Every morning my alarm goes off and I reach over and hit the snooze button. This repeats about 3 or so times before I actually get up to get ready to go to work. Does anybody else use the snooze button to get just a few more minutes of sleep? Well we actually shouldn’t be hitting that button because it can hurt your REM period of sleep. Let’s find out what happens!
During the last hour or so before you wake up is when you should be in your longest period of REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, this is the period of sleep where you dream the most and major voluntary muscle groups are completely still. People without sleep disorders breathe faster and their heart rate increases during this time.
When you interrupt this time of sleep every 8 or so minutes by hitting the snooze button you could be hurting the quality of sleep you are getting. This could be why some people appear “dozy” during the day. The restful last hour of sleep was constantly interrupted resulting in a long hangover effect the more you hit the snooze button.
During sleep, the body cycles between non-REM and REM sleep. You start out in NERM sleep, non-rapid eye movement sleep, then REM sleep occurs 90 minutes later. The first period of REM lasts around 10 minutes, with each recurring REM stage lengthening, and the final one may last up to an hour – making that snooze button a bad idea.
So what can you do to prevent yourself from hitting that snooze button? Here are some tips!
Some Tips to Stop You From Hitting the Snooze Button
Appreciate waking up. One of the most important steps for is to change your mindset about waking up. It’s easy for you to hit snooze if your morning mind is focused on returning back to you warm, welcoming bed. Focus on the fact that it’s a new day with new opportunities.
Set an alarm you’re happy to wake up to. You’re in the middle of a great dream, and then suddenly an annoying, loud sound comes from nowhere to wake you up. If your going to appreciate waking up, or at least try to, switch your alarm to a sound you actually enjoy, like a favorite song
Have something to do /a reason you are getting up. Do you ever have an early flight on a Saturday morning and find it easier to get up at 4am that day than to get up at 6am on any normal day? It’s because you have a deadline for when you can be up, and you have something immediate to do when you wake up! By having something you need to do, it makes it easier to stay awake and avoid the snooze. If you can’t think of anything that you want to do immediately upon getting up, exercising or showering is a good start.
Set a short goal. While the intention is that you keep going with waking up and not hitting the snooze button if you set your goal to long you might not break that habit. Try setting a goal at only 5 days or one full week. By having the mindset that you just have to get through this week, it’s more manageable.
Go to bed earlier. This one is obvious, but it certainly does help. Your body needs an average of at least 7 hours of sleep each night to be productive the next day. That means if you want to wake up at 6am, you need to be in bed by 11pm. It’s much harder to wake up early if you go to bed late.
Don’t sleep too comfortably. Often the problem in the morning isn’t not having something that should be doing, but it’s that your bed looks so comfy and how it incredible it would be to be able to return to it. By sleeping in a slightly less than heavenly bed, the allure back into it diminishes.
Try to wake up in the right cycle. Studies show that how much sleep you get isn’t nearly as important as how much REM sleep you get. They also suggest that waking up in the middle of an REM cycle can leave you drowsy, but waking up in between one can be more refreshing. By sleeping for the right amount of time (e.g. 7 1/2 hours instead of 8), you can make it easier on the body to wake up.
Put the alarm on the other side of the room. By putting the alarm on the other side of the room, it’s a lot more inconvenient to keep hitting snooze. If you have to keep getting up and walking, you’ll get your muscles moving and the body up.
Turn on the lights. Despite the invention of the light bulb, instinctually we still desire to rise and sleep with the sun- that’s why most people want their rooms to be dark when they’re sleeping. Well the same is true for waking up- light signals our body that it’s time to get up.
Drink some water. Not only does drinking water get you doing something physical, it also supplies the body with it’s most precious resource after a 6-8 hour drought. Drinking cooler water also helps wake up the body because of the additional energy required to heat the water during digestion.
Wake up at the same time every day. Waking up at the same time every day allows your body to set your internal clock so that it becomes accustomed to the 6am hour. Over time, your body will naturally start prepping itself to be awake at 6am, often times allowing you to wake up just before your alarm, and if you have an alarm sound that you are looking forward to hearing, it can make it even more pleasant to hear it from the beginning.
Commit. Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to commit to making sure you don’t hit that snooze button. Try and make this a challenge with a family member or friend to see who can keep up with it!
Well there you go! Some great tips on why you shouldn’t hit the snooze button multiple times and ways to get yourself from doing it!
I’m heading to Moraine State Park these weekend for some outdoor activities! I’ll let everyone know how it goes! Have a great weekend!