To Snooze or Not To Snooze?

I love my snooze button, in fact, I am sure most of us do. But is it good for us to hit that buzzer every ten minutes in the morning? According to a recent study the snooze button may be doing us more harm than good. At best you’re using a psychological crutch without any real rest.

While you are sleeping your body releases serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel good, but as soon as your body has had enough rest, 7-9 hours for the average adult, your body starts releasing dopamine, to wake you up and let you know you have rested enough. Going back to sleep starts the process over, which is why it is so hard to wake up again when you do go back to sleep.

Doctors say if you are waking up exhausted every day then your body is not getting enough quality rest, try setting your bedtime 15 minutes earlier every  night until you are waking up naturally before your alarm goes off. Waking up feeling refreshed and rested is a wonderful feeling. Waking up naturally every day without an alarm clock would be ideal, but for most of us reality does not allow for that.

Sleep fragmentation experts also say that the optimum nap time is 20 minutes long, less than that doesn’t allow for any real rest, more than that can leave you feeling sluggish and less awake. Your body has an ideal balance of chemicals it releases during sleep/wake cycles, to feel your best and perform your best, you must get adequate amounts of sleep every night. Sweet dreams!

References:
1: McCoy JG, Strecker RE. The cognitive cost of sleep lost. Neurobiol Learn Mem.
2011 Nov;96(4):564-82. Epub 2011 Aug 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 21875679.

2: Killgore WD. Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. Prog Brain Res.
2010;185:105-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 21075236.