Sleep experts have been discussing the pros and cons of the snooze function in alarms, which allows you a snatch few more minutes of precious morning sleep. Believe it or not, they found two major repercussions that the snooze function has on our health. Read on to know about these repercussions
How snooze affects physical health
When we are in deep sleep, the sound of an alarm clock wakes us up with a start. This triggers the fight or flight response in the body, which in turn causes an increase in blood pressure and also the heart rate. This means we are putting unwanted pressure on our systems. Now, if we snooze the alarm and slip back into a deep sleep, the sound of the alarm within a few minutes again triggers the same response in the body.
Troubling the body once every morning is bad enough but doing it repeatedly by using the snooze option is like assaulting the cardiovascular and nervous system. Experts say that over time this can lead to problems with the heart, nervous system and also can be a cause for other problems such as weight gain and diabetes.
How snooze affects mental health
Our body has a sleep cycle. It starts with non-REM (Rapid eye movement), progresses to REM and goes back again to non-REM. Typically a cycle lasts about 90-120 minutes and every person has an average of 4-5 cycles every night.
When the alarm rings, the sleep cycle breaks and we are in the non-REM phase. Now in some cases and especially when we are very tired, we start slipping into the REM phase. And when the snoozed alarm goes off, we are awakened from a deep sleep. So, instead of feeling fresh, we end up feeling groggy and tired. This sometimes leads to disorientation and leaves us cranky for the first few hours of the day.
Again, experts say that repeatedly getting up from deep sleep can lead to anxiety and depression.
Is there a way out?
The above reasons to avoid snoozing may sound very far fetched. There is no concrete research to support it, but what experts have deduced as the drawbacks of snoozing are very logical and can be a very probable reality. So, what can we do to avoid hitting the snooze button? Here are a few pointers-
- Go to bed early- Ensure that you are getting your 7 hours of sleep. That way when its time to wake up you are refreshed and don’t want to snatch another few minutes of sleep.
- Place the clock or alarm far- having the alarm away from the bed is also a good option. That way you have to get up to put it off or snooze it. When you walk twice to turn off the alarm, you may just want to wake up.
- Schedule an exciting activity in the morning- When you have something exciting to do in the morning, waking up does not seem to be a dreadful task. In fact, you may look forward to waking up.
- Have some natural light in the room- This strategy always helps. When the room is pitch dark waking up is always a task. However, if there is some natural light and you can see its bright outside, waking up is not that difficult.
- Don’t block sounds- If the place where you live isn’t that noisy, do not close the windows. Waking up to natural sounds is way better than an alarm clock. So, avoid blocking out all sounds and let the early morning sounds wake you up.
- Keep a short snooze time- well, if you still like to snooze the alarm. Reduce the snooze interval to just 3-4 minutes. A longer snooze time may put you into deeper sleep while that could be avoided with a shorter snooze time.
Don’t let the snooze option in your alarm be the reason for a bad start to the day. Follow the above tips and have a bright, energetic start to the day.