We’ve all been tempted to hit the snooze button once or twice, especially when we wanted to steal a few more moments of precious sleep. This was shown by a 2022 study conducted by Notre Dame 57% of adults regularly snooze their alarms. If you are a heavy sleeper, have you ever wondered whether this habit is harmful to your health?
New research on the effects of napping challenges conventional wisdom and suggests it’s not that bad after all.
Is snooping your alarm bad for you?
Could hitting the snooze button affect your health? Well, it depends on how long you sleep.
For years, people have made assumptions about delaying the alarm. It is believed that ignoring the initial alarm and taking a little more time to rest disrupts the natural process of waking up, leaving you to start the day groggy and confused.
Some may need an extra 30 minutes, while others sleep another hour or so, but excessive napping is likely to get you into trouble.
A new study shows that taking a nap doesn’t mean you’re missing out
A 2023 study published in the Journal of Sleep Research challenges common beliefs about nappingproviding surprising information about potential benefits.
Scientists have extensively examined the effects of napping on sleep quality and overall well-being.
The second of two studies, which involved 31 people who napped regularly in a laboratory setting, found that a 30-minute nap improved cognitive function immediately after waking or had no effect compared to waking up suddenly.
This means that those who allow themselves a short nap may experience improved mood, increased alertness, and reduced feelings of sleepiness compared to those who get up immediately.
If you hit snooze…
Go ahead and take a nap for a few minutes – just keep these factors in mind.
Postpone your nap for just 30 minutes
While napping isn’t a bad thing, you don’t want to take it too far. Set your alarm for 30 minutes later than your initial wake-up time. This extension may be short, but it allows for a gentle transition from sleep to wakefulness.
Place the alarm in another room
When your alarm clock is right next to you, it can be too easy to hit the snooze button and stay in bed longer. Break the snooze cycle by placing the alarm out of reach. This forces you to physically leave your bed, making it difficult to hit snooze repeatedly. And when you get out of bed, you’ve already taken steps to start your day.
Go to bed at the same time every night
Healthy sleep requires routine. One of the many tricks to falling asleep is to set a regular bedtime. Because going to bed at the same time every night trains your body to follow a predictable sleep-wake cycle, you won’t experience sleep disturbances that can affect your sleep quality.
Set your alarm as late as possible
Instead of hitting snooze too many times, you can maximize uninterrupted sleep by setting your alarm as late as possible. This way you can use those extra minutes without negatively impacting your total rest time.
A recent study may challenge the idea that napping is harmful, but moderation remains key. Incorporating mindful napping practices, such as limiting nap duration and combining it with consistent sleep hygiene, may be beneficial. You might even consider using a sunrise alarm as a gentle alternative to traditional alarms. Mimicking a natural sunrise, it gradually brightens, signaling your body to naturally wake up and potentially soothing your snoozing habit.
Try these tips to discover a nap method tailored to your sleep needs.