Snoozing, or using intermittent alarms to get in a few more minutes of sleep in the morning, may have benefits for some people, according to research published in the Journal of Sleep Research.
In a study of 1732 adults who described their waking habits, 69% of participants reported using the snooze function or setting multiple alarms at least “sometimes.” In those who snoozed, the average time spent snoozing per morning was 22 minutes, ranging from 1 to 180 minutes. Snoozers tended to be younger than non-snoozers and were more likely to be evening types. Morning drowsiness and shorter sleep were also more common in those who snoozed.
In a second study of 31 habitual snoozers, 30 minutes of snoozing improved or did not affect performance on cognitive tests directly upon rising compared with waking up abruptly. Snoozing resulted in about 6 minutes of lost sleep, but it prevented awakening from slow-wave sleep. There were no clear effects of snoozing on stress hormone levels, morning sleepiness, mood, or overnight sleep structure.
“The findings indicate that there is no reason to stop snoozing in the morning if you enjoy it, at least not for snooze times around 30 minutes. In fact, it may even help those with morning drowsiness to be slightly more awake once they get up,” said corresponding author Tina Sundelin, PhD, of Stockholm University.