Hitting the Snooze Button Feels Good — But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do It

Rear view of young man looking at dawn city scenery in window after waking up.
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What’s not to love about sleeping? It’s free, refreshing and doesn’t require any special skills to master.

In fact, a good snooze can make you feel like you won the lottery.

No wonder so many people sleep like it’s their job.

Alas, all good slumber must come to an end, and waking up can be a real drag.

According to a new survey by the “lifetime insomniacs” at Sleep Junkie, how and what time you wake up may have a direct impact on your relationship satisfaction, happiness and even your income.

Take a look at these results to see how your morning wake-up habits line up with those of others.

Penny for Your Thoughts

Sleep Junkie asked people what they think about when they first wake up. It’s no surprise that money and work topped the list.

People also think about food, health and hygiene, as well as errands they need to run.

Friends and family made the list too — but barely.

Researchers say, “women were three times more likely than men to wake up thinking about their loved ones — 9 percent of women compared to only 3 percent of men.”

Back Away From the Snooze Button

According to the survey, people with partners who repeatedly hit the snooze button report lower overall relationship satisfaction. Indeed, people with the highest relationship satisfaction say their partner never snoozes their alarm.

Sleep is a precious commodity, so it’s understandable that jolting your bed partner awake every nine minutes with a nagging alarm might make your loved one a bit testy with you.

Here’s a related data point for you: Researchers discovered that people who wake up thinking about work and money are less likely to hit the snooze button.

Researchers don’t explain the correlation, but it may have something to do with the way financial stress affects sleep in general.

Get Up Earlier. Seriously.

The survey also took a look at how the time we wake up impacts our lives. Unfortunately, the news isn’t great for people who don’t like getting up with the roosters.

“Both job satisfaction and salary were higher with earlier wake-up times,” researchers say. “The peak salary ($46,000) was associated with a 5 a.m. wake-up time. However, the peak for job satisfaction was at 6 a.m. with an average salary of about $41,000.”

So whether you work to make money or just because you love what you do, the optimal time to get up and get moving is between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Researchers say income and job satisfaction steadily decreased the later people woke up.

Our mental health doesn’t fare much better when we sleep late, either.

“With regards to our respondents who described their mental states as ‘completely healthy,’ the average wake-up time was 6:49 a.m.,” researchers report.

“From there, the self-described ‘mostly mentally healthy’ group woke up at 7:15 a.m. The later the wake-up time, the less healthy our participants felt, with 8:57 a.m. and later contributing to feeling completely unhealthy.”

Sorry, sleepyheads.

In fairness, the wake-up window in this survey was from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. so maybe the results are different for people who get up at 4 a.m. or sleep until noon. (I have no idea, I’m just trying to give those of you who love to sleep in a little hope here).

A Field Report From an Early Riser

I leapt at the chance to write this because I have a long and checkered sleep history. As it turns out, my experience is pretty similar to these results. I, too, wake up thinking about money or work more than I do about food, errands or my husband (sorry, honey!).

And that bit about the snooze button affecting relationships? My husband once repeatedly snoozed his alarm for two hours. He woke up to find me sitting up in bed like this:

I can also attest that getting up at o’dark-thirty positively impacts my mental health and career because I feel like I have more time to get stuff done without rushing around.

If you want to try waking up earlier for a while to see how it affects your life, the internet is filled with advice on how to get used to it.

But remember, a good night’s sleep is more important than what time your alarm goes off, and sleep deprivation is legitimately bad news.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gets up at 4 a.m. because if she doesn’t her cats will eat her face.