Issue January-18

Don't hit Snooze

It's probably cold and dark.

Particularly in January, waking up feels impossible and the temptation to hit snooze button is overwhelming. According to experts, snoozing your alarm might do more harm than good.

Sleep is essential for our mental and physical well-being. Many adults report not getting enough sleep, which according to experts if it becomes chronic can contribute to heart disease, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders and depression.

Even in the short term, a lack of sleep can take a toll on our attention span, judgment, emotions and general cognitive function. So how can five minutes longer in bed affect our natural sleep cycle?

"During the five to eight minutes between hitting the snooze button and the alarm going off again, our brains may enter a new sleep cycle, typically consisting of light sleep," Azizi Seixas, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and expert on sleeping stated.

"Fragmented sleep can be problematic because it disrupts the natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to sleep inertia, which is the groggy and disoriented feeling experienced upon waking from deep sleep. "This can make it more difficult to feel alert and fully awake when the alarm goes off again, potentially impacting cognitive performance and mood."

As well as confusing our body clock, the double disruption of the alarm can put our bodies under undue stress. During those precious five to eight minutes between the snooze button and the blare of the alarm, our brains start to undergo a disruptive process.

Research - Newsweek - pw.

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