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Many of us are guilty of setting 5 or 6 alarms in the morning out of fear we won’t wake up. 5:30, 5:45, 6:15, 6:30 and onwards. This habit ultimately causes people to wake up feeling groggy and lethargic. If you pay attention to it, you might notice that you’re a little disoriented every time you hit the snooze button as it interrupts your sleep cycle. The habit of hitting the snooze button is a worldwide phenomenon and has been given a name, ‘chronic snoozing’. 

How you feel when you wake up plays a huge role in how you feel throughout the day. A bad morning is usually a setup for a tired or lazy day. Ever noticed that you’ve woken up at 6AM and felt more awake than when you wake up at 1PM? This is partially because feeling like you’re not in control of your routine is a bad way to start your morning and will create a knock-on effect for all your actions throughout the rest of the day. Essentially, getting up late means everything else gets delayed. 

Aside from your mood, waking up abruptly after a deep sleep will cause sleep inertia which is that intoxicating lethargy you feel after your alarm wakes you. Sleep inertia usually lasts from 15-30 minutes but can affect you in the hours after that. This lack of energy can make even the simplest tasks very difficult. 

How Does One Have Sleep Inertia

A normal sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes. During a normal night of sleep, we go through 4 to 6 cycles before waking. Within each cycle are 5 stages of sleep. In stage 1 and 2, our body is getting ready to go into a deep sleep. Non-Rem (Rapid Eye Movement) takes place in Stage 3 and 4 which is a slow wave and deepest form on Non-Rem. During REM sleep is when we dream. Waking up during this stage is difficult and hence, when one is forced to wake up with an alarm clock, we immediately feel the onput of sleep inertia. 

Your hormone levels also become imbalanced which results in feeling tired at random times of the day, feeling hungry at odd times and irregular bowel movements. Furthermore, hormone imbalances can directly affect things like skin irritation. 

The best way to avoid sleep inertia is to stop hitting the snooze button and ensuring you get complete rest. Develop a sleep routine that allows you to be in bed during early hours and try and aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You will also need to adopt the right mindset to cut the habit of hitting the snooze button. It will be difficult initially but with repetition, your body will naturally wake up energized at the time set by your alarm. Another way to ensure you wake up on time is by giving yourself a productive task to do. Instead of waking up to an empty schedule, consider packing your morning with something that will motivate you to wake up. A morning run? A swim in the pool? Taking the dog out? This is all about shifting the “I have to” mindset to the “I want to” mindset. You will never stay consistent if you view waking up early as a task instead of a preference. If you find yourself falling back into the snoozing trap, it’s time to do a motivation check. 

Here are a few ways to keep yourself motivated!

  1. Give yourself a valid reason to wake up
  2. Make it a challenge! 14 days of waking up at a set time every morning without snoozing
  3. Reward yourself before starting your chores
  4. Consider using an app that monitors your sleep cycle
  5. Go to bed earlier!

Brian Habibi