How to use the snooze button

Really wake up | Is the alarm snooze function unhealthy?

Almost everyone who has to get up early uses the snooze function, whether it's that of their electric alarm clock or on their mobile phone. After the first ring, turn around again for a few minutes ...

The persistent opinion is that this way of being awakened not only makes it difficult to get up, it is even unhealthy.

▶ ︎ BILD has asked sleep specialist Dr. Michael Feld asked if that was true and how we can get out of bed better in the morning.

"Being woken up is crap in itself"

BILD: How useful is the snooze button?

Dr. Michael Feld:“In principle, you have to say: being woken up is crap in itself. Not waking up naturally and being woken up by an alarm clock is always stupid. That is the main message: It doesn't really matter whether I get up by the one-off ringing of the alarm clock or press the snooze button three, four or five times. "

Why is that?

Field: “You have to get up anyway, it's often too early. Sleep in Germany has now reached an average of six to seven hours, but most people need seven to eight hours of sleep a day. That is the problem, and whether I end my sleep that was too short in the morning, although I actually want to or have to go back to sleep, or whether I latently fragment my sleep with the snooze function, makes little difference.

Contrary to what you might think ...

Field: “Yes, but that has an explainable biological reason: If you were to be woken up by snooze or whatever in the so-called deep sleep phases, that would be really counterproductive. Because there we are difficult to wake up. And once you wake up in this phase, it is difficult to get back to sleep. But towards morning there is almost no deep sleep anymore, there is only light sleep and REM sleep, in which the dream phases are. In these two phases of sleep, the wake-up threshold is relatively low anyway. The being woken up is not so dramatic in itself. It may feel dramatic to the individual, but biologically it's not that bad. "

"It doesn't matter in terms of sleep medicine"

So the all-clear for all snoozers?

Field: “From my point of view, I cannot understand the statement that the snooze function is unhealthy or dangerous. In terms of sleep medicine, it does not matter whether you stand up straight away or press the snooze button several times. Because being woken up in the light sleep phases happens relatively often anyway, even by itself. This is also an argument against so-called sleep phase alarm clocks, which promise to measure the phases and not to wake people from deep sleep phases. These alarm clocks are basically a scam, because the deep sleep phase is usually in the first half of the night and long past when we let ourselves be woken up. "

Are there better alarm clocks?

Field:“The only things that really bring something are so-called light alarm clocks that simulate bright daylight. They slowly go up to the desired wake-up time and simulate the morning sun. This actually helps with getting up. In addition, you should make waking up as pleasant as possible. For example with music that you like. Being scared out of sleep with a siren alarm doesn't make getting up easier, it makes it harder. "

When is the best time to wake up?

Field: "As soon as you fall asleep. If I don't take enough time to sleep, then I'm always tired in the morning. If you only sleep four hours instead of the seven or eight hours you actually need, you will never wake up well in the morning, no matter how you wake yourself up. "

Tips to get a good sleep

What is the best way to fall asleep?

Field: “You should allow at least an hour between your last activity and falling asleep so that your body can slowly shut down. Then the following applies: No more bright lights, no more heavy meals and the last sport should even have taken place a maximum of two hours before going to bed. To do this, make the bedroom dark, quiet and cool - these are the tricks for falling asleep well. "

Can aids such as medication be used?

Field: “You can try light, over-the-counter remedies for a while - lavender, hops, lemon balm - but not longer than four to six weeks at a time. If you still have sleep problems, you should definitely see a doctor. "