We like to buy that extra time to sleep in the morning by repeatedly snoozing our alarms. Although, we may feel satisfied about having stolen some more minutes of peace, actually it can ruin your next few hours making you feel gloomy and irritable. So even though you are tempted to hit the snooze button once, twice, thrice…..just quit.
Why snoozing is bad:
Dipping in and out of sleep in early morning is called “Drockling” which was a term coined by sleep scientists in 1970. It may seem a bit weird but the body has to prepare before waking up and this involves a complicated series of mechanisms. One of them being an increase in the core temperature resulting in improved mental alertness which almost starts 2 hours before body is ready to wake up.
Now, if we have had sufficient sleep (6-8 hours) then around the waking time, this mechanism is put into action. However, if you have slept at 12am and set an alarm for 5am, maybe your body is not yet prepared to wake up and the body temperature at 5am will still be much lower than room temperature making the air around you feel very cold and the bed seem warm and cozy. At this time, you are tempted to hit the snooze button
But once you do hit snooze your body will try to drift back into sleep thinking its not yet time to prepare for waking. However, the next alarm causes the body and brain to be shocked and disturbed. This further results in a dizzy and irritable feeling in the head called ‘sleep inertia’ . Sleep inertia is defined as the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that can come with awakening from a deep sleep.
Sleep inertia often lasts for up to and hour and a half after the abrupt awakening and can ruin the entire day. It slows down our brain’s normal activities such as decision-making, memory and overall productivity.
The better way to do it:
We know that sleep is the first thing sacrificed in order to squeeze time for other important commitments including catching up a movie or attending a late-night party. There is no denying the fact sufficient sleep it is as important as eating , bathing and exercising regularly. It is a way to give the body the required rest to recover from what happened on that day and to rejuvenate for what will come tomorrow.
However, if we are not able to get that required amount of sleep for genuine reasons then at least do not hit the snooze button. Being in and out of sleep is worse than not sleeping at all.
Just politely tell yourself before going to sleep that I need to wake up at this time – this will serve as an instruction to the mind as well as the body. When the alarm goes off , do make it a point to ‘wake up’ , sit and absorb the environment for a while, allow yourself to come to terms with reality and then get going. Try to wake up at exactly the same time everyday in order to train your body and set its own natural cycle.
The sleep cycle is a very vital component of health but is often underestimated. There are people on both sides of the spectrum -some who are actually sleep-deprived due to work constraints and some others who are sleeping too much because they have nothing else to do. Either ways is not good. Sleep has a science behind it and we need to respect that, respect body’s natural clock. Sometimes, on weekends we tend to oversleep assuming we have been too tired through the week. Sleeping more and lazing around makes one feel more lazy. Rather , make use of that extra time on the weekend to be outdoors -playing a sport, taking a walk in the park, buying fresh groceries, cleaning your car or simply walking your dog.