Why You Should Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

November 24, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

Are you part of the 57% of people who hit the snooze button every morning? 

While snoozing can provide a few minutes of sweet relief in the early morning hours, it can also have a number of negative effects, such as messing with your sleep cycle and confusing your body’s internal clock.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can fight the urge to get those extra few minutes of sleep in the morning. Avoiding technology at night, sticking to a bedtime routine, and shocking your body can all help you avoid the temptation to hit that snooze button.

Keep on reading to learn about other ways snoozing can negatively affect your sleep, as well as more tips for waking yourself up without snoozing.

Hitting Snooze Can Mess With Your Sleep Cycle

According to Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., Director of Sleep Disorders Research at Cleveland Clinic, “Much of the latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep, which is a restorative sleep state. And so, if you’re hitting the snooze button, then you’re disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep.”

When your alarm goes off in the morning you’re likely near the end of your last REM cycle. Going back to sleep can make you wake up in the middle of a cycle, causing grogginess that can last all day. This will leave you feeling tired and disoriented when you wake up, starting off your day on the wrong foot.

Hitting Snooze Can Extend Sleep Inertia

Snoozing can extend the feeling of sleep inertia, or the transitional state between when you’re asleep and when you’re awake. Studies show that this type of sleep inertia can affect a person for up to two to four hours after waking up. 

Woman with alarm clock looking tired due to sleep inertia

Sleep inertia initially occurs during the first few moments of waking up and has a number of negative effects, including:

  • Grogginess
  • Poor memory
  • Poor judgment
  • Slowed reaction time 

While sleep inertia can’t be avoided completely, resisting the temptation to hit the snooze button can certainly help mitigate some of the negative side effects. 

Hitting Snooze Can Confuse Your Internal Clock

According to the CDC, an adult between 19 and 64 years old is recommended to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Using this framework, an adult going to bed at 11 p.m. should expect to wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. 

If you normally stick to a consistent sleep schedule, your body’s internal clock likely expects you to wake up when your alarm goes off. Hitting snooze can confuse your brain (and your internal clock), leaving you lethargic and drowsy in the morning.

However, if you end up snoozing a few times, you could end up oversleeping — which has additional health impacts of its own. You also are unlikely to keep the amount of time you spend snoozing consistent, further worsening the issue. 

To figure out how much sleep you need according to your personal needs, check out our custom sleep calculator.

How To Wake Up Without Snoozing

Hitting the snooze button can be a difficult habit to break, but there are specific things you can do to wake up easier. Keep these tips in mind when looking to fix your sleeping habits and stop oversleeping.

Tip #1: Put Your Phone Across the Room

It’s no surprise that technology can have a negative impact on sleep. Blue light keeps us alert and focused and boosts our mood. According to the Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research, it can also suppress the amount of melatonin in our brains, reducing our quality of sleep. In addition, using your phone before bed can keep your mind stimulated and make it harder to fall asleep.

Messy bedroom with unmade bed, clothes on the floor, and unkempt desk

Place your phone across the room or somewhere else you can’t reach to avoid the temptation of using it before bed. Plus, if you use your phone as your alarm clock, getting out of bed to silence it will likely decrease your chances of hitting snooze!

 Tip #2: Use Natural Light To Your Advantage

Did you know that exposure to natural light can make waking up easier? Waking up to your alarm in a completely dark room can keep your brain in sleep mode, while opening up curtains and letting sunlight in can let your brain know that it’s time to wake up. Light has an effect on your circadian rhythm, telling your brain when it’s time to be awake and time to go to sleep. Waking up to light that gradually gets brighter like a sunrise will not only leave you refreshed and ready for the day, but also get your circadian rhythm back on track, resetting your sleep/wake cycle.

For a lamp that emulates natural light in your bedroom, check out the Casper Glow Light.

Tip #3: Create a Bedtime and Morning Routine

Creating a morning and bedtime routine can make falling asleep and waking up much easier. Having a consistent routine that you follow every time you wake up and go to bed will let your body and mind know exactly what time it is.

A bedtime routine will relax your body and put you in a mood that’s ready for bed. To get yourself in the headspace to fall asleep, turn off your lights and lower your room temperature. 

Ideal bedtime and wake up time illustrations

When waking up, consider light exercise to get your body ready for the day. Some jumping jacks should do the trick, or you could go outside and catch some fresh air with a run!

Tip #4: Shock Your Body

For a quick way to help yourself wake up in the morning, shocking your body might be the answer. For example, drinking a fair amount of water right when you wake up will help your body wake up and get ready for the day, and help keep you hydrated. Shocking your body with a splash of cold water can also do wonders waking you up instantly.

Consider morning exercise to shock your body as well. It will help get your blood flowing and get your mind and body ready to take on the day. 

 Tip #5: Train Yourself to Sleep Earlier

For those who are night owls by nature, going to bed earlier is easier said than done. Whether you habitually pull all-nighters or just had a late night recently, training yourself to sleep earlier will take time and patience.

Transitioning to an early bird routine can’t be done overnight. When training yourself to go to bed and wake up earlier, you’ll want to adjust your schedule slowly — ideally in 15-minute increments each night.

15-minute alarm clock with a table lamp

For example, if you’re currently waking up at 8:00 a.m. and want to start waking up at 6:45 a.m., you should spend at least five days working up to your new start time. 

Tip #6: Switch Up Your Alarm

Over time, you may become complacent to the sound of your alarm. It just may not get you up like it used to. 

If this is happening to you, then switching up your alarm might be a good option for you. Changing the sound your alarm makes, the time it goes off at, or its location may help you wake up easier. You could also place multiple alarms around your house or room, varying their locations every night just to switch things up.

Convinced that you should stop hitting your snooze button every morning? The negatives of not doing so can have effects that will last all day. Thankfully, there are things you can do to take control back of your sleeping habits and avoid hitting that snooze button. If you’re looking for another way to improve the quality of your sleep, consider switching to a Casper mattress, which is so cozy that you’ll wake up feeling rested and refreshed on a daily basis.