Don’t Press The Snooze Button

Sleep while you work (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Sleep while you work (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Feeling sleepy today?  Did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock?

I recently learned from a New Yorker article by Maria Konnikova that Snoozers Are In Fact Losers.  When you hit the snooze button that 10-minute interval is just long enough to begin a new sleep cycle but it jolts you awake again at the worst moment — the beginning of the cycle.

The interruptions make your brain think you had a lousy night’s sleep even though the bad part was actually that last 10 minutes — or more if you hit the button several times.  The more you snooze the more you lose.

So what’s the answer?  Don’t use the snooze button.  Get up right away when the alarm goes off.   (Oh no!)

But it’s more complicated than that. Read Konnikova’s December 2013 New Yorker article Snoozers Are In Fact Losers for more information on why …

  • The best way to sleep-&-wake is by using our own internal clock (circadian rhythm) and external light cues (sunrise/sunset).
  • The majority of us suffer from social jetlag.  Our bodies’ preferred wake up time is an hour+ different than our social lives dictate (work, school, etc).
  • It’s bad to wake up in the dark.
  • The brain doesn’t really hit its stride until 2-4 hours after you wake up. Yikes!

We’re the only animals on earth that jolt ourselves awake like this.

Egads, I want a nap!


(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the image to see the original)

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