Why the Snooze Button Is Ruining Your Sleep

Gizmodo takes a look at the ill-effects of everyone’s favorite invention:

During the hour or two before you wake, then, you primarily have REM sleep. You dream a lot during this period, and consolidate recent memories. Weirdly, this means that your body does most of the processing of the preceding day’s events just before you wake naturally. The earlier you interrupt that process—by, say, setting an alarm earlier than you need so you can snooze away for a half hour—the less time you give yourself to process those experiences. Research shows that cutting into REM sleep like that can blunt your mental function during the day.

A fundamental belief about the snooze button is that the short snatches of sleep still help the body rest. Studies into sleep fragmentation suggest otherwise—sleep which is interrupted every minute or every ten can lead to “sleepiness-related daytime impairment” when compared to the equivalent amount of uninterrupted sleep. In other words, there is less value in snooze sleep and, if too much of your bed time is spent snoozing, you can expect impairments in your memory, reaction time, comprehension and attention.

So, the snooze button is horrible for you, actually. The article suggests going to be earlier every night until you wake up naturally around the same time you set your alarm for. Sounds great, but that might not be realistic for some.

Lady Oyster and I recently bought a Phillips Wake Up Alarm Clock. It gently brings the light in the room up 30 minutes before you want to wake up. I find it actually helps a lot. I wake up naturally and with light in the room once I wake I tend to not want to go back to bed. Couldn’t recommend one enough. They’re pricey at around $100, but if you struggle getting up in the morning it’s worth it.

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