Snoozing

Starting winning the battle when it comes to snoozing in the morning

Most of us are guilty of it; waking up in the morning to that dreaded alarm clock and reaching over the hit the snooze button. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when the General Electric Company rolled out the first alarm clock with an integrated snooze button that the world would soon become addicted to snoozing in the morning. The company promised an easier, gentler, softer way to wake up in the morning, but decades later, millions of us are suffering from struggling to get up and resist the urge to hit the snooze button.

If you’re in the habit of hitting the button, then hopefully we can help you break that cycle and improve your sleeping habits.

If we could have our way, none of us would need an alarm clock. We’d all wake up each morning when our bodies were ready to awake, naturally, and feel fully replenished after a full night of sleep. Unfortunately, for most of us, this would be just a fantasy. Because of our jobs, families and other commitments, we’ve grown to becoming slaves to our alarm clocks, and ultimately, the snooze button as well.

Snoozing, in actual fact, is bad for us. And not just because we might run the risk of being late for an appointment. Our health can actually suffer too. At best, pressing the snooze button might be little more than a psychological crutch, but more severely, it can actual have consequences for our well-being and general health. It can effect our biological clocks and make us feel far more tired than had we gotten out of bed as soon as our alarm sounded.

If you set your alarm too early, then you’re at risk of depriving yourself of crucial REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. There are two primary types of sleep, the first being REM, and the second being NREM (non-REM). Whereas the NREM stage of your sleep, your body and brain is doing little more than relaxing, the REM stage actually has an active state. Your muscles twitch constantly and your brain undergoes a high level of electrical activity.

As we sleep, our body regularly changes between these two states. Usually, slow wave sleep happens just at the start of the night but REM increases towards the morning. To feel your benefits of a good night’s sleep, your body needs to get the right amount of both REM and NREM sleeping states.

The main problem of setting your alarm earlier than you intended to actually get up is that there will be a good chance you’ll disrupt your vital REM stage of sleeping. Once you’ve woken up, it’s then unlikely that you’ll fall back to sleep and enter the REM state.

Waking up in this state can negatively affect your mental functioning throughout the day, leading to slower reaction times, poorer memory, and even lower emotional levels.

As you might have guessed, the most common cause for snoozing in a morning is because of a lack of good sleep. Waking up after a restless night will likely have you feeling groggy. This is known as inertia, and in some cases, being in this state can have worse effects on you than being actually drunk. To lessen the chances of waking up in this state, you need to work out and examine your own circadian rhythm, or natural body clock. Each person is different; some people need a solid eight hours of sleep each night, whereas others as little as six. Try and figure out which type of sleep cycle works best for you, and ultimately aim to get into a regular pattern of falling asleep and awakening at the same time each night and morning.

When you’re looking to battle the habit of snoozing an alarm, there are a few ways you can try and give yourself a fighting chance. Putting your alarm clock out of reach is probably the easiest, and first step that you should take. It’s a timeless concept, but it’s one that can work. Having to actually get out of bed and walk over to your alarm clock can help you stop immediately going back to sleep. Sometimes, people have had two or even three alarm clocks in different places in their rooms.

Another tip is to give yourself a small reward each morning. Our brains love a little reward, and if you’re looking forward to something in the morning, it’ll will be far easier to get out of bed. Throw your mind back to when you were younger on Christmas morning. I imagine not many of us were reaching out for the alarm clock’s snooze button!

Looking forward to playing on a video game for a few minutes, reading an enjoyable book or spending time playing that instrument you’ve been wanting to learn are just some of the feel good factors you can use to reward yourself for getting out of bed.

Drinking coffee on a morning is a great way to wake up and start the day. We’re all familiar with the stimulant affects caffeine has on our bodies, but it’s been proven that just the smell of coffee in a morning can trigger a similar effect. Coffee machines with timers are now available; if you awake to the smell of coffee, not only can the aroma be a pleasant scent to awaken to, but you’ll have a freshly made cup of coffee ready for you once you get out of bed.

Ensuring your room is warm for when you wake up can be far more helpful for you than having to awaken in a cold room. Close the windows and set your heating to come on for half an hour or so before your alarm goes off. It’s far easier to get up in a warm room, than having to leave your warm, comfy bed to get up in a cold room.

There are new gadgets on the market which can help you break your snoozing cycle, too. From ridiculously loud alarm clocks to alarms you place under your bed to make your mattress shake, and even gadgets where you have to solve a puzzle to stop the alarm sounding, there is a huge choice for items that aid you to get yourself out of bed in a morning.

Following some of the practices listed above, ensuring you get a regular amount of optimum sleep each night, and ideally getting to bed earlier when possible, will all help you if you’re trying to break the habit of snoozing in the morning.