When you head to bed at night you have all the best intentions in the world of jumping up when your alarm goes off the next morning and springing into a new day but fast forward a few hours and as the first beep of your wake up call sounds your hand is instantly heading for the snooze button. An extra five or ten minutes in bed seems harmless enough but are there actually consequences to indulging in a little snooze time?
It turns out that as much as some of us may try to resist it, we humans work best when sticking to regular routines and habits. One of the most effective ways to manage your sleep and therefore your energy, productivity and focus is to get control of your snoozing habits. When we wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday our bodies can begin to establish patterns. With sleep these patterns can help to regulate our internal clocks and encourage us to wake up at a set time each day and start to feel sleepy at a set point each night. By doing this it can become easier to fall asleep and wake up in the morning but the snooze button is the destroyer of routine. By letting yourself drift back to sleep for even just half an hour your internal clock is completely thrown off and your body is left feeling confused and out of sync. Extra time in bed on a Sunday morning may feel amazing in the moment but when your body doesn't know when to get sleepy on Sunday night and you are still lying awake into the wee hours of Monday morning its not going to seem such a great idea.
You may not always be feeling super refreshed and ready to go when that alarm hits but an extra five minutes is not going to solve your problems as snoozing actually increases these feelings of lethargy. It turns out that if you are already tired an extra few minutes of snooze grabbed sleep could be the worst thing for you. By allowing ourselves to roll over and try to sneak an extra forty winks we may unknowingly be falling back into the beginning of our sleep cycle. This is the part of the cycle where our body releases hormones that encourage levels of deep sleep, which is great if you have the whole night ahead of you but disastrous if you only have five minutes. Being woken up from this sleep state will leave your body feeling unrested and can completely undo all the hours of sleep you have had as your brain now feels overly tired and as if it has slept badly all night.
Fortunately, there could be a snooze button compromise. There will always be those that advocate jumping from your bed as soon as the alarm rings but thats not always the best idea. Sometimes when our alarms go off our bodies really aren't at the ideal state for a short sharp wake up call. If you are jolted awake during a deep phase of sleep your brain can be left feeling disorientated and in need of a few minutes to gently compose itself. There is also evidence to show that if we are woken too early (thanks to late bedtimes) our core body temperature has not yet begun to rise for the day and it can leave us desperately craving the cosy warmth of our beds.
However, this is still no reason to head back to sleep, instead give our Snooze Stopper Challenge a go and give your morning the best start possible.
Instead of allowing your ten minute snooze to disrupt your day take the time to set your morning off in a positive way. So hit snooze and let's get started...
Lie on your back, eyes closed and with your arms resting by your sides
Take controlled breaths, inhaling through your nose and out through you mouth
Focus your mind on visualising your day ahead - what you will achieve, what are you looking forward to, what can you learn?
Start to stretch your body, pointing from the tips of your toes to the ends of your fingers as you raise your arms above your head
Slowly stretch and release in time to the rhythm of your breathing as you focus on your body's inhaling and exhaling
As the alarm marks the end of your snooze time gently open you eyes and choose a positive affirmation and repeat it to yourself as you climb out of bed and start your day...
I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
#sleepissues #snooze #riseandshine #morningroutines
There's always room for one more on our Therapy couch... so whether you join us daily, weekly or just when you have time to stop by we hope that our therapy chatter allows you to take time out in your busy life, to unplug from your everyday stressors and simply breathe, listen and change!