Good News – This Guilty Pleasure Morning Habit Could Increase Your Brain Power

Maybe it's not such a bad habit, after all.
Galina Zhigalova via Getty Images

If you find yourself repeatedly hitting the snooze button in the morning, you’re not alone. In fact, 60% of adults indulge in a little more snooze-time each morning and who can blame us?

When the mornings are darker and colder especially, who can blame us for snuggling for that little bit longer under our beloved covers? It maybe makes the morning a little bit more rushed but it is worth it, isn’t it?

Well, it turns out that not only is that little extra snooze time worth it, indulging ourselves with the snooze button could also be improving our cognitive function.

A worthy humblebrag, if ever there was one.

How the snooze button increases your brain power

Until recently, it was thought that frequently opting for 10-30 minutes extra time in bed each morning with scientists suggesting that these mini-cycles of five or ten minutes are harmful to the body and the best possible start to the day is getting up with the first alarm.

However, recent research from scientists in Sweden and Australia challenges this idea.

The scientists gathered 31 habitual snoozers in lab conditions and found that 30 minutes of extra sleep had either no impact or actually improved their cognitive abilities on a task undertaken immediately after waking, compared to regular snoozers who were forced to rise abruptly.

Tina Sundelin from Stockholm University, a co-author on the study said: “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.”

The 30 minutes of snooze time consisted of three delay periods, lasting 9-10 minutes each. Compared to sleeping straight through that half hour, the repeated wake up calls resulted in an average loss of six minutes sleep per night.

The researchers also suggested that snooze button aficionados could be benefiting from an easier wake-up from a lighter part of the sleep cycle, rather than being abruptly thrusted out of the deep sleep part of a REM cycle.

Who is using the snooze button most often and how does it impact them?

The team surveyed 1,732 volunteers and found that 69% of respondents hit the snooze button or set multiple alarms at least sometimes. Snoozers tend to be younger and evening rather than morning people with their average snooze time hitting around 22 minutes.

There were surprisingly no differences between snoozing and not snoozing when it came to mood levels, stress, morning sleepiness, or sleep cycles.

Brb, I think I need a coffee after all that sleep talk.