Healthy Living

published : 2023-10-19

Want a bit more sleep? Hitting that snooze button isn’t always bad, study finds

People who snoozed for an extra 30 minutes were more ‘quick-thinking’ in the morning, researchers said

A person lying in bed, peacefully snoozing under a cozy blanket, taken with a Canon EOS R6.

The snooze button has gotten a bad rap over the years — but a new study suggests that snoozing doesn’t always mean losing.

Researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden found that stealing that extra few minutes of sleep could actually support the waking process.

Participants in two separate studies were evaluated, with many of them reporting using the snooze button because they were too tired to wake up right away.

In a follow-up study, 31 people who regularly used the snooze button were analyzed in a sleep lab for two nights.

A woman waking up with a smile on her face after hitting the snooze button, captured with a Nikon D850.

On one morning, they were allowed to snooze for 30 minutes, while on the other morning, they had to get up right away.

Surprisingly, the participants performed better on cognitive tests on the mornings when they snoozed, with no negative effects on their mood, sleepiness, or stress levels.

"Our findings show that those who snooze on average sleep slightly shorter and feel more drowsy in the morning compared to those who never snooze," said Tina Sundelin, a researcher at Stockholm University and lead author of the paper.

The researchers also noticed positive outcomes, including a decreased likelihood of waking from deep sleep and being more quick-thinking upon waking.

A man sitting at a desk, looking alert and focused as he takes a cognitive test, photographed with a Sony A7 III.

While snoozing may not be for everyone, hitting the snooze button can have potential benefits for some, such as increased alertness behind the wheel or reduced caffeine dependence.

The study challenges the notion that snoozing is always detrimental and highlights the potential advantages of stealing a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning.