How Snooze button is damaging your Brain

After reading this article, most of the health conscious people will never hit the snooze button in the morning. It is a reflex action of most of the people to hit the snooze button on their smartphone or alarm clock to get few more minutes of sleep. Those who are a bit more lazy hit snooze several times. You might think that you are getting 5 to 10 minutes of more sleep by doing so, but actually that sleep is doing more worst to your brain, instead of making anything better. You will understand it completely by the end of this article as we will explain your sleep and sleep cycle.

Understand the Sleep Cycle

Our sleep can be divided into 4 stages. One sleep cycle lasts for around 90 minutes. In one sleep cycle we go through all four stages, each of which lasts for 5 to 20 minutes. First three stages of this cycle are non-REM stages, while the stage 4 is REM stage.
Stage 1 : This non-REM stage is the first thing that happens during sleep. This stage is somehow drowsy and any external stimuli can easily wake us up. During this phase some people feel a jerk or muscle spasm as our muscles start to relax. This stage can be easily observed by slow eyeball movement.
Stage 2 : This stage is a bit more sleepy then first stage and it become harder to wake up. During this stage heartbeat starts to slow down and body temperature starts to decrease. This stage can be observed by stopping of eyeball movement.
Stage 3 : It is the deepest sleep stage of non-REM sleep. It is hardest to wake-up anyone during this phase. Most of the restorative work in our body occur during this stage. Conditions like sleep-walking or sleep-talking occur during this phase.
Stage 4 : This stage is also known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage as eye ball movement is at its highest frequency in this stage. Dreaming usually happens in this stage and arousal can also occur.
Note: Duration of REM sleep (stage 4) increases as the count of sleep cycle increases. So there is more probability that an alarm will wake you up in between your dreams.
When we shift from one stage to another, a slight moment of wakefulness happens in between, which we usually don't remember. Once all four stages have completed, we enter into the stage 1 again, thus starting the next sleep cycle.

What happens when we wake up due to an alarm ?
If an alarm wakes us up during REM Sleep (i.e. stage 4) then we feel groggy (i.e. feeling drunk, tipsy, weak or dazed), while if you wake up during first 3 stages then you feel alert and attentive throughout the day. But one more factor to be noticed is that once we have slept for 2 sleep cycles, our body / brain gets ready to wake up anytime without much difficulty. The truth is that our brain is designed to wake up after or in between the REM sleep.

What happens when you hit snooze ?

Usually we hit snooze to sleep again, but irrespective of the previous sleep stage, we begin a new sleep cycle. Such disturbance in sleep cycle disturbs your biological clock as well. Now alarm beeps again after a 5 to 15 minutes, and during this time we were in non-REM (i.e Stage 1 to 3) sleep. Waking up during this phase is harmful for your brain. Those who are habitual of hitting snooze, do it everyday and make their brain and body suffer a lot due to their bad habit.

How to get rid of Snooze ?
It is better to go to bed early and give your body / brain sufficient time to rest. It will make it easier for you on the first beep of alarm. It is better to get an alarm clock with no snooze button. Once you give yourself proper time to sleep, you will find that you will wake up automatically even before the very first beep of alarm, which will be done by your biological clock.
Tip: Stop using your smartphone while going to sleep. It puts excess stress on your eyes, disturbs your sleep and also steals the precious time that was meant for sleeping.
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