A man reaching for the alarm clockBy the time the sounds of night and day cross the path of one another I am well into my morning activities. In other words I get up pretty friggin early. I’m usually writing by 4:30 am. But I used to work myself awake starting as early as 3:30 in the morning. I would silence 3, 4 sometimes even 5 preset alarms before I would pull myself out of bed.

Then one morning everything changed. I was given an ultimatum. My usually kind and tolerant husband told me that all my early morning (he said middle of the night) sound effects messed with his sleep. Such a hot house flower, that one. He said, “you’re going to need to pick between marital bliss, and your snooze alarms.” Man. I love my snooze alarms! I love that time between buzz and beeps when dreams bloomed full spectrum and how the bedding felt extra special perfect right after I took another swipe at the snooze alarm. Darn Matthew for being so selfish to want to take this joy away from me.

I briefly considered trying to find a silent snoozers that shakes your pillow and doesn’t make noise. But I didn’t think I wanted some electronic thingie under my head all night and with my luck it would shake my handsome princess and the pea sleeping next to me awake too. So marital bliss, in the end, won out.

Thank goodness marital bliss won out!

Would you believe ever since I agreed to no more snooze alarms I have had more energy and pep than I’ve had in years! Honest to Gwd! You may think it’s because of all the marital bliss I’m having, but it’s not that. I mean, It does bring sunshine to the day but it’s not what has been putting the extra skip in my step. And this is the part that I’m excited to tell you about.

I have more energy because I refused to snooze.

Just by getting up when the first (and now only) alarm goes off I have more energy. It is THAT easy! And it’s way cheaper than the sublingual B-12 supplements and the daily afternoon Grande caffe’ americanos! It’s not just me, there’s good sleep science to support why you will want to refuse the snooze.

If you’ve been dragging your tail for a long time and you are guilty of hitting the snooze you have got to listen up.

“Over the course of a night, a person goes through five shifting stages of sleep, The brain constantly goes through these stages, emitting different brain waves that reflect if a person is experiencing lighter or deeper periods of sleep.” says Assistant Director of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center Dr. Yizhak Kupfer.

“When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you’re doing two negative things to yourself,” says Robert S. Rosenberg, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centers of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.
“First, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.” *

When I interviewed nursing sleep specialist Patti Cantillo Kodzis, she had made a similar argument when we discussed power naps for my medical student clients. She said, “unless you can go through the whole sleep cycle, sleep for at least 45 minutes to an hour, it’s probably not worth napping.” If you have to cut the cycle off you will not feel any more rested and might even feel worse.

Moral of the story. Ditch the snooze. I did it and the difference has truly been noticeable. I was thinking of saying “the difference has been profound” but I like honest words. I will say that I have sincerely noticed not only more energy in the first part of my day but also during my lowest energy times of it too. I feel less tired in general. Even if I have a night of shortened or poor sleep.

In the next piece I’ll round out this post by talking a little about good sleep hygiene; good sleep habits that will help you sleep better and feel more rested during your waking hours. Also I’ll introduce you a wake-up light you’ll want to put on your shopping wish list.

*Originally published at upwave.com