Do you hit the snooze button? You’re far from alone, study shows – ScienceDaily

A study by researchers from the University of Notre Dame is painting a clearer picture of our tendency to hit the snooze button – and if you’ve been late getting out of bed this morning, you’re certainly not alone.

The study, published in the journal TO SLEEP, found that 57% of the participants were used to postponing. While scientists and medical professionals have long advised against it, the act of napping – how often and why we do it – remains virtually unexamined.

“Most of what we know about napping is taken from data on sleep, stress or related behaviors,” said Stephen Mattingly, lead author of the study who conducted the research while he was a postdoctoral researcher at Notre Dame, with Aaron Striegel. , professor of computer science and engineering at Notre Dame. “Alarm clocks, smartphones, they all have snooze buttons. The medical establishment is generally against the use of snoozing, but when we went to see what data existed, there was none. Now we have the data to prove how common it is. – and there’s still so much we don’t know. “

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep. The study’s findings suggest that napping may be how some fight their fatigue.

“So many people doze off because so many people are chronically tired,” Mattingly said. “If only 1 in 3 people sleep adequately, it means that many of us are turning to other means to manage fatigue.”

The study surveyed 450 adults in full-time paid work. Participants completed daily surveys and a questionnaire. Data collected from wearables measured sleep duration and heart rate. According to the study, females were 50% more likely to doze off than males. Snoozers recorded fewer steps than other respondents and experienced more disturbances during their sleeping hours.

“These are people who have been working for years, employees with advanced degrees – and 57% of them are dozing off,” Mattingly said. “Critically, these statistics are only representative of a small population that may be in the best position regarding sleep habits. We have no idea of ​​various age groups such as teenagers, low-income families, or any of the populations that are historically older. sleep deprived than the respondents in this study. Hence, this is likely to be probably a conservative estimate of the broader population. “

The study also considered each respondent’s chronotype – when they prefer to go to bed and wake up. It has been found that night owls do sleep more and are more tired in general. “In the 9 to 5 world,” Mattingly said, “the night owls are losing.”

“Part of the goal of this study was to demystify what is happening with the postponement,” said Striegel. “Is it really worse than waking up with an alarm on the first ring, is that very different? The recommendation against an alarm is well founded, but as far as we can tell from physiology and our data, wake up with one alarm or press the snooze button and wake up with two or three alarms doesn’t make much difference. If you need an alarm because you’re sleep deprived, that’s the problem. “

When respondents woke naturally, without the aid of an alarm, they slept longer and consumed less caffeine. Snoozers and non-snoozers get the same amount of sleep. Snoozers no longer take naps and don’t report feeling tired more often.

“When we are able to sleep as much as we want,” Mattingly said, “the body experiences a stress response right before waking up. That physiological response helps make an individual feel alert when he wakes up.”

Interrupting natural sleep cycles with an alarm can lead to sleep inertia, the feeling of being tired or groggy. “When you wake up from a REM sleep state,” Mattingly said, “your brain is most of the way to being fully awake. The hormone levels that circulate at that stage will be different than when you are in deep sleep.” .

Waking up with an alarm clock is kind of a double whammy, bypassing the natural stress response needed to feel alert and waking up with runaway brain chemistry.

Both Striegel and Mattingly say more research is needed to understand any potential negative health impacts of napping, and Mattingly pointed out that the best advice is for everyone to get as much sleep as their body needs.

However, postponing can have its benefits.

“If you rest and are more alert when you get behind the wheel to go to work, that could be an advantage and useful,” he said. “If it reduces your caffeine addiction, that’s another. It’s not uniformly negative, similar to stress. A little bit of stress is good, that’s why we have the fight or flight response. There are times and places for that. There may be. cases where hitting the snooze button is actually beneficial. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *