WTF Fun Fact 13594 – Benefits of the Snooze Button

There are more benefits of the snooze button than just getting an extra few minutes of sleep.

For many, the snooze button been branded as the ultimate “sleep disruptor.” But new findings from Stockholm University’s Department of Psychology may be about to turn this common belief on its head.

Snoozing: A Maligned Habit?

It’s a widely held belief that tapping that tempting snooze button might be doing us more harm than good. Critics claim it disrupts our sleep patterns, making us groggier and less alert when we eventually rise. But, is there any scientific basis to this belief?

The recent study led by Tina Sundelin of Stockholm University is turning this narrative around. Contrary to popular belief, hitting the snooze button might actually support the waking process for those who regularly find solace in those few extra minutes.

A Deep Dive into the Benefits of the Snooze Button

This comprehensive research involved two phases. The initial study surveyed 1,732 individuals on their morning habits. Findings highlighted that a significant number, especially among young adults and night owls, lean heavily on the snooze function. Their main reason? Feeling overwhelmingly fatigued when the first alarm rings.

The second phase delved deeper. Thirty-one habitual snoozers spent two nights in a sleep lab. On one morning, they had the luxury to snooze for an additional 30 minutes, while the other morning demanded an immediate wake-up call. Results revealed that most participants actually enjoyed more than 20 minutes of additional sleep during the snooze time. This had little impact on the overall quality or duration of their night’s rest.

What Does the Snooze Button Really Do?

Here’s the kicker: not only did the snooze function not disrupt the participants’ sleep, it also ensured no one was jolted awake from deep slumber. Moreover, those who indulged in that extra rest displayed slightly sharper cognitive abilities upon waking. Factors such as mood, overall sleepiness, or cortisol levels in the saliva remained unaffected.

Sundelin points out, “Our findings reveal that a half-hour snooze does not negatively impact night sleep or induce sleep inertia, which is that groggy feeling post-wakeup. In some instances, the results were even favorable. For example, we noticed a reduced chance of participants waking from deep sleep stages.”

While these findings might be a relief for serial snoozers, Sundelin adds a word of caution: “The study primarily focused on individuals who habitually hit the snooze button and can effortlessly drift back to sleep post-alarm. Snoozing might not be a one-size-fits-all solution.”

For those who relish those additional moments of rest in the morning, this research brings good news. Snoozing, at least for regular snoozers, doesn’t seem to steal away the quality of our sleep. On the contrary, it may subtly boost our cognitive processes during the waking stage.

So, the next time your alarm sounds and you’re contemplating another round with the snooze button, remember: You might not be losing out at all by grabbing those few extra minutes of shut-eye.

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Source: “You don’t lose if you snooze” — ScienceDaily

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