Stay away from the snooze button

Those late nights and early mornings are really a killer combination. Most of us snooze the alarm until late afternoon (on the days we do not have class). For me, this is every Tuesday and Thursday. My first class begins at 1:35 and I have gotten used to sleeping in until 12. However, I do not feel as energized as I hope to each time I wake up around noon. Instead I feel sluggish and I long for an extra hour to lay in bed. I’ve been blaming this on my recent lack of sleep in general, but perhaps there is a scientific explanation behind it.

Dr. Michael J Breus in his article with Huffington Post informs us that our body follows a sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. Just like any bodily pattern, our sleep cycles can be easily interrupted. The circadian rhythm becomes interrupted when we oversleep. Oversleeping also ends up with our “body clocks” telling the wrong time, therefore resulting in fatigue or issues with sleeping patterns.


While our body follows a cycle, sleep itself is a cycle as well. Dr. breus provides us with the knowledge behind sleep cycles. He says that each cycle generally lasts for 80-120 minutes and on average we experience 5 of these cycles while we sleep. So oversleeping leads to an increase in the amount of cycles which often leads to waking up within the middle of a cycle. Waking up in the middle of a cycle, such as REM, causes you to feel pretty awful when you wake up.

So it really is no wonder why I’ve been feeling even more tired when I wake up. In order to keep yourself on track with your sleeping schedule it is important to go to bed and wake up generally around the same time each day.



2 thoughts on “Stay away from the snooze button

  1. Celine Degachi

    This is something I can really relate to. In order to wake up in the morning I have to set at least 3 alarms or I won’t get up. There’s something about being able to sleep for just 10 more minutes that makes it easier for me to get up. I didn’t know about how oversleeping can actually ruin the circadian rhythm. Really interesting! I actually wrote about dreams and the five cycles we experience when we sleep so this is an interesting additional fact. Here’s a cool article about the meaning of dreams and what this says about our bodies.

  2. Robert McCarthy

    I read and commented on a blog post regarding naps. The study that was being discussed found that taking naps throughout the day has shown to be more effective at creating more well-rested and focused people than those who don’t take naps. My question is, why is this practice of hitting the snooze button much worse than taking a nap? I mean, both are separate sleeping times separated out by a period of being awake? Why does it make a difference to be awake for a few hours between these sleeping periods rather than a few minutes?

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