Lose the Snooze


Student pressing the snooze button. Photo illustration by Ruth Cronin.

By Ruth Cronin, News Editor

     It’s 6:40 a.m. which means sophomore Kate Davidson’s first of nine alarms just started screaming at her. Without even considering getting up, Kate compulsively whacks the snooze button. Not wanting to leave the warmth of her bed, Kate ignores the remaining eight alarms, each one ringing just five minutes after the last.

    By the time Kate drags herself out of bed, it is 7:20 a.m., which means her last 40 minutes of “sleep” was just a routine of waking up to hit the snooze button. It’s true, no one wants to wake up in the morning, but the question is: Does pressing snooze actually make it any better?

    According to sleep review, 57 percent of Americans hit the snooze button. However, this does not help them feel any more rested. In fact, it makes them more tired, negativity impacts their health and has proven to cause stress. Even people who press snooze every day will agree that it does ultimately nothing for them. In a survey of 200 ZCHS students, several students said that they press snooze more than three times each morning, but go on to say that it does not make them feel more rested. So why do it?

    Some people don’t even seem to realize they’re pressing snooze because it has become such a bad habit. Others are just refusing to accept that they will eventually have to drag themselves out of bed. However, the majority of people press snooze simply because they didn’t get enough sleep.        

    The average teenager gets seven hours of sleep a night when they should be getting nine. However, I know many people who only get six, five, four, or even fewer hours each night.

     I agree, getting to bed at a reasonable hour is nearly impossible. Maybe you stayed up so late because you were studying for five big tests, your game went into overtime, or because your favorite show left you at such a cliffhanger, you just couldn’t resist watching the next episode.

    All these things lead us to immediately hit snooze first thing in the morning. We convince ourselves that pressing snooze will make us less tired, but those seven minutes don’t help whatsoever compared to the hours of sleep you’re lacking.

    Apartment Therapy states that only 11.24 percent of people feel energized when their alarm goes off, just 2.32 percent of people feel excited when their alarm rings and a sole 0.32 percent of people feel awake. This leaves 86.12 percent of people feeling anxious, annoyed, tired, or angry when they hear their alarm each morning.

    Unless your alarm is waking you up for a flight to the Bahamas, hearing it ring is never a pleasant experience. But what you don’t realize when hitting that seemingly innocent button, is that it’s making you less motivated to start the day, while confusing your brain and body. If the first choice you make is to procrastinate getting up, what kind of day are you starting?

    Sleep Clinic Studies states that if you are jolted awake by your alarm for a second time, it will cause you to feel like you’ve gotten a bad night of sleep. We all know that groggy feeling. The one where your alarm has just rung, you have managed to drag yourself out of bed, and you are stumbling around half asleep.

    This groggy state is called sleep inertia, and it takes 30-45 minutes before your body has fully left this state. This time period delays and confuses your body each time you press snooze.

     When I opt not to press snooze, I feel more productive and readier to start the day. Not snoozing allows the body to wake up in a much more natural way, and it helps you exit sleep inertia more quickly.

    In addition, REM is the state of sleep in which we are dreaming, and when your alarm goes off you are beginning to exit the state of REM sleep. Much like sleep inertia, when you press snooze and try to re-enter REM, your body becomes confused when the alarm goes off for the second, third, or even fourth time.

    “Most people think getting the extra 5 or 10 minutes will make them energized, but it only causes them to feel more exhausted throughout the day,” sophomore Abby Pickell said.

    According to Sleep Clinic Studies, people think that hitting the snooze button just impacts if you leave the house late, however it has proven to cause stress.

    The dangerous habit of pressing snooze tends to make people more stressed because they get caught in a rush. After hitting snooze, when people finally get themselves up, they are frantically attempting to get out the door at the same time they would have without the snooze. Now they are late, stressed, and still tired.

    Mayo Clinic states that stress has large negative impacts on your body, mood, and behavior. High school is stressful enough, you don’t need hitting the snooze button to be another contributor to this stress.

    “I usually don’t press snooze because it makes me feel unproductive. I like to wake up on time so I don’t feel rushed and get a good start to my day,” freshman Carson Sampson said.

    To avoid being late, lots of people even set their alarms much earlier than they need to be up, that way they have plenty of time to snooze. This idea might sound like a nice way to ease yourself out of bed, however, the reality is much less appealing. Setting your alarm with the intention of snoozing is destroying any chance of getting enough REM sleep. It would be better for your health to just set your alarm later and get up on the first ring.

    Next time you hear that dreaded sound, no matter how tired you might be, I urge you to resist the temptations of hitting snooze. Get up and face reality, you might be surprised how much better it will make you feel.