I decided I wanted to do some research on this topic because it is a problem I am confronted with just about every day when I have to wake up for class. Is getting the 10 extra minutes of sleep really worth hitting the snooze button? I am not personally the one doing this but every morning before about an hour before I have to wake up for class my roommates alarm goes off and he just snoozes it all the time. It constantly goes off and wakes me up and he snoozes it about 2-3 times before he gets up. I know he may think he’s getting extra rest but studies have shown otherwise.
Contrary to popular belief hitting the snooze button on your alarm in the morning because you are tired, actually just makes you even more tired. Every one has a biological sleep cycle that adjusts itself to your tendencies of when you go to sleep every night and when you wake up in the morning. When you lay down at night and begin to fall asleep you are beginning this cycle that lasts until you wake up. Two things are going on when you are struggling for a couple of extra minutes of sleep, “First, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”
You wake up in the morning and feel as if you haven’t gotten enough sleep so you think that maybe a couple of extra minutes will help. Once your alarm wakes you up and you lay back down you are actually beginning a new sleep cycle which in just a few minutes will be interrupted. When your sleep cycle is interrupted it has actually been proven to make you more groggy throughout the day and less alert, “It slows down your decision-making abilities, impairs your memory and hurts your general performance once you do get out of bed.” Your body has a biological clock that works with your sleep cycle, it prepares your body to wake up about two hours before you actually do by warming up your body which will in turn make you feel more alert and less sleep. This is why you are recommended to sleep 8 hours throughout the night. If you wake up before the recommended time your body doesn’t get the chance to prepare you to awake thus leaving you just as tired as when you went to sleep.
What you should do to help avoid this problem is setting your alarm to a time that you actually have to wake up and then actually get out of bed and begin your day. After consistently doing so and getting your body used to the same sleep cycle it will lead to better sleep and a better day. You’ll begin to actually feel tired at a certain time of the night which will help you fall asleep faster. A trick that I’ve seen done is putting your phone at a distance that when your alarm goes off in the morning, you have to physically get up to turn it off. Who knows, maybe after a while you’ll discover that you really are a morning person.