Morning Rounds: Hitting the snooze button and your health

Posted at 10:31 AM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 11:04:47-04

NORFOLK, Va. -Research indicates hitting the snooze button is bad for your health.

News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light explained why on News 3 This Morning.

"The biggest effect of hitting the snooze button is often waking up more tired because the extra sleep is not long enough to complete a sleep cycle," he explained. "The result is feeling more tired.  These symptoms usually last about 60 to 90 minutes."

"Hitting the snooze button often leads to poor brain function for the first couple hours of the day," he added. "Feeling tired when the alarm goes off can be an indicator of more serious medical conditions such as sleep apnea, anemia, hypothyroidism and narcolepsy."

Dr.  Light said poor sleep puts you at risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Obesity

"Lack of sleep can lead to feeling grumpy, lower sex drive, weight gain, forgetfulness and impairment of judgment," he explained.  "Chronic sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health."

He added these tips on how to ensure you get enough sleep:

  • Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes
  • Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime
  • Exercising daily to promote good sleep
  • Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light.  Our bodies know to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light.
  • Establishing a regular bedtime and awaken routine
  • Controlling the sleeping environment (temperature, devices, television)