It all starts the night before, when you set your alarm for the next day. You also conveniently sets a snooze interval, making sure that you’re limiting it to five or ten minutes more. When the morning comes, you know that you can easily hit the snooze button and you’ll still have time to prepare for the day ahead. Until you’ve already snoozed four or five times and you’re already running late.
You get up, groggy and with a heavy head. You’re basically a zombie that’s trying to rush into your morning routine, forgetting a thing or two and maybe even brushing your teeth twice. You get to work late and you feel awful. So much for squeezing in a few more minutes of sleep, huh?
The Snooze Button
The snooze button was introduced in the mid-1950s by the General Electric Company when they released the Telechron 7H241. Touted as the world’s most humane way of waking up, it promised to wake people up gently and to give them a few more minutes of zzz’s with just one click.
What seemed to be a great invention soon became one of the most harmful things to one’s sleep. It became an unhealthy addiction for many, relying on their snooze button to squeeze in some extra shuteye and to wake them up when they really need to get out of bed already.
The Problem with The Snooze Button
So, what went wrong? While the snooze button seems innocuous, it is actually the opposite. This seemingly harmless tool in waking you up actually messes up your sleep. As you may already know, there are two types of sleep that people do at night: REM or rapid eye movement sleep and non-REM sleep.
REM is considered as the brain’s active state while you catch some zzz’s. A lot of activities happen during your REM sleep, but what makes it essential is the fact that it plays a huge role in brain development and sets the body’s Circadian rhythm. If disrupted, your body won’t process your body clock properly and will try to catch up on lost REM sleep the following evening until you’ve paid for the hours you owe. This, in turn, can result to lighter sleep and less non-REM sleep.
Non-REM sleep on the other hand is the deeper kind of slumber. This is where memory consolidation and healing occurs, making it an essential part of your nightly shuteye. If you get less non-REM sleep because your body is still trying to catch up on REM sleep, you might not be as alert, focused, and sharp as you might be when you get the right amount of non REM sleep.
How does snoozing affects your sleep? The initial alarm disrupts your non-REM sleep and every snooze alarm that goes off will disturb or even prevent you from getting REM sleep again. This, in turn, would leave you needing for more zzz’s and feeling tired and sleepy the whole day.
Snoozing can also affect your general health. If you continuously disturb your sleep cycles by your alarm, you can impair your mental functioning all throughout the day, resulting to weaker memory, reaction time, and emotional stability.
What You Should Do Instead
Trying to break your snooze button addiction can be tricky, but it can be done. Here are some tips you can try:
- Set an alarm time that you’re happy with. A lot of people tend to set an alarm that’s way too early for their liking, leaving them reliant on their snooze buttons. Skip the snoozing and just sleep the early hours away by setting an alarm time that you’ll most likely wake up to right away.
- Work on regularizing your sleeping schedule. Going to bed at the same time everyday will help you reset your sleeping pattern and allow you to wake up naturally eventually. It will take some hard work, especially if you’re not used to going to bed and waking up early on weekends, but it will be totally worth it.
- Use tools to make sure you’ll get complete sleep cycles during your slumber. There’s a lot of websites that can help you calculate the right time for bed and waking up that also considers the sleep cycles you can complete. They’re mostly free, so you can easily opt to use them anytime.
- Resist the call of your bed. Sometimes your Sealy mattress can be extra enticing on mornings when you don’t have much to do. Resist the urge to climb back to bed and sleep the morning away on weekends as that can easily mess up your sleep pattern and make it harder for you to sleep on time on weekdays.
- Plan for something to do for the moment you wake up. Having something to do once you wake up will better convince you to get out of bed and start your day. It can be something as simple as a delicious breakfast or a nice morning workout. The trick here is to think that you’ll be more productive if you get up the moment your alarm goes off, which is entirely true, and that you’ll feel great having accomplished something so early in the day.
With these tips and info, hopefully you’ll be able to kick the snoozing habit to the curb. It’s not easy, especially the getting out of bed part, but with some determination in improving your zzz’s, you’ll surely get it done.