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You Snooze (Your Alarm), You Lose

You Snooze (Your Alarm), You Lose

Internet mythology says the phrase “you snooze, you lose” was first heard in a 1968 TV commercial for an Oshkosh, WI, mattress store’s annual sale. But criticism of folks who are slow to rise-and-shine has been around far longer than that: English theologian Isaac Watts (born 1674) wrote, “Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain/You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again.”

Now science is on the side of the anti-snoozers. Turns out that using the snooze alarm to grab another few Z’s doesn’t help you feel more rested. Instead, it fragments your sleep cycle and promotes what researchers call sleep inertia. You can end up groggy, fuzzy-brained and slow-moving for hours longer than if you got out of bed when your alarm first went off.

So, if you’ve been drockling (a word used by researchers in the 1970s to describe the habit of intentionally falling in and out of sleep before getting up), sleep experts suggest the smarter move is to figure out what time you need to hit the hay in order to get enough sleep. Then make sure you’re in a dark room with no digital devices; convert all bathroom lights to red wavelength only, and you’ll be on your way to dreamland.

When the alarm goes off, you’ll be much more likely to get up and get going. Any sleep inertia you have, you can shake off with a shower, a cuppa Joe and a healthy breakfast of 100 percent whole grains, lean protein and fresh fruit.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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