Written by: Lauren Steeves
Why hitting the alarm is doing more harm than good.
I don’t know about you, but I am not a morning person. And I’ve tried my hardest to become one. I tried to change this behaviour early in life by taking 8 a.m. classes during university. I figured I would jump start my sleeping patterns, so by the time I was faced with an 8-5 job I would be able to spring out of bed with a new appreciation for the day and a smile on my face.
Unfortunately, the scene I imagined in my mind did not turn out the way I expected. Instead, I transformed into a sleep-deprived bitch, who hit snooze more than I hit up the liquor store (which unfortunately is A LOT). All day I would rely on coffee and anything else that had any hint of caffeine in it to get me through the day. And it only took one week for me to resent my decision, and seriously weigh every morning whether or not I should attend class. So needless to say, I needed a new approach.
So where does one start?
Do I wait and hope that today’s workforce changes its typical schedule of hours to a time that’s more reasonable like 10 or 11 a.m.? Do I try and go to bed earlier even though I am a night owl that gets my second wave of energy at 10 p.m.? Or do I suffer through every morning and pray that no one sees my true colours until I’ve had my coffee?
None of these sounded like feasible or fun solutions. And maybe one day the workday will change, but it’s not looking promising. If anything start times are getting disgustingly earlier, not later, so I was in for a real surprise.
When discussing this issue with my live-in boyfriend, he suggested I put a stop to my snoozing. Um, come again?
I will confess I am an AVID snoozer. What does this mean? This means that I deliberately set my alarm for 30 minutes up to an hour earlier than I actually need to wake up because I know I will hit snooze at least five times before I roll my lazy ass out of bed.
Why do I do this?
Well I figure that if I don’t set my alarm that early, I will snooze anyway, and then I’d be embarrassingly late for work.
My boyfriend thought my reasoning was total bullshit and that I needed to stomp snoozing out of my morning ritual.
I decided that if I was going to bid farewell to my loyal friend snooze, I’d need to do some more investigating.
After some Googling, I realized my boyfriend might be right (I mean, I’m not going to outright say it just in case he is reading this article).
In a recent CNN article, Is the snooze button bad for you? Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff Arizona says:
“When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you’re doing two negative things to yourself. First you’re fragmenting what little what little extra sleep you’re getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”
Rosenberg goes on to say that by the simple act of pressing snooze, can result in sleep inertia. And with sleep inertia comes a bunch of horrible side effects like “slowing down your decision-making abilities, impairing your memory, and hurting your performance once you are out of bed.”
Ouch. I didn’t like the sound of that.
But I knew in order to actually follow through on my plan to eliminate the snooze I would need a bulletproof strategy—so I decided to hide my phone.
I still keep my phone in my bedroom, but I put it so far out of reach that it forces me to get out of bed to stop the sound of my beeping alarm. By doing this, I’ve cleverly tricked my body and mind to think, “Hey we must be up now.”
But you’ve got to do a little bit more work to avoid only getting out of bed for the 10 seconds it takes to shut off your nasty alarm and then collapsing back into your warm bed. You also need to do something immediately following that action. Whether that’s putting on your pot of coffee, or hopping in the shower, whatever it is make it happen.
I’m not going to lie it was a painful goodbye between my friend snooze and me. But honestly, after only a week I noticed a HUGE difference in my energy levels. I felt more #blessed and way less bitchy. Not only did my energy levels improve, but also I had so much more time in the morning to do the things I never usually had time to do. Like eat breakfast, rather than sticking to my typical liquid diet involving coffee. And I had time to curl my hair, rather than just throwing it up in a messy bun.
Now that I gave up the snooze, I feel like I’m tackling the world. Maybe I’ll give up the booze next?
Hahaha, I’m obviously kidding.