In an ideal world, SNOOZE buttons and even alarm clocks wouldn't exist: We'd all sleep seven to eight hours a night—the amount experts recommend getting to prevent serious health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension and more—and wake up feeling naturally refreshed and alert. The reality: Many of us fall short on sack time (nearly 60 percent of SELF readers reported logging less than seven to eight hours a night in a recent survey, and 15 percent said they got by on a measly six hours or less), so chances are, we feel groggy and confused and we crave more shut-eye when the alarm starts blaring.
On the flip side, bingeing on sleep to catch up on missed zzz's can throw off your circadian rhythm, your body's 24-hour clock that plays a role in sleep and wakefulness, says Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., author of The Woman's Book of Sleep. Sleeping in—and hitting the hay that night later than usual as a result—also makes it hard to readjust to your usual routine, so you start the next morning in a fog.
So is it ever a good idea to ignore your alarm clock? Experts say yes! (And I say, Phew!) Here are three times you have the green light to hit SNOOZE:
- You've racked up serious sleep debt
- Your schedule looks brutal
- You're run down and choosing between sleep and exercise