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March 22, 2013

The damaging effects of hitting the snooze button

Daily Briefing

    Hitting the snooze button makes getting out of bed more challenging than simply waking up with the first alarm, because a few more minutes of shuteye prompt the brain to enter a deeper sleep cycle, according to AsapSCIENCE.

    According to an AsapSCIENCE YouTube video, the body begins preparing for the day in the hour before waking up by raising its internal temperature, and releasing dopamine and cortisol. After hitting the snooze button, the confused body will re-enter its sleep cycle and enter into deeper sleep stages than before.

    "So, instead of your body prepping to wake up, it's going in the opposite direction," the video says. "As a result, the second alarm may cause you to feel even more tired."

    That fragmented sleep the body undergoes in the first 10 to 30 minutes of hitting the snooze button can undo the restorative sleep and impair daytime activities, according to sleep experts. Health experts recommend setting one's original alarm later and waking up when it goes off the first time, and trying to get at least seven hours of sleep per night (AsapSCIENCE video, 3/20; Haglund, "Browbeat," Slate. 3/21).

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