The benefits of snoozing your alarm clock

In this podcast (episode #572) and blog, I talk about the benefits of snoozing! This is a replay of a Neurolive webinar I did on my app. For the full webinar Ad-free, please see

We have been told hitting the snooze button is a bad habit. But is it? Recently, I read an article in Scientific American that talks about how snoozing can actually be good for us!

A growing body of recent research says that snoozing is not the “be all and end all” that we have been told it is. In some research, there is actually no difference in health outcomes for chronic snoozers and non-snoozers! 

Yes, snoozing can shorten our sleep cycles, but it’s not the same kind of shortening that happens when REM (restorative) sleep is disturbed. Even 30 minutes of snoozing is okay! 

In fact, it seems that snoozing can help shake off morning drowsiness by easing the transition from deep sleep to a lighter stage of sleep and waking up! The key thing to remember is that we have 4-5 sleep cycles: 2 in NREM (light sleep where it’s easy to wake someone up), 2 in REM, one more in NREM.

Waking up mid-sleep can make us drowsy and disoriented. However, this is where snoozing may be beneficial because the mini-naps can help shift us from deep to light sleep, so that when we do wake up, we feel more energetic and alert.  

The extra naps may even help us think better during the day because snoozers feel less tired! Snoozing seems to prevent us from reverting to deep stages of sleep, increasing our cortisol levels (in a good way) and helping the brain wake up, which, in turn, can help improve cognition. However, for those who are already getting insufficient or disturbed sleep, a 30-min snooze period may be more detrimental than for someone who is sleeping 7–8 hours a night.  

It is important to understand that snoozing will impact people differently. Indeed, research shows that some people’s biological clocks—a built-in 24-hour cycle that helps the body regulate processes including wakefulness and sleep—tend to shift toward a “night owl” chronotype during adolescence, reaching peak “lateness” around age 20. At the end of the day, it is best to do what works for you for where you are in life, whether that is no snoozing or snoozing for 30 minutes a day.  

Snoozing does not replace a good nights’ sleep, but it can help some people sleep better. More research is needed, but what we do know is that snoozing does not make someone “lazy”. For some people, it can really help them sleep better and improve their wellbeing! 

For more on snoozing, listen to my podcast (episode #572). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).        

This podcast is sponsored by:

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Podcast Highlights 

1:30 Pressing the snooze button does not make you lazy! 

2:31 The new research behind snoozing 

4:20, 10:20 Snoozing is not for everyone 

12:15 Snoozing & mind management 

17:00 Losing sleep when snoozing isn’t always a bad thing! 

21:55 Why we shouldn’t ignore our sleep issues 

23:10 How snoozing can help us wake up 

27:00 How unresolved mental issues can affect our sleep  

29:00 Sleep & different life stages 

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional. 

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