BBC’s Science Focus recommends indulging in another few minutes of shut-eye, because Swedish research shows hitting the snooze button on your morning alarm can boost brain function:
Of the 1,732 adults who participated, 69 per cent reported that they use the snooze function of their alarms. These snoozers tended to be younger people than non-snoozers. They also had later chronotypes (which influence how active you are at different times of day) – meaning they were ‘night owls’. Snoozers were also more likely to sleep for a shorter amount of time and to experience morning drowsiness.
In the second study, only regular snoozers were examined. The participants were either allowed to snooze for 30 minutes or were made to get up abruptly – and then asked to perform arithmetic and memory tests. These tests took place immediately and then throughout the day.
Participants gifted an extra 30 minutes of snoozing performed better on most of the tests after finally waking. The researchers explain this may be because snoozing allows you to reach a lighter sleep stage than slow-wave sleep or rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep – which your first alarm is likely to catch you in.
However, the benefits of snoozing disappeared after 40 minutes. At this point, the study suggests, your performance on cognitive tasks won’t be affected whether you snooze or wake up immediately.
You can read more of the snooze-button study here, in the Journal of Sleep Research.