Have you ever wondered about the potential implications of hitting the snooze button repeatedly? We would all love a few extra minutes in bed, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s often easy to get caught up in a loop of hitting the snooze button and delaying getting up longer and longer. However, this could raise a significant (yet surprising) concern for your health. Luckily, though, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way! As such, today, we’re looking at some of the key things you should know about whether hitting the snooze button is bad for your health.
Is Hitting the Snooze Button Bad for your Health?
The morning alarm is often a dreaded sound and fills our hearts with frustration every morning. And, for so many of us, the temptation for just “five more minutes” can often be overwhelming. In doing so, hitting the snooze alarm can seem like a very tempting opportunity. However, did you know that there could be potential health implications if you rely on the snooze alarm too often?
It’s something many of us overlook. Still, the shocking reality is that hitting the snooze button regularly could leave you feeling out of sorts and under the weather for the rest of the day. But why is this? Well, there are a few key reasons that hitting the snooze button may be bad for your health; these include the following three points.
1. Start the Day Stressed
You probably don’t realize it, but hitting the snooze button regularly in the morning can increase your blood pressure and heartbeat. This causes your body to enter a “flight or fight” response state. This panic is often also triggered by our regular alarms. However, adding additional, unnecessary snooze alarms to your routine certainly compounds the issue. In doing so, we wake up in a heightened sense of alertness and panic (even if you don’t necessarily feel awake). In turn, this results in greater feelings of stress throughout the day.
As such, cutting out the snooze button from your morning routine could significantly benefit your ability to lead a happy, productive, and confident lifestyle. Waking up stressed undeniably isn’t a good way to start the day. This early morning stress may make minor issues seem more problematic down the line. Hence, this could also make it harder for you to relax and fall asleep the following evening. And so begins a vicious cycle of stress that’s hard to escape from.
2. The Snooze Button Prevents You From Getting Deep REM Sleep
Not all sleep is equal – and, for the most restful sleep, it’s essential to try and enter REM sleep, which is the deepest sleep phase overall. REM sleep is integral for restoring our health, energy, and strength, but it’s typically only entered during the deepest sleep.
However, hitting the snooze button regularly can impact this. By using the snooze button more than “every now and then,” you begin training your brain to expect to sleep for just a short while – which can hinder your ability to enter REM sleep. This may also leave you suffering from poorer quality sleep throughout the night – further compounding the issue as time goes by and you get increasingly tired.
“Snoozing” isn’t restorative sleep, and you most certainly won’t be getting proper REM sleep during this time. Hitting the snooze button multiple times in the morning can leave you much more tired than if you simply wait an extra ten minutes to set that initial alarm – helping you wake up feeling more restored and ready to hit the day.
3. Hitting the Snooze Button Can Impact Normal Gene Functioning
We all get a little bit cranky and irritable when we’re tired. However, did you know that hitting the snooze button might actually impact how your genes work? Even more worryingly, it only takes around one week of hitting the snooze button (and the subsequent disrupted sleep) to impact how your genes function. Of course, this could play a significant role in many aspects of your life.
Recent research has concluded that up to 700 different genes may be impacted after just one week of poor sleep. The consequences of this could be severe, with gene expression being either dampened or heightened. This can lead to potential issues such as a poor body clock cycle, a weakened immune system, heightened stress responses, and a slower metabolism (resulting in weight gain). What’s more, further studies have also concluded that children who get more sleep tend to have a better memory. Some research concludes this could also be due to the function of genes in the body.
Tips to Cut Your Reliance on the Snooze Button
At this point, we’ve clarified some of the key issues that come with using the snooze button too regularly. But are there ways to combat this? Well, fortunately, overcoming those early-morning urges to go back to sleep doesn’t have to be impossible, and the following tips may help:
- Keep your phone or alarm out of arm’s reach. It’s much easier to cut your reliance on the snooze button when you have to physically get out of bed to turn the alarm off (or sit upright). Something as simple as putting a barrier in the way of your phone and your hand can ensure you need to move to turn the alarm off, helping you feel a little more with it overall.
- Try soothing background noises to mask those annoying noises that disturb you or wake you up. This simple change may help you drift off to sleep more easily, helping you make the most of every night. After all, sleeping better can directly help you wake up feeling refreshed.
- Wake up at the same time every day. It can be tempting to have a long lie-in on those days off from work or school. Still, this can actually leave you feeling more bleary-eyed on the mornings when you need to be up early. So, try to wake up consistently every day to reduce your reliance on the snooze button.
- Make the most of sleep monitoring apps. These tools ensure every night’s sleep is the most effective and efficient it can be! Specialist sleep monitoring apps remotely monitor your sleep, allowing you to understand how well you’re sleeping, your sleep routines, and the like. In turn, these can help you enjoy a more restful and regular night’s sleep.
If you’re the sort of person who relies heavily on the snooze button to get out of bed in the morning, the snooze alarm can seem like a saving grace. However, while it can seem like frustrating, ignoring the snooze alarm wherever possible may provide substantial health benefits. So, don’t leave your health to chance; give the snooze button a miss, and see how it could help!