It’s often said that hitting the snooze button can make you feel more tired and negatively impact sleep. Now, a new study reveals that there is no direct evidence regarding this. In fact, the findings show that snoozing might support the waking process of people who regularly snooze alarms.
The study, led by researchers from Stockholm University, investigated how snoozing affects sleep, sleepiness, mood, and cognitive abilities. The findings showed that those who snooze sleep slightly shorter and feel drowsier in the morning compared to those who never snooze, the university’s press statement explains. Notably, there were no negative effects of snoozing on cortisol release, morning tiredness, mood, or sleep quality throughout the night.
It also showed that when snoozing people did not wake up from deep sleep, and the snoozers performed a bit better on cognitive tests immediately upon waking. Furthermore, half an hour of snoozing does not have negative effects on night sleep or sleep inertia and alertness in the morning, the statement adds. The findings were published in the Journal of Sleep Research.
The researchers observed positive outcomes such as a decreased likelihood of waking from deep sleep. “When the participants were able to hit snooze, their sleep was shown to be lighter and less restful during the last 30 minutes before waking up. But they still got around 23 minutes of sleep on average, only six minutes less than when not snoozing,” lead author Tina Sundelin wrote in an article published in The Conversation.
In fact, when allowed to snooze, the participants were a little more quick-thinking right when they woke up. This is most likely because participants got a chance to wake up more slowly when they were allowed to snooze. “This may have helped ward off some sleep inertia – that feeling of mental fog many people experience in the morning,” Sundelin added in the article.
Moreover, as they don’t fall back into deep sleep, snoozers are not likely to wake up drowsy. “It's of course important to remember that the study only included people who are regular snoozers and find it easy to go back to sleep after each alarm,” Sundelin said in the statement. Although the findings might come as a relief for many, the researchers emphasise that this way of waking up is not ideal for everyone.