If you want to be more productive at work, don’t hit the snooze button on your alarm clock in the morning.
While you may think you are snatching a few more precious minutes of sleep, the truth is that you are only making yourself more tired – and that is backed up by research.
When you hit the snooze button again and again, it is the beginning of a never-ending cycle of you being late for work and still being dead tired.
Science has proven our bodies have many chemical mechanisms to wake us up – and the snooze button is just not compatible with them.
The body begins preparing to wake up during the hour before you would naturally wake up (if you didn’t set an alarm). Body temperature rises, sleep becomes light and the hormones cortisol and dopamine are released to give you energy to start your day.
The problem with alarms is that they can interrupt these natural body cycles and cut the energy-enhancing waking-up process short – particularly if you don’t have a regular sleep rhythm or schedule.
The alarm goes off but your body isn’t quite ready. This groggy and tired state is known as sleep inertia and its strength is related to which sleep stage you are waking up from. The deeper the sleep, the more potent the sleep inertia – and so the snoozing begins.
But the snooze button can do more damage than good. As you fall back to sleep, the body may restart its sleep cycle and enter into deeper sleep stages once more. So instead of your body preparing to wake up, it’s going in the opposite direction. As a result, the second alarm may cause you to feel even more tired, and so continues the vicious cycle.
Ultimately, you would be better off setting your original alarm later, and not interrupting your sleep, then actually getting out of bed as soon as it rings.
Many studies have found that fragmented sleep is less restorative and leads to sleepiness-related daytime impairment at work.
So by breaking up those last 30 minutes of morning sleep (and hitting the snooze button over and over again) you’re more likely to feel tired and perform poorly at work during the day.
What can you do to sleep better?
Try adopting a more regular sleep schedule. Being tired is not only a product of sleep deprivation or waking up out of a deep sleep, but also lacking a consistent schedule.
The body loves predictability. Wake up the same time every morning – including on weekends – and after a few weeks your body should adapt to the timing and be less likely to require an alarm in the first place.
And if you do wake up feeling tired, try to resist the snooze temptation and just get up, because as the saying goes, “you snooze, you lose.”
Source: Based on the asapSCIENCE video series. Visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/AsapSCIENCE