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Why pressing snooze button isn’t good for body or brain, according to sleep experts

Doing so can lead to extended periods of ‘sleep inertia’

Sabrina Barr
Friday 13 March 2020 12:00 GMT
Alarming research: being abruptly woken up after a mere 10 minutes in a state of deep sleep can make your body and mind feel out of sorts
Alarming research: being abruptly woken up after a mere 10 minutes in a state of deep sleep can make your body and mind feel out of sorts

When you wake up in the morning to the sound of your alarm after a less than satisfactory night’s sleep, it can be all too tempting to press the snooze button and stay in bed for a few extra minutes.

However, doing so can be extremely detrimental for your health, causing both your body and your brain to become confused.

Experts from Sleep Clinic Services explained why you should refrain from pushing the enticing snooze button, as it can lead to extended periods of sleep inertia.

Sleep inertia is the feeling of grogginess that many people have when they get up in the morning, as explained by Silentnight.

This state usually only lasts for around 15 to 30 minutes as your mind and body gradually become more alert.

However, according to research conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, it can last for up to two to four hours if you wake up during the early sleep cycle or during deep sleep.

When you press the snooze button and go back to sleep, hormones may be released that trick your body into thinking that it’s about to fall into a deep sleep.

Therefore, if you’re then abruptly woken up after a mere 10 minutes, being stirred from a state of deep sleep can make your body and mind feel out of sorts.

Neil Robinson, sleep expert at bed manufacturer Sealy, explains how pressing the snooze button can negatively impact the rest of your day.

“Waking up feeling refreshed after a great night’s sleep is something we all dream of,” he says. “However, most of us are making common mistakes that are preventing us from getting top quality rest – making us more likely to wake up heavy headed rather than fresh faced.

“We’ve all been guilty of pressing ‘snooze’ on our alarms to give us those precious 10 more minutes in bed.

“However, by dozing off for those extra minutes, we’re preparing our bodies for another sleep cycle, which is then quickly interrupted – causing us to feel fatigued for the rest of the day that lies ahead.”

In September 2017, neuroscientist Professor Matthew Walker unveiled his top tips for ensuring you feel as rested as possible after a night’s sleep.

In addition to avoiding the snooze button, he also recommended decaffeinated coffee and steering clear of power naps.

How does sleep affect mental wellbeing?

In May 2018, a study revealed that the average British person sleeps for approximately six hours and 19 minutes every night.

The poll of 2,000 adults in the UK found that people only manage to achieve eight hours of sleep twice a week – 38 per cent of those polled stated they’re never able to manage eight hours of sleep a night.

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