When faced with the decision between leaping out of bed at the first sound of the morning alarm or hitting the snooze button to catch a few more minutes of sleep (maybe more than once), many people elect to stay in bed a little while longer. After all, if we’re all told that we should probably be getting more sleep, what’s the harm in sneaking in a few extra minutes before the day begins? It turns out that snoozing is far from ideal if you want to wake up feeling alert and ready to tackle the day.

The reason why has to do with the way we cycle through different stages of sleep in the night. We progress from the lighter stages of sleep through deep sleep and into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is associated with dreaming, in a pattern that repeats throughout the night. If you’ve allowed yourself enough time to get a full night’s rest, then you’ll be finishing a round of REM sleep when your alarm goes off. If you get out of bed at that point, you naturally conclude your sleep cycle at a good stopping point.

If, on the other hand, you hit the snooze button, you risk heading right back into REM sleep, or worse (if you’re sleep deprived and overtired), kicking off the whole sleep cycle from the beginning again. When your alarm sounds again, you’ll be trying to drag yourself out of sleep midway during a new stage, which is likely to make you feel groggy and more tired than you would be otherwise. If you keep the habit up over time, you risk throwing off your body’s normal waking rhythms, leaving you feeling drowsy for hours after you wake up.

The most important step in combatting the urge to hit snooze every morning is to ensure that you are getting the right amount of sleep. Start by determining the right amount of sleep for you—the proper amount varies by age, and “normal” sleep for each individual falls within a general range. Practice good sleep hygiene to improve your chances of falling asleep at bedtime and achieving quality rest. This should help you feel ready to wake up at the proper time—if you find you’re still waking up fatigued even when you’ve theoretically spent enough time asleep, it may be time to check with your doctor to see if a problem such as sleep apnea is interfering with the quality of your sleep.

The best habit to cultivate is, of course, to get out of bed when your alarm goes off. However, if you just can’t forego that extra nine minutes under the covers, use that time to stretch, open your eyes, and gently bring yourself to full wakefulness rather than burying your head in the pillow. You’ll find that kicking the snoozing habit will help you work toward better sleep in general.

At IDLE Sleep, helping you get better rest is our goal. Our line of high-quality luxury mattresses are designed to be not only comfortable and supportive, but also long-lasting, so you can get great sleep night after night. We have options available to suit every kind of sleeper. Click here to discover which IDLE Sleep mattress is right for you.

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