It’s almost become a competition of sorts at the office: How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock this morning?
In our society, taking those few extra minutes of sleep is viewed as a bad thing (you’re lazy, you’re missing work!). But did you know that using the snooze button (smartly) might actually be the best way to wake up?
David Dinges, chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that, though you shouldn’t try to sleep in an extra hour or two after being awoken by your first alarm (being ridiculously late to work all the time isn’t a good thing), the snooze button is actually great for giving you more time to awaken. “Snoozing is not a great evil. The extra 10 minutes you get by snoozing can actually help to gently awaken the mind, rather than jolt it back to wakefulness,” he recently told The Wall Street Journal.
That being said, using the snooze button will likely be detrimental to your energy levels if you conk out again as soon as you hit it—this fragmented sleep is less restful than consolidated sleep, he explains. If you aren’t getting enough sleep in the first place and are likely to fall back asleep during the snooze period, this probably isn’t the strategy for you. (Dinges also recommends trying to go to sleep earlier when you get tired instead of staying up late and snoozing the next morning.)
But if you’re using that extra 10 minutes to let your brain slowly get moving instead of popping right out of bed, hitting the snooze button could help you get you day going on a gentler foot.