Health

Feeling Blah? Your Snooze Button May Be to Blame

Relishing those extra few minutes in bed can cast a pall over your entire day

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Answer: Chocolate. New York pizza. A good Rioja. My snooze button.

Question: What are four of your most favorite things?

Well, at least they were until I read Casey N. Cep's (heartbreaking) essay; "The Devil Is In Your Snooze Button," in which he makes clear that "patchy, interrupted sleep is worse than no sleep at all."

Ouch.

Oh, and there's more. Here's an excerpt that those of us who cherish our 7 (9?) "bonus" minutes will, no doubt, find hard to stomach.

READ: Chill Pill: 5 Simple Tips to Help You Stress Less

Since 1956, we have been confusing snooze for sleep, sacrificing our waking life nine minutes at a time. Not only do we delay the start of our days, but we compromise the very sleep we are trying to steal. The healthy, continuous sleep cycles we need are thoroughly disrupted by the snooze. When we hear the first sound of the alarm, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that wake us, interrupting our natural sleep cycle to make us alert.

Surrendering to the temptation of the snooze erases that hormonal surge: Our bodies try to re-enter the deeper periods of sleep. Only those restorative levels of sleep take a lot longer than nine minutes to enter, so every snooze confuses our bodies even more.


READ: Sleep On It: 5 Overnight Hairstyles That Let You Wake Up and Go

You can read the entire dissertation here but the Cliff's Notes version is straightforward enough; Your circadian rhythms mandate your mood. In order to be a happy go-lucky sort, you need sleep. Proper sleep. Your body, mind and spirit won't be cajoled by an extra couple of minutes.

Bottom line: Do yourself a favor, TiVo Kimmel and clock those Zzzzzs.

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