Stop Hitting Snooze!


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I hate alarm clocks

Alexandra Delahunt, Writer

If we can all agree on one thing, it is that no matter how much sleep we get at night, it never seems like enough. Naturally, when your alarm goes off, your first instinct is to hit the snooze button. These extra 5-10 minutes will make all the difference in the world and magically increase your energy levels, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. According to sleep experts, hitting snooze actually does the opposite. Snoozing after your alarm goes off increases tiredness and can make you feel even drowsier. This occurs because the time in between alarms is very narrow, so your body doesn’t have enough time to fall back into a deep sleep. Without a routine, your brain becomes confused and throws off your body clock. This occurrence, known as “drockling,” was coined by sleep experts in the 1970’s and involves the dipping in and out of sleep early in the morning.

Your body needs time to get ready to wake you up. When you let yourself fall back asleep, you are telling your body it was a false alarm, and you don’t need to be up and moving. When your alarm goes off for the second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise, which results in grogginess, known as “sleep inertia.” The more times you hit snooze, the more confused your body is becoming. When you finally decide to get out of bed, you will most likely feel out of it and more tired than you were the first time it went off.

Not only will you feel out of it in the morning, snoozing will throw your entire day off. You confuse your internal clock by not having a consistent routine, like when you wake up at 7 a.m. one morning, then 7:30 a.m. the next day.  If you don’t wake up at the same time each day, your body doesn’t know when to make you start to feel sleepy at night, which results in a later bedtime and further sleep deprivation.

Luckily, there are alternatives to solve this common problem. It is recommended to set your alarm for the time you have to get up and get moving. Make sure the alarm is set at the same time each day so your body can get into a scheduled routine. Doing this will result in feeling naturally sleepy at night, so you’ll feel compelled to go to bed at a reasonable hour everyday. If you keep this routine, you will eventually be able to wake up without even needing an alarm.

Although your bed seems extra cozier and warm in the morning, and it is tempting to fall back to sleep, it does not benefit you in the long run. Even though it may not feel this way, these extra minutes under the covers are more detrimental than you know.