A few more minutes. When faced with the decision to hop out of bed or grab a luxurious few more minutes of sleep, which do you choose? Believe it or not, that one decision could make a world of difference in the rest of your day.
About 85 percent of Americans use an alarm clock to wake up in the mornings, according to sleep researcher Till Roennenber in his book, "Internal Time." And while there are no official numbers on snoozing, a quick survey of social media makes it clear that hitting the snooze button is a popular pastime.
It's going to be a beautiful day....it will still be so in another 30 minutes...#snoozebutton— Bri Watson (@prohmy) October 9, 2017
As to how the snooze button will affect your day, scientists have mixed opinions. A British study led by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa found that people who hit the snooze button in the mornings are actually more intelligent, more creative and happier than their up-and-at-'em peers. Kanazawa's argument is that nothing in our evolution has prepared us for the use of the snooze button. Therefore, it takes someone with outstanding intelligence and creativity to learn how to use this modern invention and incorporate it into their daily lives.
'One of the worst things to ever happen to human sleep'
On the flip side are scientists who claim that hitting the snooze button will ruin your life, or at the very least your day. "I feel that the snooze button has got to be one of the worst things to ever happen to human sleep," somnology researcher Jonathan Horowitz of Maple Holistics tells MNN. "The chances of you ‘snoozing’ and actually experiencing a meaningful rest are close to nil."
According to some sleep experts, your body gets confused when you allow yourself to dip in and out of sleep cycles in the morning. You could wind up feeling drowsier than you would have if you had just gotten out of bed after the first set of beeps. This grogginess may linger throughout the day, making you less productive, less likely to exercise and more likely to make poor food choices.
"When hitting the snooze button, you are in fact confusing your body and mind, throwing yourself into a deeper state of drowsiness," explains Horowitz. "The bodily waking process needs to be accommodated, not side-stepped ... therefore, when returning to what will be a light sleep for a brief period of time, you are putting your body back into a sleeping mode before waking it again. At that point your body won't know what it wants, resulting in a sort of half-awakened state that is known as sleep inertia."
So is using the snooze button a sign of greater intelligence or the portent of a bad day? If you really want to take advantage of an extra morning snooze, the key, some experts say, is to use the snooze button strategically, to supplement a healthy sleep cycle. Focus your efforts on getting enough sleep each night and waking around the same time each day so that when your alarm goes off you feel rested. Then if you want to use the snooze button as an insurance policy while you stretch and enjoy a few extra minutes under the covers, it shouldn't affect your sleep or the rest of your day.