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Avoid the Snooze Button!

Shared by Dr. Travis Downs

Avoid the Snooze Button!


Think twice about that snooze button

When that alarm goes off most of us will roll over and hit the snooze button on our alarm and roll back over. Have you ever noticed that the more you hit the snooze button the sleepier or drowsier you feel after you get up? This feeling of drowsiness after we wake up is called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia refers to the phenomenon of decreased performance and/or disorientation occurring immediately after awakening from sleep.  This occurs if you enter a new sleep cycle during your snooze and when the next alarm wakes you up in the middle of the cycle you just started. When this happens your brain literally needs to reboot, and it can take up to 4 hours before you fully recover.

If you think about it, coffee and energy companies have made billions of dollars off peoples sleep inertia. Don’t get me wrong there are more factors that go into us being tired in the morning then just hitting the snooze button, but if just getting up when the alarm goes off helps you be more active first thing in the morning. Then it’s a small thing that can make a big difference in the overall scheme of things.

To help with not falling asleep when the alarm goes off and instead of rolling back over and hitting snooze, use that 9 minute to visualize your day. How do you want your day to go, what outcomes do you want and set any future goals, so they are always on your mind.

  • “It might even make things better if it happens that you were jerked awake from a particularly deep sleep cycle to hit snooze, neuroscientist and sleep researcher Jeanne Duffy told Daniel Engber at Popular Science in 2015. You don’t want to interrupt a REM cycle with a snooze, since you might kickstart a new sleep cycle process if you fall asleep”

I originally learned about this from Mel Robbins book “The 5 Second Rule”. She also has a lot of great talks and a few new books as well. So, if you need extra motivation, I definitively suggest giving her a read!



Sleep inertia

Patricia Tassi and Alain Muzet