This Is Why You Really Need To Stop Pressing The Snooze Button


Do you ever notice how your days that begin with pressing the snooze button over and over again leave you perpetually groggy rather than rested? Well, there’s a scientific reason behind this unfortunate reality.

Despite having the best of intentions, you’re not logging any additional restful minutes of sleep in between those alarm buzzes because the restful part of your sleep cycle, the REM cycle, is already finished. Your body knows it needs to awaken from this super peaceful place, but you’re confusing it when you send signals saying, “It’s okay, go back to bed.” What it’s actually hearing is, “Okay, let’s start the entire sleep cycle all over again.”

Your sleep cycle consists of four stages: nodding off, light sleep (like what you achieve in a power nap), deep sleep and REM sleep. That’s quite a process to work through in 10 minutes or less as you keep pressing snooze.


And if you think you have enough time to fall back into a REM cycle between snoozes, guess again. It takes a person an average of 90 minutes to reach the REM cycle (the fourth stage) of sleep and they typically remain there for 60 minutes. So unless you have a lot of time to spare, that’s just not going to happen.

It’s also worth noting that your body can’t tell the difference between setting five different alarms five minutes apart and pressing snooze five times. In both scenarios, you’re ending and restarting your sleep cycle over and over again, and your body is just like, “WTF?!”

Your body naturally needs a little time to wake up in the morning, plain and simple. And some people need more than others, so be kind to yourself and allow a little grace period in the morning to get your brain going. Move to your couch and gaze out the window, tune the radio to the morning news, make a cup of warm lemon water, or go ahead and start your morning shower routine. Just don’t go back to sleep (and avoid immediately grabbing your cell phone if you can help it, too).