YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE: Why you should never touch another snooze button ever again

As teenagers, and even more as IMSA students, we’re sleep-deprived. We slog through our morning classes, desperately trying to survive on the four precious hours of sleep we received the night before. In an effort to increase our wakefulness throughout the day, we often resort to consuming exorbitant amounts of caffeine or stealing a quick nap here and there. Still, for many of us, the only reason we’re able to get up in the morning is because of our beloved snooze alarms. Gently easing us out of warm, cozy, stress-free dreamland, the snooze alarm seems like the perfect way to meet our mornings, right? Wrong. Here’s why.

Snooze alarms do two wonderful things for us:  they mess around with our sleep schedules, and cook up complicated chemical concoctions in our brains. As you know, our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm, moving through the various stages of the sleep cycle and releasing chemicals as our brains deem appropriate.  In using the snooze button, we’ll wake up initially (by our first alarm), viciously slam down the snooze button (because we like sleep), fall back asleep (hurrah!), and be rudely awakened 9 minutes later :(.

During the time that we’re back asleep, our bodies will often move to a deeper stage of sleep than before – making it even harder to wake up and leaving us groggier and grumpier. What’s more, our brain will release chemicals to help us adjust to various stages of wakefulness: dopamine, to wake us up, and serotonin, to induce sleep. In repeatedly waking up, falling back asleep, and waking up again, our brains fill up with a complicated chemical concoction of dopamine and serotonin. While they’re both known as feel-good chemicals individually, when mixed together, they inhibit our ability to function properly – leaving us extremely disoriented and tired throughout the day.

Let’s take a moment and establish the various ways we abuse ourselves by using the snooze alarm. Traditional alarm clocks have the snooze set at 9 minutes. Now, with improved technology (on smartphones, especially), we have the ability to set the time interval between each alarm – five, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes, all at the tap and swipe of a finger – and create as many alarms as we’d like. As refreshing as this flexibility may seem (I know that I personally used to have 4 alarms set), it’s even worse than the customary snooze button in terms of wakefulness: not only can we “snooze” for a longer period of time, but we can also do this more often and more efficiently, creating a drastic chemical imbalance.

In essence, you snooze, you lose. As much as you may love your snooze alarm, I’d like to introduce you to a lifestyle without it – save yourself from constant tiredness! Separate yourself from your multiple alarms; find the strength to never touch your snooze button ever again. And if, after performing these above tasks with diligence and care, you’re still feeling sleepy all the time – you really just need more sleep.

Learn “How to Wake up for Class” with this easy DIY guide.

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