Hitting the snooze button may not be best for your body, experts say

Getting out of bed can be a real drag, especially on a cold morning. And if you're like many people, hitting the snooze button once or twice might be part of your wake up routine.

But according to sleep experts, all that snoozing isn't helping your body get the restorative sleep it needs.

"The latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep. And so, if you're hitting the snooze button, then you're disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep," said Dr. Reena Mehra from the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Mehra says we have different arousal thresholds during different stages of sleep. If we're dusrupting late-stage REM sleep, it can cause a "fight or flight" response, which increases blood pressure and heartbeat.

Dr. Mehra says the little chunks of sleep we get in between hitting snooze - five or 10 minutes at a time - is not restoratve sleep. She adds that some people become conditioned to hitting snooze and actually get used to it.

However, if a person feels the need to hit snooze again and again, it's an indicator that they are either not getting enough quality sleep or that they might have an underlying sleep disorder.

Dr. Mehra says if you find yourself hitting snooze a lot, it's time to take a look at your sleep habits.

"Just making sure you're getting seven to eight hours of sufficient sleep and good quality sleep. And if that's happening, and someone still feels the need to hit that snooze button, then they should probably see their physician to make sure there's no undiagnosed sleep disorder that could be contributing to that," she said.

Experts say the best way to de-condition yourself from hitting the snooze every morning is to make sleep a priority.

Insufficient sleep over time contributes to weight gain, cardiovascular risks and even death.
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