If you’re worried that hitting the snooze button repeatedly in the morning may harm your sleep, you can relax. According to a new study, for most people, snoozing has no negative impact on sleep quality.
Furthermore, the study, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, suggests that for some individuals, hitting the snooze button multiple times over 30 minutes might actually lead to increased alertness more quickly compared to sleeping through without interruptions.
The research, conducted by Tina Sundelin, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University in Sweden, found that “snoozing for 30 minutes in the morning does not make you more tired or more likely to wake up from deep sleep.” In fact, it may even be helpful for those who typically snooze as it aids in waking up.
Out of the 1,732 adults who participated in a questionnaire about their morning waking habits, 69% admitted to hitting the snooze button, especially on weekdays. About 60% said they usually fell back asleep between alarms, resulting in slightly less sleep overall.
Snoozers were generally about six years younger on average than those who didn’t snooze, and they were almost four times more likely to be “night owls.” Additionally, snoozers were three times more likely to report feeling groggy when waking up.
The most common reasons for choosing to snooze rather than having uninterrupted sleep were difficulty waking up or feeling too tired. The next two prevalent reasons were the pleasurable feeling of snoozing and the ability to wake up more gradually.
To assess the effects of snoozing, the researchers had 31 individuals spend several nights in a sleep lab. All of them admitted to hitting the snooze button multiple times in the morning at least two or more days a week. None of the participants had any sleep disorders like insomnia.
On two separate nights, the participants were asked to try two waking methods: getting up immediately after the alarm went off or pressing the snooze button three times, getting up 30 minutes after the initial alarm. The total hours spent in bed remained the same, regardless of snoozing. The cognitive abilities of the participants were tested right after getting out of bed and then again 40 minutes later. The study revealed that snoozing seemed to provide a cognitive advantage immediately after waking, but this advantage disappeared within 40 minutes of rising.