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Hitting Snooze Is Seriously Messing With Your Brain

Editor
That extra 9 minutes is so not worth it

When the alarm clock blares at an always-too-early hour, hitting the snooze upon waking up seems like the best idea. It’s like a treat you gift yourself each morning. Five extra minutes of sleep! Go you.

But those five extra minutes are seriously messing with your internal wiring. Instead of feeling rested after you hit snooze, you’re likely to jumble your sleep and wake cycle in a caustic way — you could end up feeling groggier, more tired, and less ready to take on your morning, just because you didn’t jolt out of bed after that first alarm.

If you wake up with an impulse to hit the snooze, it’s likely you’re not getting enough sleep. Think about it: If you were getting your recommended daily hours of rest, crawling out of bed wouldn’t feel so hard. When you’re not getting enough sleep and you fall back under, your brain turns on its sleep cycle all over again, starting from square one. This releases all kinds of sleep hormones, dead set on keeping you unconscious through the night.

So when, nine minutes later, you’re jolted awake again, it feels just that much worse. Your brain is primed for sleep mode and your body is primed for remaining stationary. But this time, you have to get out of bed. If you don’t, you’ll be late for work, school, your doctor’s appointment, or whatever other urgent obligation made you decide to set that alarm in the first place.

With the urgency of your wake time at odds with your limbs’ lethargy, your body starts releasing stress hormones. Stressed, flooded with cortisol (that awful stress response that can cause your metabolism to slow and your blood pressure to increase), and disrupted from the very start of your sleep cycle, your body is all messed up.

Your brain, just trying to respond to the signals you’re giving it with extra sleep and then insistent urgency, is set up for a truly rude awakening.

Once you do manage to drag yourself out of bed, try a natural source of energy (or two). An energy drink or other source of chemical caffeine is only going to make things worse. Here are a few we recommend.

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