted Sleep Cycle

One of the main reasons not to hit snooze is the impact on your sleep cycle. Sleep occurs in 90-minute cycles that include both deep and light stages (i.e., non-REM and REM stages). When you hit snooze and fall back asleep, you're likely to start a new sleep cycle that you won't be able to complete. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle can leave you feeling more tired and groggy than if you had gotten up with your first alarm. This phenomenon, known as sleep inertia, can negatively affect your cognitive functions for several hours.

Tangential note – this is also a great reason to try to set your alarm as closely as possible to the end of a 90-minute interval (i.e., try to sleep for exactly 4.5, 6, 7.5, or 9 hours).

2. Reduced Sleep Quality

Hitting the snooze button can also reduce the overall quality of your sleep. The fragmented sleep that results from snoozing is not as restorative as uninterrupted sleep. Even if you technically spend more time in bed, the quality of this extended sleep is poor, and it doesn't compare to a solid night's rest.

3. Increased Stress

The morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, and a rushed start can increase stress levels. By hitting snooze, you're shortening the amount of time available for your morning routine. This can lead to rushing, skipping breakfast, or forgetting important tasks, which can increase anxiety and stress.

4. Disruption of Natural Wakefulness

Our bodies have a natural wakefulness process regulated by the circadian rhythm, which is disrupted when we go back to sleep after the alarm rings. The act of waking up and immediate exposure to sunlight (which is also important!) both signal to our body that it's time to start the day. Hitting snooze can confuse your body's internal clock and prevent the release of important hormones like cortisol, making it harder to wake up. Later that same day in the evening, this disruption can also make it more difficult to fall asleep.

5. Wasted Time

Ok, this one is more of a David-Goggins-esque reason, but consider the cumulative effect of hitting snooze over a week, a month, or a year. Ten minutes each morning adds up to literally 2.5 days of lost time over each year that can be spent on mindfulness, productivity, or recreation. Waking up immediately when your alarm goes off maximizes the time available to you each day, and a little bit of time adds up fast!

Strategies to Avoid Hitting Snooze

  • Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to regulate your body's internal clock. On days when this isn't possible, try to set your alarm for a 90-minute interval (e.g., 6 hours) so you wake at the end of a sleep cycle.
  • Ideal Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep—cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limit Screen Time Before Bed: Reduce exposure to blue light at least an hour before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
  • Place Your Alarm Clock Far Away: Placing your alarm clock across the room forces you to get out of bed to turn it off, reducing the temptation to snooze.
  • Create a Morning Routine: Develop a morning routine that you look forward to, which can motivate you to get up at the first alarm. Morning hangs, foam rolling, stretching, journaling, and drinking 24+ ounces of water are some S&G team members' suggestions for a morning routine that's both enjoyable and healthy.

That's it! You've discovered one simple change can have positive impacts on your health, both physical and mental. Now, if only your snooze-loving partner would take the time to read this blog post...

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