You Snooze, You Loose

Pietari Nurmi
Jul 11 · 3 min read

The alarm goes off in the morning. If only you could sleep just a couple of minutes longer... Do you often end up hitting the snooze button? Many of us start our day by snoozing, but in most cases, it just makes us loose.

If you wake up tired, you are most likely not getting enough sleep, or the alarm forced you up in the middle of a deeper sleep stage. Many of us try to fix the grogginess by snoozing and getting a couple of minutes of extra sleep. Unfortunately, it is rarely useful. Snoozing is usually only aggravating sleep inertia symptoms. In the worst case, snoozing makes you feel even sleepier than before.

Snoozing confuses our bodies in many ways. Waking up kicks off many hormonal processes intended to increase the level of alertness and get the day going. Normally, these processes are triggered once you wake up for the first time. Snoozing makes you drift on and off sleep, causing "false alarms" that can easily confuse these processes. If your body gets used to excessive snoozing, it stops responding even to the first alarm. Waking up gets more challenging, and a drowsy spiral is born, making you more and more dependent on snoozing.

The snooze button itself is not the root of all evil. You can allow yourself a few minutes to wake up properly, as long as you avoid falling back to sleep at all costs. There is nothing wrong with using the snooze button as a precaution. But don't stay in bed too long or it might turn against you! Only a few minutes should be enough.

Habits From This Lesson

Additional Reading

Kaplan, K. A., Talavera, D. C., & Harvey, A. G. (2018). Rise and shine: A treatment experiment testing a morning routine to decrease subjective sleep inertia in insomnia and bipolar disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 111

Winter, W. C. (2017). The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and how to Fix it. Penguin.