Are you someone who has missed countless morning meetings, deadlines, and other events because you couldn’t drag yourself out of bed? Do you hit the snooze button a ridiculous amount of times, hoping that the faint ringing you’re kind of hearing through the fog of your slumber is all a dream? We get it, some of us just aren’t morning people. But hitting that snooze button can have serious consequences that will negatively affect you throughout the entire day!
Why science says no to snooze
There are two types of sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-REM). During NREM, you’re in a state of deep relaxation. During REM, your muscles are constantly twitching, and your brain is exhibiting high levels of electrical activity. In order to feel the full benefit of sleep, you need both types. You usually undergo deep sleep more often at the beginning of the night, while the frequency of REM stages increases towards the morning.
“But all sleep is good sleep.” Not always! Hitting the snooze button for those extra precious minutes can actually do more harm than good. After you hit snooze and drift off, your brain restarts its sleep cycle. When your alarm goes off again, you’re at an even earlier and deeper part of the cycle, so you’re even more groggy than you were the first time. This fuzzy-headed feeling is called sleep inertia, which scientists have found can persist for 2-4 hours! It’s a vicious cycle.
How to trick your body into being a morning person
Fortunately, we are trainable creatures of habit. If you struggle through a couple weeks of getting up as soon as you hear your alarm, you’ll eventually wake up at that same time without the alarm! Here are some tips to help you get to that blessed stage.
- Put your phone or alarm clock out of reach. Purposely make it so that you have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off. But leave it close enough to where it will be a loud, buzzing nuisance!
- Avoid electronics an hour before bed. Light at night, especially the blue light that our electronics give off, prevents our brains from releasing melatonin. This is the hormone that tells our bodies that it’s nighttime, so using your phone before you go to bed could make it harder to fall asleep.
- Open your curtains. Sunshine convinces your body’s inner clock that it’s time to wake up. Your brain can perceive steadily increasing light even through closed eyes, so open those shades before you sleep!
- Explore sleeping apps. Some phone apps play relaxing music 5-10 minutes before your alarm goes off, so you’re partially awake when the apocalypse comes. Some even track your sleep and wake you up during your lightest phase.
- Superglue your snooze button. It’s been done, and not always voluntarily.
Have your own tricks for getting up early or a funny (and probably very unfortunate) story about a morning event that you missed? Let’s hear it, and maybe we’ll even see you at one of our early morning Break Fast Mixers.