If You Snooze You Lose: 3 Tips to Waking Up and Staying Up

If You Snooze You Lose: 3 Tips to Waking Up and Staying Up

I’m sure you’ve been there. The sun is just barely coming up when your alarm goes off. You wake up and instantly feel annoyed, cold, and tired. So you snooze and go back to bed. And you do it again. And again. And maybe even again. When you finally get out of bed, you’re just as tired as you were before and possibly even groggier. Why do we keep hitting the snooze button? And what affect does it have on our bodies?

Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff Arizona, says there are two drawbacks to snoozing your alarm. The bursts of sleep between snoozes are too short for high quality sleep and they start new sleep-cycles that you don’t have time to finish. What’s the result? Added grogginess throughout the day.

We all have felt this at some point, so why do we keep hitting snooze? The answer is actually found in the days and weeks before you hit snooze! The urge to hit the snooze button can intensify as your sleep debt accumulates. The Alaska Sleep Clinic defines sleep debt as the amount of sleep you should be getting less the amount of sleep you’re actually getting. In general, every night you sleep less than 8 hours, you increase your sleep debt making it more likely for you to be in the middle of a deeper sleep when your alarm goes off in the morning. The more sleep debt you have, the longer and deeper sleep you need.

What can you do instead of hitting the snooze button? Here are 3 Healthwell tips to waking up and staying up:

1. Simply get more sleep

Whether that means falling asleep sooner, taking a daily siesta, or waking up later is up to you! As your sleep debt dwindles, so will your desire to hit that pesky snooze button. It may be hard to prioritize sleep over other important tasks, so take the time to remind yourself how much more productive you will be when you’re well rested and not chronically groggy. For more information, the National Sleep Foundation compiled a list of 6 helpful tips to getting more sleep.

2. Get excited about the morning

Did you ever notice that you were wide-awake on the first day of school and on Christmas morning? That’s no coincidence. Excitement and anxiety raise your cortisol levels. Cortisol is often called the body’s “stress” hormone, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad for your health! As described by Health Direct, an Australian government health information resource, cortisol is necessary for reducing inflammation, triggering flight or fight responses, controlling blood pressure, and increasing your body’s metabolism of glucose. When elevated, cortisol sends energizing signals to your brain that make it hard to want to sleep (Dr Doni, author of The Stress Remedy). Have something planned in the morning that makes you feel excited and momentarily raises your cortisol levels. It will start your day off right and help you get out of bed.

3. Understand your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle

Your body has structured sleep cycles that make you drift in and out of deep sleep throughout the night. Understanding how your body responds to changes in your routine, sleep habits, and sleep/wake times is crucial to getting a good night’s rest. According to Tuck the easiest time to wake up is when you’re in your lightest sleep stage, the first stage of non-REM (rapid eye movement). In order to set your alarm for your body’s prime time waking hours, you first need to know what time to fall asleep. There are many apps, calculators, and alarm clocks out there that track your sleep patterns and suggest proper times to go to bed. Here are just a few from Digital Trends, a company who focuses on sharing technology that is fun and easy to use. 

Wake up and stay up

 Snoozing your alarm may feel like a quick fix at the time, but it can be detrimental to your productivity and health. If all else fails, maybe consider buying this. Share your sleep tips and tricks on Instagram, and don’t forget to tag @Healthwell_Connect.

Brenda Raymond-Ball
Owner/Business Director, Healthwell Enterprises
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