Challenging conventional wisdom, new research suggests that hitting the ‘Snooze’ button does not lead to cognitive impairment on waking and may actually provide cognitive benefits.
Researchers from Stockholm University carried out two studies to determine why ‘Snooze’ buttons (aka “intermittent morning alarms”) are used and how they affect sleep, cognition, cortisol, and mood.
Overall, 69% reported using the snooze button or setting multiple alarms at least sometimes, most often on workdays (71%), with an average snooze time per morning of 22 minutes. Sleep quality did not differ between snoozers and non-snoozers, but snoozers were more likely to feel mentally drowsy on waking and had slightly shorter sleep time on workdays (13 minutes). Compared with waking up abruptly, 30 minutes of snoozing in the morning improved or did not affect performance on standard cognitive tests. While snoozing resulted in about six minutes of lost sleep, but it prevented awakening from slow-wave sleep and had no clear effects on morning sleepiness or mood.
“The findings indicate that there is no reason to stop snoozing in the morning if you enjoy it, at least not for snooze times around 30 minutes. In fact, it may even help those with morning drowsiness to be slightly more awake once they get up,” said author Tina Sundelin, PhD, of Stockholm University.
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