Have you pushed the snooze button today?
The snooze button looks like the best idea ever until 9 minutes later when the alarm sounds again and you wake up feeling even more tired. What do you do then? Hit it again? Are those extra minutes really helping at all? Or is it a cycle that ends in you being late and still tired?
If you don’t set your alarm clock you just wake up naturally. The body has many chemical mechanisms to make us fall asleep and wake up several hours later.
The body prepares itself to wake up one hour before you naturally wake up. Your temperature rises, sleep becomes lighter and hormones like dopamine and cortisol are released and will give you energy to start your day.
But if you are woken up by an alarm your sleep cycle is interrupted. The alarm wakes you up but your body isn’t ready. This groggy state is know as “sleep inertia”.
Sleep inertia is very much like the physics inertia that you know, in which physical objects resist any change to their speed or direction.
Sleep inertia is the resistance of your body to waking up and makes sure you notice this by making you feeling extremely tired.
In a night of good sleep a regular person goes through 5 or 6 cycles with 5 different stages each.
The strength of sleep inertia is related to which sleep state you are waking up from. The deeper the sleep, the stronger sleep inertia is.
If you are woken by the alarm and due to sleep inertia hit the snooze button as you fall back asleep the body may restart its sleep cycle and you may jump into deeper sleep stages.
So, as a result, the second alarm may cause you to feel even more tired. By breaking up those last thirty minutes or so of sleep you are more likely to feel tired during the day.
My advice: You would feel better setting your original alarm later and not interrupting your sleep.
A regular sleep schedule may help you as well. The body loves predictability. If you manage to wake up at the same time even during the weekends you will resist better the snooze temptation and will be able to just get up, because, as the saying goes “ you snooze, you lose”.
Why 9 minutes?
Back in the 1950s, the snooze interval on the standard dial clock was originally intended to be set at ten minutes. However, the snooze gear in the clock had to perfectly mesh with the other gears that already existed. Ten minutes was not a feasible option because of this complex gear configuration and clock engineers set the imprecise interval to just over nine minutes.
But the majority of the standard alarm clocks today are still stuck on the uneven nine minutes. While it is believed that clock engineers simply continue to copy the idea without changing the interval, others believe that it has a specific purpose.
When the snooze is programmed at nine minutes, modern digital alarm clocks can be programmed to only monitor the last digit. When you hit the snooze button at 6:15, the alarm will automatically go off when the last digit hits 4
The five stages of sleep.
You cycle through all five stages several times (on average 4 to 6 times) each night. (90- 110)
Stage 1 (10 min) This is the lightest stage of sleep, the transition phase. It lasts just enough to allow your body to slow down and your muscles to relax.
Stage 2 (10 min) The second stage of sleep is still light sleep. Your brain activity starts to slow down, as well as your heart rate and breathing. Your body temperature falls a little.
Stage 3 (5-15 min) The start of deep sleep. During stage 3, your brain waves are slow “delta waves,” If you were awakened suddenly during this stage, you would be groggy and confused, and find it difficult to focus at first.
Stage 4 (first 1 hour, then 5-15 min) Your deepest sleep of the night. Your brain only shows only delta-wave activity, and it’s difficult to wake someone up when they’re in Stage 4 of sleep.
It’s during Stage 4 sleep that children are most likely to suffer from night terrors. This is the time when the body does most of its repair work and regeneration.
Stage 5 (10 min and longer to 1 hour) This is the stage of sleep when you dream. It is also referred to as REM sleep, which stands for the rapid eye movement.
During REM sleep, your blood flow, breathing, and brain activity increases.
Your brain is as active as it is when you’re awake.
The muscles in your arms and legs will go through periods of paralysis. Scientists speculate that this is the way nature protects us from acting out our dreams.
Posted by Shedka.