Some days it can feel near impossible to get out of bed. So much, in fact, that you can find yourself hitting the snooze button over and over again, hoping for a few more minutes of precious sleep. But can this habit make you even more tired? That's the question POPSUGAR asked a sleep doctor.
"The brain is not an on-off switch, and the process of waking up takes an hour or so," explained Daniel Barone, MD, a neurologist at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine and author of Let's Talk About Sleep: A Guide to Understanding and Improving Your Slumber. "By hitting snooze, you are reversing the process, and as a result, the brain doesn't know what to do, so you may feel sleepy and hungover longer into the day."
That's not to say that dozing off won't feel good in that moment — but remember that it's temporary. "It feels good to fall back asleep because serotonin is released, but it's really not ideal," Dr. Barone told POPSUGAR. And that's true even if it's just for another five minutes.
"The amount you snooze doesn't matter that much — the principle of the brain not being an on-off switch is more important," he said. "It's better to just set the alarm as late as you can, and wake up one time at that time."
If you're still struggling to get out of bed, you might want to try hitting the sack sooner. "If you're exhausted when you wake up, it may be a sign you need more sleep," Dr. Barone said. "If that doesn't work, you probably should consider seeing a sleep specialist for an evaluation. There are things like sleep apnea that can lead to unrefreshing sleep, no matter how much sleep you get."