It's okay to hit the snooze button. A new study shows it isn't bad for you and may even help you feel more alert.
- Snoozers have the same sleep quality when they wake up immediately vs. when they snooze, a new study found.
- In fact, when people were allowed to snooze for 30 minutes, they were actually more alert.
Snoozing gets a bad rep. But a new study has something to say about that. The latest science says that snoozing may not be so terrible for your sleep, after all, and might even help you feel more alert in the morning.
"What the study showed is when you hit the snooze button, you actually wake up and have ... better thinking," Dr. Carol Ash, the chief medical officer at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, who was not involved in the study, told Today.
Scientists first surveyed 1,732 people, and found that nearly 70% of them snoozed for about 22 minutes.
Next, the scientists closely monitored 31 regular snoozers in the lab to see what effects snoozing had on their sleep quality.
Snoozing may actually have some benefits
The researchers compared sleep quality from a morning where participants had to wake up with their first alarm to a morning when they were allowed to hit snooze for 30 minutes.
In both scenarios, the participants had to be fully awake at the same time, so they slept roughly the same amount.
After the participants woke up, researchers collected a saliva sample and performed psychological tests to see how awake they were.
Talk about a rude awakening.
The test results found no serious physical differences in sleep quality between the two scenarios.
But when participants snoozed for 30 minutes, they performed better on the cognitive tests meant to measure alertness than when they had to wake up immediately.
Why snoozing might help you feel more awake
This may be because the snoozing period provides a bridge from deep sleep into full wakefulness, Tina Sundelin, an assistant professor of psychology at Stockholm University who led the study, said in the paper.
Sundelin noted in the study that there are limitations to what they learned.
Since their experiment only included people who snooze at least twice a week, the researchers couldn't compare their results to how the same experiment might affect people who don't snooze at all.
This likely means certain people can benefit from snoozing, but others may not.
"Snoozing is most likely not for everyone", Sundelin said in a press release.
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