Doctor’s Orders: Don’t Hit the Snooze Button

by | August 31, 2011 at 1:55 PM | General

While you’re busy dreaming about time off from work this Labor Day weekend, you don’t want to be interrupted. Especially not by the cringe-inducing sound of your alarm clock, iPhone or any other devilish device whose sole purpose it is to disturb your sleepy state.  So you hit snooze and hope to drift back into Slumberland. Big mistake, according to independent sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley.

It turns out the snooze button is a tricky thing. You think those extra minutes of rest will help rev up your engine, when in fact, they’re actually contributing to your tiredness.

“If you hit the snooze button you may go back into deep sleep and you’re not supposed to wake from deep sleep — you’re supposed to pass to the lighter preparation stage first, then open your eyes. So snoozing creates a huge shock to the body and it makes you feel awful,” Dr. Stanley explains to The Daily Mail. “If you wake up feeling worse, you’ll only be tempted to hit snooze again and then you’re in for a vicious cycle.”

According to Dr. Stanley, there are two culprits behind you feeling like a zombie. The obvious reason is you haven’t been getting a sufficient amount of shut eye. The other is a little more technical and could pose a problem if you aren’t a creature of habit.

“The body loves rhythm and predictability,” he says. “Most tiredness happens because we are very bad at sticking to regular bedtimes — going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.”
 
In order to feel awake and ready to start the day, try setting an alarm for the same time seven days a week (yes, even on weekends) to get your body in a grove. Or put the old saying ‘Rise and shine’ into practice by pulling open the curtains as soon as your alarm sounds.
 
“It kick-starts your internal clock and tells the body it’s daytime,’ Dr. Stanley advises.
 
Here’s to a well-rested Thursday morning!