Is Hitting the Snooze Button Actually Worth It?
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The monotonous beeping of an alarm in the morning is something far too familiar to ‘Iolani Students. While the point of setting an alarm clock is to wake up at its ringing, most people are guilty of hitting “snooze” several times before finally lugging themselves out of bed. While the few extra minutes under the covers may feel wonderful, they come with somewhat of a cost. By hitting “snooze,” students set themselves up to be less productive and attentive throughout the school day.
“I use it [snooze button] about every morning, pressing the button twice,” said Catherine Smead ‘19. Although many students most likely wake up in a similar manner, hitting “snooze” can negatively impact people in two ways. First, students are lowering the quality of their sleep. This happens because, while sleeping, the brain goes through several sleep cycles, each lasting 90 minutes and consisting of five stages. By sleeping a few extra minutes after hitting “snooze,” a person sets his or herself up for a whole new sleep cycle- one which the person will never have a chance to complete. This can cause something called “sleep inertia” which, according to The National Sleep Foundation, is defined as “the transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performance.” Sleep Inertia impairs memory, slows the ability to make decisions, and hurts general performance. Worst of all, research shows that abrupt awakening produces a larger amount of sleep inertia, putting victims of the snooze button at a disadvantage.
Second, using the snooze button tampers with brain hormones, disrupting a person’s circadian rhythm. The National Sleep Foundation’s definition of the circadian rhythm is “a 24-hour cycle that regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day.” Therefore, disrupting this cycle makes students feel more tired throughout the day.
While hitting “snooze” is tempting, it is better to avoid it. Even students who wake up this way agree that it is better to just wake up. Smead added, “I don’t think the snooze button is worth it, as I’m tempted to keep on pressing it to get more sleep and I actually feel sleepier during the day at school.” Although the ideal end to sleepy school days would be to sleep for longer hours, ‘Iolani students know the struggle of sleeping at a reasonable time. Instead, to feel less groggy and feel more alert, students should start saying no to the snooze button.