Do you hit snooze at least once (or more) when your alarm goes off in the morning? If you have a habit of snoozing, it could be a sign that you’re chronically tired. And using an alarm clock might be making you more tired, according to new research.
A study from the University of Notre Dame looks at the effect of using an alarm clock compared to waking up without one and snoozers aren’t going to like the results. Researchers collected data from participants who wore devices that measured sleep duration and they found that people who need an alarm to wake up feel more lethargic because the alarm disrupts their natural sleep pattern. That interrupted sleep may lead them to drink more caffeine, which can lead to delayed sleep, and then being more tired.
On the flip side, those who wake up naturally were found to sleep for longer and may rely less on caffeine as a result. Study authors explain that when we wake up naturally, the body experiences a stress response that leaves us feeling more alert. But with an alarm clock, we don’t get that natural stress response, instead we get an interrupted sleep cycle. Dr. Stephen Mattingly, lead study author, explains that the medical establishment is “generally against the use of snoozing,” but when they went to look at hard data, there wasn’t any previously. “We now have the data to prove just how common it is,” he says. “So many people are snoozing because so many people are chronically tired.”