Stealing a few minutes of extra sleep via the snooze button seems beneficial, study says

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Theresa Braine | (TNS) New York Daily News

Hitting the snooze button doesn’t hurt, and might even help one wake up, a new study has found.

While use of the snooze button tends to carry negative connotations, a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Sleep Research found otherwise. Lead researcher Tina Sundelin said in a statement, “Those who snooze on average sleep slightly shorter and feel more drowsy in the morning compared to those who never snooze.” However, they found “no negative effects of snoozing on cortisol release, morning tiredness, mood, or sleep quality throughout the night.”

Snoozing for an extra 30 minutes “improved or did not affect performance on cognitive tests directly upon rising compared with an abrupt awakening,” Sundelin and fellow researchers at the University of Stockholm said in the study. “A brief snooze period may thus help alleviate sleep inertia, without substantially disturbing sleep.”

They were even a little more quick-thinking when they did get up, she said.

“For those who usually snooze, it might even be helpful with waking,” Sundelin told NBC News.

In the two-pronged study, researchers looked at snoozing behavior in 1,732 respondents of different ages and walks of life. Tiredness and wanting to awaken slowly rather than be yanked into the day were snoozers’ two main motivations. In all, 69% of the respondents hit snooze or set several alarms at least occasionally, and 60% of those said they usually or always fall asleep between alarms.

Next, 31 regular snoozers spent two nights in a sleep lab, hitting snooze for 30 minutes one morning, and getting up at first alarm the next. Snoozers turned out to be calmer.

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