Alarmingly Refreshing: Why Hitting Snooze Might Be Good For You

Alarm Clock 6 AM

Research from the Journal of Sleep Research indicates potential benefits of hitting the snooze button. Dr. Tina Sundelin of Stockholm University suggests that a short snooze might aid in combating morning drowsiness.

A study reveals that snoozing might benefit cognitive performance upon waking, with no adverse effects on sleep quality or mood.

Benefits of Hitting the Snooze Button

Snoozing, or using intermittent alarms to get in a few more minutes of sleep in the morning, may have benefits for some people, according to research published on October 17 in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Study Findings on Snoozing Habits

In a study of 1,732 adults who described their waking habits, 69% of participants reported using the snooze function or setting multiple alarms at least “sometimes.” In those who snoozed, the average time spent snoozing per morning was 22 minutes, ranging from 1 to 180 minutes. Snoozers tended to be younger than non-snoozers and were more likely to be evening types. Morning drowsiness and shorter sleep were also more common in those who snoozed.

Cognitive Benefits of Snoozing

In a second study of 31 habitual snoozers, 30 minutes of snoozing improved or did not affect performance on cognitive tests directly upon rising compared with waking up abruptly. Snoozing resulted in about 6 minutes of lost sleep, but it prevented awakening from slow-wave sleep. There were no clear effects of snoozing on stress hormone levels, morning sleepiness, mood, or overnight sleep structure.

Expert Insight

“The findings indicate that there is no reason to stop snoozing in the morning if you enjoy it, at least not for snooze times around 30 minutes. In fact, it may even help those with morning drowsiness to be slightly more awake once they get up,” said corresponding author Tina Sundelin, PhD, of Stockholm University.

For more on this research, see Snoozing Benefits Uncovered in Sleep Research.

Reference: “Is snoozing losing? Why intermittent morning alarms are used and how they affect sleep, cognition, cortisol, and mood” by Tina Sundelin, Shane Landry and John Axelsson, 17 October 2023, Journal of Sleep Research.
DOI: 10.1111/jsr.14054

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