Don't Feel Bad for Hitting the Snooze Button

                 We’re often focused on increasing productivity, but we can easily lose sight of how important it is to maximize enjoyment of life, too.  It’s important to have good structures and schedules to help keep us on track for cognitive performance and fitness, but all that structure can leave us feeling guilty when we want to sleep in, or hit that snooze button when the alarm goes off.  A new study finds that it’s ok to press that snooze button, guilt-free!

                The newest research comes from Stockholm University’s Psychology Department which wanted to look into how much snoozing effects future sleep and immediate cognitive performance.  The first part of the study included a survey to find out how many people really get up at the first alarm, which unsurprisingly is more common with younger people or those with active night lives.

                The second part of the study followed 31 people who had a history of hitting the snooze button.  They asked participants to spend one morning delaying getting out of bed by 30 minutes after hitting that snooze button and the other day to get up right away.  Most participants achieved another full twenty minutes of sleep, but it wasn’t a deep enough sleep to be characterized as a deep sleep.  Testing their cognitive performance upon waking, the researchers found those who snoozed performed better, and there weren’t any significant differences noted in their level of drowsiness, saliva cortisol levels, or mood.

                The study was focused on the fact that snoozing didn’t seem to delay normal activity, even though it gets a bad reputation for being a behavior only employed by the lazy.  For those people who seem to need that extra twenty to thirty minutes of sleep, it actually helps them out and doesn’t affect their sleep later in the day.  It’s easy to hit the snooze button multiple times, and some alarms are set to repeat every five minutes.  If you find snoozing to be part of your day, try getting a full thirty-minute snooze in, instead of breaking it up into smaller intervals to feel the most rested.


Further Reading

Tina Sundelin, Shane Landry, John Axelsson. Is snoozing losing? Why intermittent morning alarms are used and how they affect sleep, cognition, cortisol, and mood. Journal of Sleep Research, 2023; DOI: 10.1111/JSR.14054

Photo by Maks Styazhkin on Unsplash

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