Do you time-travel every morning with the snooze button?
When the alarm clock rings, I’ll press the button and soon after, I’d have travelled five minutes into the future within a second. This would go on for thirty minutes (six snoozes), and by then, I could no longer have a proper breakfast.
If you’re like me, then you’d better read on.
Because while it looks and feels harmless, this snooze habit could be the reason why you feel like a zombie during the day.
And it’s not based on my *yawns* personal experience.
Is science says one.
But first, let’s understand what is sleep inertia.
When you wake up in the morning, you’d feel like the world is different: your body isn’t responding to your command, your mind is still half-baked from the sweet dream you’ve had and the gravity on your bed seems to be 10 times stronger.
That is called sleep inertia, and we experienced it every morning if you’re woken up by an alarm clock.
This state would usually last for 15 to 30 minutes, whereby you’ll brush your teeth, take a shower and a dump like a zombie. In fact, I’ve fallen asleep with my toothbrush still in my mouth countless times.
And this sleep inertia is so seductive, it’ll repeatedly tell you to just go back to bed for five more minutes.
That’s why people invented the snooze button.
But here’s the thing: according to seven billion people in the world, the only way to counter sleep inertia is to get the f*** up.
(Though the not-so-trusty Wikipedia suggests solutions like lights, coffee or change in room temperature, which I’ll categorically say that they’re completely useless)
When “Five More Minutes” is Misinterpreted by Your Body
So, like many of us, you opt to listen to your body and go for five more minutes.
Here’s the thing: while your mind tells your body that it’ll just be for five more minutes, your body ain’t giving a shit.
Your body would think, “Okay, that loser is going back to sleep. He said five minutes? Screw him, he’s always saying that. Let’s prepare ourselves for another cycle of deep sleep.”
Your hormones would start to do their things, instructing every part of your body to go back to deep sleep.
And of course, your mind’s telling your hormones, “No, not a few hours! Just five minutes!”
But because hormones don’t have ears and they’ve never followed instructions from your mind, your body would prep itself for a deep sleep.
Five minutes later, your alarm clock buzzes and here’s why it’s a problem.
Waking Up from “Deep Sleep”
Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep before?
You would have: these are times when you go to the toilet to pee, and can go back to sleep within minutes.
This is what happened when you press that snooze button.
If you press it ten times, you’ve prepared yourself for ten times of deep sleep, and your body is ready for ten times of deep sleep.
Your hormones are all up and running for…sleep.
And all of a sudden, you need more sleep because your body has prepared for it.
So even if you’ve overcome your sleep inertia, your body’s still asking you, “Hey dude, you told me you’re going to sleep again. How about now?”
And it’ll ask you every hour.
That could only mean one thing: you’ll feel fatigued the entire day.
For a more non-Goody-Feed explanation, here’s what a sleep expert says: “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.”
Don’t use the snooze button.
Try it and be surprised at the results.
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