Do you snooze your alarm in the morning? Or maybe you have multiple alarms that go off in 5 minute increments? If you answered yes to these questions, you could be doing extreme damage to your sleep quality, stress levels and overall health.
I don’t know about you, but I need at least 2 alarms to get me out of bed in the morning. This is mainly because I’ve had an amazing night’s sleep on the best mattress (opens in new tab) and I’m not quite ready to get out from under the covers yet. I’m definitely not the only one that does this but it turns out that snoozing your alarm and going back to sleep for an extra 5 minutes could mean you’re chronically tired and having disrupted sleep.
A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Notre Dame (opens in new tab) looked into snoozing behaviour to find out why, how and when snoozing occurs and who is most likely to hit the snooze button. The researchers studied 450 participants using surveys and wearable data to determine if those who press the snooze button sleep differently to those who don’t, and how this affects sleep quality.
The results showed that out of the 450 participants, 57% of them snoozed and young females with disturbed sleep and an evening chronotype (see how to find your sleep chronotype (opens in new tab) for more) were more likely to snooze their alarms.
The researchers looked into how snoozing affects health and found that snoozers had an elevated resting heart rate and experienced more sleep disturbances than those who woke up naturally. The results also found that those who didn’t use an alarm slept for longer and consumed less caffeine throughout the day.
While more research is needed to determine how it affects health, snoozing your alarm clock or having multiple alarms queued up on your phone isn’t recommended by medical professionals in general. From feelings of grogginess to having a disrupted sleep schedule, here’s why you shouldn’t snooze your alarm in the morning.
Need a new alarm clock? Check out the best alarm clock (opens in new tab) to help you get up and go. If you prefer to wake up naturally with the sun, we also have a full guide to the best wake up lights (opens in new tab).
4 reasons to stop hitting the snooze button
Firstly, you should stop snoozing because it disrupts your internal body clock or circadian rhythm. When you wake up in the morning from REM sleep, your brain and body is “most of the way to being fully awake”, says the New York Post (opens in new tab). By turning over and going back to sleep, you allow your brain and body to go back to the REM stage, so when your alarm goes off a few minutes later, this REM sleep is interrupted.
The main reason people hit the snooze button in the morning is because they want a few more minutes of sleep. However, these extra minutes aren’t good quality compared to the full night’s sleep you’ve just had. The sleep you’re getting between alarms is fragmented which makes you feel groggy and tired, even after multiple hours of rest. According to CNET (opens in new tab), this fragmented sleep also compromises your cognitive ability and attention span, as well as negatively affecting your mood.
Whether it’s a calm melody or an irritating beep, the sound of your alarm jolts you awake which can lead to an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. If your alarm is particularly loud, this can also be bad for your heart and it affects your stress levels and mood. For more details on how to wake up refreshed without using an alarm clock, check out these 7 ways to wake up naturally (opens in new tab).