The No Snooze Experiment
I’ve always been deeply, madly in love with sleep. My sleepy self has been addicted to hitting the snooze button for as long as I can remember. I’m also guilty of setting multiple alarms because honestly, sometimes I don’t even hear the first one for fifteen minutes.
I never really questioned this behaviour before or really thought about how it might actually be the reason I have a hard time waking up in the morning. I always assumed it’s hard because I’d rather be sleeping.
Recently I’ve seen a few articles go by about how hitting snooze actually makes waking up more difficult. Basically, how I understand it is, you’re allowing yourself to fall back asleep and then trying to wake up again, only this time from a deeper state of sleep, which can lead to grogginess and disorientation. Which is pretty much how I was feeling every morning. Never actually rested, even if I slept for 10 or 12 hours.
Enter the no snooze experiment. At the beginning of January, I committed to only having one alarm and not hitting the snooze button for a week to see if waking up could actually be easier. The first few days were rough. The alarm would go off and my instincts to fall back asleep were strong. But knowing that there wasn’t another loud, intrusive sound waiting to startle me seemed to be enough to prevent me from drifting back into my dreams. After a few days, feeling awake started to become easier.
After a couple of weeks sans snooze, I started to actually wake up a few minutes before my alarm went off, which totally surprised me. Apparently, your body actually wants to wake up at the same time each day - even on the weekends. There are several processes (circadian rhythm) involved in waking up that get very confused because of the snooze button.
I’m a month into my no snooze life and I’m starting to love it. While I don’t leap out of bed with a surge of energy (and likely never will) this change has created space at the start of my day to actually enjoy stretching and time to appreciate how good gentle movement feels after a night’s sleep. It’s also created space for morning meditation and pranayama practice. My mornings are still incredibly slow, but way less sleepy.
If you're a snooze buttoner in pursuit of more restful sleep, test out resisting your sleepy impulses for another 9, 18 or 27 minutes of sleep. Since it's not actually the good, blissful kind of sleep, you might feel most rested without it.