Why you Should be Hitting the Snooze Button

The snooze button... your best friend and worst enemy.

We all have those mornings where we have an internal battle with ourselves... to snooze or not to snooze?

We beat ourselves up constantly about making the most out of our days. Get up early, perhaps you can get a load of washing done, make a healthy lunch, even fit in a run or exercise class before 9am. But why do we do it... is hitting the snooze button really that bad for us?

We weighed up the evidence. Experts in the art of sleeping, we have to trial our bed linen so that means getting plenty of kip... and yes, we do love the snooze button.

Waking up feeling sluggish, snoozing and then eventually getting out of bed gives you a bad start to the day. By resisting a snooze, we become more alert earlier in the day, feel better about ourselves and it's even proven that you can be more productive at work. There is endless research and news articles encouraging us to ban that button, making us feel guiltier and guiltier about staying in bed.

However, after all the bad press the snooze button's been getting, people are finally waking up to the benefits of a bit of down time in the mornings can have.

When we sleep, our bodies have a natural time they feel it's appropriate the wake (more often than not, our alarms get there first). When an alarm startles us out of deep sleep it can leave you feeling disorientated, confused and not in the best mood. By letting yourself drift back to the land of nod (even just for 10 minutes) we give ourselves a second chance. We wake up feeling brighter, more prepared and ready for the day.

David Dinges, chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, is all for the snooze button.

"Snoozing is not a great evil. The extra 10 minutes you get by snoozing can actually help to gently awaken the mind, rather than jolt it back to wakefulness."

The trick is to use your snooze time to gently awaken yourself, rather than believing you're getting solid sleep. Another top tip, only set your alarm to allow for one snooze. There's no benefit to setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier than needed, just to ensure you can snooze for 30 minutes each morning.

So, it's about time that we stopped feeling guilty for snoozing, or believing that if we don't jump out of bed singing and dancing every day of the week that we're weak. Instead, let's give ourselves a break and just stay in bed.