Posts Tagged ‘snooze button effect’

Increasing Productivity – Why hit the snooze button

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I figured I’d start my first official post by sticking to the literal meaning of “Hitting the Snooze button”. Almost every morning of my adult life I’ve been ripped from a blissful dream world by the piercing screech of a small device designed to alert me when my day “should” begin.

Though I’ve been through several alarm clocks it seems, after a few days, even the most delightful tone can be a gut wrenching terror when it rips you away from a peaceful, much needed, good night’s sleep. After each traumatic experience of having been torn from my slumber, I’ve found such solace in a little plastic strip located on top of the aforementioned modern device of torture disguised as a time displaying gadget known as the “Snooze Button”. It’s long curved body, firm to the touch, yet smooth performance, that with an ever so gentle thrust, can provide me with 9 more glorious minutes of what (at that time) I want more than anything I’ve ever wanted in life.


Okay I’m finished fantasizing about my snooze button, let’s get on with the question of Why? Why is this 9 minutes of sleep that the snooze button provides us more addictive than a drug? Why don’t we just set our alarm to go off 9 minutes later? Why can’t I stop pressing the snooze button? Why does it even matter? Why? Why? Why???? You don’t have to be ashamed of being addicted to the snooze button, but keep in mind this simple task can cause a “butterfly effect”-type chain of undesirable occurrences not just pertaining to sleep.


I compare this 9 minutes of sleep that the snooze button provides us to a drug because like a drug it can seem harmless at first but will cause a chain effect that will change lives in ways we don’t usually relate to hitting a snooze button. Now don’t get me wrong, hitting the snooze button is in no way close to having a drug problem. I just use the comparison to illustrate the similarities. So why is this 9 minutes of sleep that the snooze button provides us more addictive than a drug? Like drugs, the 9 minutes of additional sleep the snooze button allows us has no beneficial use other than a brief feeling of satisfaction. In reality we’re deliberately allowing the real things in our life to be interrupted by an action that is, in the long run, useless.

Every night we have a pre-conceived notion about what events for the upcoming day will bring. Therefore we set our clocks to wake us up at certain time in order to accomplish said events. If we stick to our pre-conceived concept of time and actually get up when we plan then we will accomplish what needs to be accomplished, we’ll feel fulfilled, we’ll work harder, make more money, become rich, save the world and live happily ever after. At least that’s the plan right? So why can’t I stop pressing the snooze button? I can’t stop because rather than be the rebel, the lazy slacker that sleeps through the morning I need to be a responsible adult and accomplish everything that needs to be done and have time to spare. I mean if everyone got enough sleep we may actually enjoy the time we are awake a little more and realize that working for more than half the time we’re awake is more of a waste of time than sleeping in. (I’ll touch on that in a future blog) So basically we do it because we think we have to. If your alarm goes off at 6am and you hit snooze till 6:45am obviously you don’t “HAVE” to get up till than anyway.

While we sleep our body and mind are performing tasks to make us run more efficiently, similar to what Microsoft recommends we do with our computers every night i.e. “Scan disks” and hard drive “defragmenting” etc. Our body does this as well. There’s a whole process our brain alone goes through in converting short-term memories into long-term memories as well as just the relaxation and rejuvenation our body needs to function properly. All this occurs during sleep. When we’re awakened abruptly our body’s processes are stopped and we’re forced to do something we didn’t intend on doing right at that point. Waking up. So why can’t I stop pressing the snooze button? Well, Subconsciously we think pushing that vivacious little button will allow us to get that last little bit of rest we need for body to complete our sleeping process and we’ll just be ready to wake up when the alarm goes off again. Doing this actually deprives us of the sleeping process even more. Put simply, pressing snooze causes more harm than good.

So why does it matter? Having done it for years I am living proof that this simple task can dramatically affect someone’s life. You really will miss out on opportunities you’ve never realized existed. I know it sounds crazy to think that not pressing a stupid button a few times a day can change your life, but by reading my blogs you’ll see that I’m living proof of what will happen if you snooze through life and what will happen if you don’t.