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Why 'snoozing' in the morning is bad for your health, according to science

POSTED: October 29, 2017 9:01 a.m.
David Snell/

Uh oh.

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My job allows me to work from home. Everybody's dream, right? No morning commute. No traffic to get stuck in on my way home. It's great, but it's bittersweet. One of those bittersweet parts is that because I work from home, I get to make my own schedule. I choose when I get up in the morning. And I have a problem that, if you're reading this, you're probably familiar with too: I just can't get up in the morning without hitting snooze once ... or twice ... or more.

But here's a little bit on why getting up in the morning can be so difficult (and how hitting your merciful snooze button might just be making things even worse).

Body temperature and morning energy

During REM sleep (the deepest of all sleeps, besides maybe a coma) your body temperature actually decreases by a couple of degrees. Ideally, that temperature starts to increase again in the morning a couple of hours before you wake up. This leaves you feeling more awake and refreshed than when you wake up in the middle of the night.

However, if you're simply not getting enough sleep every night your alarm may be going off before your body starts to warm up again. This will leave you feeling drained and unwilling to leave the fluffy security of your coziest blankie ... and probably result in your hitting the snooze button.

Waking up after a snooze leaves you worse off than your first alarm would have

The argument is fairly simple: Hitting the snooze button and falling back asleep triggers a response in your brain that essentially says, "Well, time to kick my shoes back off and settle in for another sleep cycle." Except it's not a sleep cycle. It's 10 minutes.

Your next alarm wakes you up as your body is starting a new cycle, which is basically the worst time to wake up. You're confusing your brain and body. You're better off getting up with your first alarm.

Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why we've researched five ways to help get yourself up in the morning.

My journey to become a morning person is just beginning, but here are five ideas I'm going to take a whack at until something starts working. Feel free to join me on my quest.

1. Incentivize yourself (hot cocoa, coffee, scrolling Facebook, bath bomb, whatever it takes). Just give yourself something to look forward to doing the minute you get out of bed.

2. Set your alarm clock out of reach, so you'll need to actually get out of bed and turn it off, instead of just hitting snooze.

3. Set your heater on a schedule to warm up your room half an hour before your alarm is set to go off. That way, your room will be warm, so it might be easier to get out of your warm bed.

4. Try going to bed earlier the night before. Perhaps getting more sleep will make it easier to wake up.

5. Make something like this.
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