Go Ahead, Snooze Your Alarm. New Study Says It Actually Isn't That Bad

Starting your day with a few extra minutes of sleep is no longer thought of as super harmful. Keep these tips in mind when hitting your snooze button.

Kristina Byas
3 min read
Closeup of hand stopping alarm clock from ringing.
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We've all been tempted by the snooze button once or twice, especially when we want to steal a few more moments of precious sleep. A 2022 study by Notre Dame found that 57% of adults regularly snooze their alarms. If you're also a habitual snoozer, have you ever considered if this habit is detrimental to your health?

New research into the impact of snoozing challenges conventional wisdom, suggesting that it might not be that bad after all.

Is snoozing your alarm bad for you? 

Can hitting your snooze button affect your health? Well, it depends on how long you snooze. 

For years, people have made assumptions about snoozing your alarm. It's believed that ignoring your initial alarm and taking a little more time to rest disrupts the natural waking process, leaving you to start your day groggy and disoriented. 

Some may need an extra 30 minutes, while others sleep for another hour or so, but it's likely the excessive snoozing that gets you into trouble. 

A new study finds that snoozing isn't losing

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A 2023 study published in the Journal of Sleep Research challenges common beliefs about snoozing, providing surprising insights into the potential benefits. 

Scientists specifically delved into the effects of snoozing on sleep quality and overall well-being. 

The second of two studies, which involved 31 habitual snoozers in a laboratory setting, indicated that a 30-minute snooze improves or has no impact on cognitive performance immediately upon waking compared to abrupt awakening.

What this means is that those who indulge in a brief snooze may experience improved mood, heightened alertness and reduced grogginess compared to those who rise immediately. 

If you're hitting snooze…

Go ahead and snooze away for a few minutes -- just keep these factors in mind.  

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Snooze for only 30 minutes 

While snoozing isn't bad, you don't want to take it too far. Set your alarm for 30 minutes later than your initial wake-up time. This extension may be brief, but it allows for a gentle transition from sleep to wakefulness.  

Put your alarm in another room 

When your alarm clock is right next to you, it can be far too easy to press snooze and stay in bed longer. Break the snooze cycle by placing your alarm out of arm's reach. This forces you to physically leave your bed, making it harder to hit snooze repeatedly. And once you're out of bed, you have already taken the steps to get your day started. 

Go to bed at the same time each night 

Healthy sleep requires a routine. One of the many tricks to help you get to sleep is to establish a regular bedtime. Since going to bed at the same time every night trains your body to follow a predictable sleep-wake cycle, you won't experience sleep disturbances, which can take a toll on your quality of sleep. 

Set your alarm as late as you can 

Rather than hitting snooze too many times, you can maximize your uninterrupted sleep by setting your alarm as late as possible. This way, you can indulge in those extra minutes without compromising the total duration of your rest. 

Bottom line 

The recent study may challenge the notion it's harmful to snooze, but moderation remains key. Incorporating mindful snoozing practices, such as limiting the duration and combining it with consistent sleep hygiene, may yield benefits. You can even consider using a sunrise alarm clock as a gentle alternative to traditional alarms. Mimicking the natural sunrise, it gradually brightens, signaling your body to wake up naturally and potentially easing the snoozing habit.

Experiment with these tips to discover a snooze approach that aligns with your sleep needs. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.