How often do you wake up in the morning and hear the alarm going off, and just think “Eugh….”?
Every morning? Most mornings? We know how you feel. We all do it to an extent. We do this crazy thing where we set our alarm 30-minutes early, so that we can enjoy half an hour of in/out sleep prior to having to get up.
It’s quite an interesting, if rather odd, tactic. However, sadly, it’s now been shown that this might be pretty bad for us. Why? Because hitting snooze makes it much harder to actually wake up.
Unfortunately, our brains are not able to just wake-up as soon as we open our eyes. Often, it can take as long as an hour before we are actually awake, alert and ready to go. Therefore, when you keep on going to bed and enjoying this little 5-10 minute recesses, you are merely putting yourself back to square one with regards to waking up and feeling good about doing so.
You are reversing any benefits that you get from waking up by going for that quick second nap. However, you might disagree. You feel better, right? That’s the serotonin talking. Your body produces serotonin by going to sleep, but it’s not actually going to help you wake up. You are merely just putting the process back to square one if you do this.
So, the medical advice goes against the ritual that many of us live with. Instead of setting your alarm early and enjoying the pleasure of going back to sleep briefly, set your alarm as late as you can. Then, get up as soon as it goes off. Yes, it’s hard to do, of course. But it’s what is recommended.
What if I can’t do this?
Then you should probably look to go to bed a bit earlier. If you find it too hard to wake up in one sitting when your alarm goes off, you are not suitably rested. That is as clear a sign as there is to show that you are in need of an extra hour or two in bed every night.
Instead of setting your alarm from when you do, set your bedtime alarm for a bit earlier. Then, set your alarm for waking up a bit later.
This should help you to get the sleep that you need. Now, when you wake up, you should be able to resist the temptation to go for another 5-minute sleeping session. Yes, the temptation to do so is real. It merely sets you back, though, and does little for us in terms of improving our quality of life.
So, instead of falling for this old trap, why not make your life a bit easier and start paying more attention to how you sleep?
With a bit of change to when you go to bed and when you get up, you could create a meaningful change to your mind-set. Trust us, the benefits far outweigh the perceived benefits of another 5-minutes in bed!