It’s incredibly tempting to try and squeeze a few extra minutes of sleep every morning. For some, it’s the “snooze” button that gets repeatedly slammed on the top of your alarm clock. For parents, it might be begging your toddler for an extra five minutes before turning on the cartoons.
This behavior of dipping in and out of sleep in the morning is actually called drockling and as it turns out, it’s not good for you.
First, let’s understand why it feels so good to hit that snooze button. An interview with a specialist from the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center revealed that one of the ways your body prepares to wake up is by turning up your core temperature. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body temperature may still be in the deep-sleep range at wake-up time. This leaves your bedroom feeling cold and your bed, cozier than ever.
You’ve hit the snooze button and curled back up in the sheets. What now? As it turns out, you have begun a new sleep cycle that you’re not prepared to finish. The result is experiencing grogginess after waking, known as sleep inertia. This state of disorientation impairs your memory, decision-making abilities and can last anywhere from one minute to four hours.
While it may be convenient to blame this all on a little snooze button, we need to address the reason we hit “snooze” in the first place. For many of us, it’s because we are not getting enough sleep on a daily basis. The long-term effects are more than just grogginess. According to the American College of Physicians, sufferers of sleep deprivation also have an elevated risk of diabetes.
Consider the following tips to wake up refreshed and kiss the “snooze” button goodbye:
• Go to bed half an hour earlier. If this doesn’t reduce your sleep deprivation, try turning back your bed time an hour earlier.
• Set a consistent wake-up time. Eventually it will help you feel naturally sleepy at the end of your day.
• Have a tech curfew. Turn off electronics ninety minutes before bed to reduce light exposure and help your brain wind down.
• Put your alarm clock out of reach. The morning scavenger hunt will likely end your desire to crawl back into bed.