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4 Reasons to Hit the Snooze Button and Sleep in, According to a Psychologist

There’s a good chance you sit on one side of the fence when it comes to snoozing: you either jolt yourself awake at the first sound of your alarm, or you hit snooze as soon as you hear that beep. Whatever side you fall on, there’s no arguing that hitting the snooze button is an idea that polarises people. 

While the snooze button certainly has a negative stigma with many sleep experts against the idea, there are some ways it can actually be beneficial to your health. Here are four psychologist-approved reasons you should hit the snooze button and sleep in for another magical 20 minutes.  

4 Psychologist-Approved Reasons to Hit the Snooze Button and Sleep in

1. The science says so

Sleep is a vital component to everyone’s health and wellbeing, however, it’s often neglected in a person’s day. Getting enough sleep helps the body to repair overnight and allows the mind to recharge so it can function at its best. It’s widely recommended that most adults need eight hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible every single night, which is where the 20-minute power nap comes into play.

Studies show that 20 minutes is the best nap length for most people, which can provide restorative sleep. While you shouldn’t replace your 8 hours sleep with 20-minute naps, they can be beneficial in improving mood, sharpening focus and reducing fatigue. So, if you’ve found that you’ve had a bad sleep overnight or don’t feel rejuvenated when you first wake up, you can use that extra 20 minutes as a power nap. 

2. You can prolong your REM sleep

During sleep, the brain moves through different stages and REM sleep is a phase where you’re most likely to dream. Much of the latter part of our sleep cycle consists of REM sleep, which is a stage where we get restorative sleep (vital to our health and wellbeing). Each of our later REM stages gets longer and the final one may last up to an hour, so hitting that snooze button can prolong this restorative stage of sleeping and thus, improve your overall health. 

3. Your body is able to properly wake up

Jolting yourself awake when your alarm first goers off isn’t necessarily a fun way to wake up. Instead, if you hit the snooze button for an extra 20 minutes, it can be a good way to allow yourself to wake up properly.

If you can, make the most of that extra sleep, then spend a few minutes laying there and thinking about how you’re going to approach your day. It can be a great way to use that time to almost meditate and get yourself into the right headspace. In fact, many sleep experts suggest that if you use that time as a way of allowing your brain to slowly wake up, hitting snooze isn’t always a bad thing.  

4. It can train you to build better sleep patterns

If you’re finding that you’re hitting the snooze button several times each morning, this can signal that perhaps you’re not getting the best sleep during the night. 

Ideally, you should only hit that snooze button once (hitting it more can make you feel even more drowsy). If you’re relying on the snooze button to give you that last 20 minutes of solid sleep, chances are there’s room for you to build better sleep patterns. You might be going to bed too late with lots on your mind, or tossing and turning constantly throughout the night. 

4 Psychologist-Approved Tips For the Best Sleep Possible

1. Avoid stimulants before bed 

This ranges from TV screens through to phones and tablets, all of which can affect your circadian rhythm. 

2. Avoid coffee or too much sugar 

Other stimulants such as caffeine or too much sugar could also keep you awake longer than necessary. 

3. Ensure the mind is at ease 

Some people lay awake for hours going over parts of their day or worrying about the next day. Instead of doing this night after night, implement some practices that will help prior to going to bed. Whether that be some meditation, journaling or yoga, ensure your mind is at ease before hitting that pillow. 

4. Optimise your bedroom 

Things like too much light, noise or uncomfortable bed sheets can all negatively affect a person’s sleep. Take a look at your room and figure out ways you can improve this space to optimise it for your best sleep yet. 

Ready to optimise your bedroom? Here are 9 simple ways to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.

Nancy Sokarno is a psychologist at Lysn. Lysn is a digital mental health company with world class wellbeing technology which helps people find their best-fit professional psychologist whilst being able to access online tools to improve their mental health.

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