Finding: Use your alarm wisely


April 4, 2014

Oh dear, it’s 7 am already? The urge to hit the snooze button can be automatic. But consider the wear and tear on your brain that results from being jerked awake, restarting the sleep cycle from stage 1 (the worst time to be woken up, science says) — only to be jerked awake again five minutes later. It’s like a fire drill going off over and over in the delicate inner workings of your system…

Research shows that using your alarm this way makes the transition from sleep mode to wake mode harder. It might take as long as two hours for your brain to go from zombie to fully alert, and you won’t feel sharp or well-rested.

The best advice? Wake to natural light, and be true to the rhythms of your own body (Unstuck has a printable worksheet to help you do this). But, failing that, just stop hitting snooze. Your brain will thank you.

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