If it takes you 15 minutes to get out of bed after your alarm goes off, it's time to learn how to stop hitting the snooze button once and for all.

By Susan Bricknell
August 14, 2018

I’m a religious snoozer. TBH, if I'm late to work it's usually because I hit the snooze button too many times. I’m that girl who sets multiple alarms, all five to ten minutes apart, and snoozes between them. But here's the thing: according to experts, getting five minutes of extra rest from snoozing really isn't worth it.

For starters, when you snooze you're not getting high-quality sleep. “The time you snooze is essentially breaking up a long run in sustained sleep into a fragmented mess of light sleep punctuated by wakefulness,” explains W. Christopher Winter, MD, a sleep specialist at Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Then there's how exhausted you feel after you snooze. “We refer to this as sleep drunkenness [or sleep inertia], because that is what it feels like,” says Dr. Winter. Sleep inertia most commonly occurs with abrupt awakenings, and symptoms can include sleepiness and cognitive impairment once awake (which could make, say, driving a car first thing in the morning dangerous). 

In addition to training your brain to ignore your alarm clock, you're putting your health at risk by snoozing in the morning, says Dr. Winter. “The constant sleep interruption has a cardiovascular risk factor and may carry with it cancer and cognitive risk as well,” he explains.

So, what’s the best wake up routine? Sleep until you need to get up, and then actually get up. Snoozing may be a tough habit to break initially, but it’s not impossible. Keep reading for Dr. Winter's tips on how to rise with your alarm and stop hitting the snooze button.

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