Do you hit the snooze button? It's a common habit that will immediately rob your mornings of energy and productivity. The average sleep cycle lasts between 90- 110 minutes depending on the individual and what the body needs. Most people complete 5- 6 cycles per night. When the alarm clock sounds in the morning, the body floods itself with cortisol (the stress hormone) to snap itself out of the sleep cycle and start the day. The problem with snoozing is that we tend to drift back off to sleep and as soon as the alarm sounds again 8- 10 minutes later, the body struggles to pull itself out of the new sleep cycle it has just started. Imagine hitting snooze 3- 4 times and your body desperately trying to wake itself up from multiple start/stop cycles. That groggy, irritable, zombie - like state we feel after hitting snooze a few too many times is actually a medical condition called sleep inertia.
Sleep inertia impairs performance, energy levels and productivity. Its effects can last for up to four hours and the only way to snap out of it is to take an ice cold shower, most of us are not willing to do that first thing in the morning and if you've hit snooze four times, you may not even have time for a shower at all. It's important to understand that although getting up on your first alarm seems like a struggle, it's the best thing for your body. You will feel more energized, alert, and be in a much better mood. Instead of snoozing, you could use that extra time to exercise or make breakfast. Imagine the lifestyle changes you can make just be eliminating this one bad habit.
Implement the strategies below to improve your sleep and take back your mornings.
- Stick to a bed time & a wake up time. Your wake time should be when you actually need to wake up. Don't give yourself a cushion of time for snoozing.
- Avoid using technology 30- 60 minutes before bed. The blue light from screens can affect your body's ability to fall asleep.
- Put your alarm away from the bed (across the room or in your bathroom). This will force you out of bed to turn it off instead of hitting snooze.
- When the alarm goes off, immediately brush your teeth and turn on the light. The mint from the toothpaste and the light will help the body wake up.
- If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings, and keep your bedroom comfortable (cool temperature, dark room, comfortable clothing, reduced noise).
- A healthy diet and exercise routine can also improve your sleep quality.
- If you struggle with sleep apnea, chronic snoring or other sleep conditions work with your doctor and try these strategies.
- Try these sleep apps for noise cancelling solutions, sleep stories, meditations and gentle alarms to help you sleep better and wake up gently:
Relax melodies -https://www.relaxmelodies.com/
Sleep Cycle - https://www.sleepcycle.com/