As a sleep deprived shift worker, have you ever been tempted to grab an extra ten or fifteen minutes sleep by rolling over and hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock?
Now I want you to be honest with me here, because I’d say 99% of the shift working population are prone to the lure of the snooze button!
But did you know that the snooze button can actually make you feel even more tired?
Sound a little strange?
Well considering that most of us wake up feeling like we’ve had absolutely no sleep when we work shift work, the temptation to switch on the snooze button can become way too tempting. Because going without sleep for too long causes fatigue, drowsiness and can even lead to a decrease in alertness and lack of co-ordination.
In fact some people can even suffer from headaches and muscles pains, and become highly irritable when they don’t get enough sleep.
So what has this got to do with the snooze button on your alarm clock?
Well essentially the alarm interrupts your sleep cycle and your brain is then unable to complete its process of repair and rejuvenation. And if that’s not bad enough, when you go ahead and hit the snooze button, your brain enters another sleep cycle only to be interrupted again when the alarm clock goes off for a second time.
Now don’t get me wrong – in today’s busy world we can’t exactly throw away our alarm clocks and wake up to the sounds of chirping birds and sunlight streaming onto our face. Although this is a very attractive proposition.
The harsh reality is that shift workers need an alarm clock. Without it we would never make it into work on time – if at all!
But it’s important to realise that when your alarm clock goes off – you need to get up straight away. Shift work interferes with your sleep cycle – unquestionably, but hitting the snooze button will only make you feel even worse.
Of course if this is sounding way too hard, then try positioning your alarm clock away from your bed so that you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off! That way there’s less temptation to crawl back under the covers and sneak in that extra bit of snooze time.