The Crazy Way Hitting Snooze Influences Your Dreams

Pretty cool discovery in the world of dreaming.

03/02/2016 3:11 AM AEDT | Updated 03/02/2016 3:11 AM AEDT

If you're a snooze button addict, that's something to work on. The habit can make you feel foggy and unproductive.

One silver lining? You may be prone to having cooler dreams than those who spring out of bed at the alarm's first beep. A study published in the December 2015 issue of the journal Dreaming found that sleepers might increase their odds of experiencing lucid dreams if they hit snooze.

Lucid dreams are the ones in which a person is conscious of their dream state and has more control over the actions in the dream. And according to some research, when you get a hang of lucid dreaming, you can use it to help you break a habit, train for an event or perfect a skill. 

Researchers administered an online retrospective questionnaire to 84 adults, asking about their sleep and dreaming habits. They found a correlation between the number of times the participants hit snooze and their frequency of having lucid dreams.

The survey measured the frequency of the participants' lucid dreams, frequency of alarm clock use, frequency of snooze button use in the morning and the average number of times they woke up each night. Along with uncovering a connection between snooze button usage and these funky dreams, the researchers' analysis revealed a positive relationship between lucid dreaming and the frequency of awakenings per night.

Lucid dreaming is know to occur most often during light REM sleep.The study authors hypothesize that going back to sleep after hurling your alarm clock across the room puts you in the optimal sleep-onset REM period (the transition from wakefulness back to REM sleep) to be able to control your dreams.  

But don't make plans to oversleep tomorrow morning just yet: The study's sample size is incredibly small, and the researchers only found an association between people who hit snooze and lucid dreaming -- they didn't prove that snoozing causes lucid dreaming.

More importantly, hitting the snooze button can screw up your entire day, despite how good those extra minutes in your warm bed may feel. Waking up only to go back to sleep can cause sluggish feelings and "sleep inertia," which is a state of grogginess when parts of your brain are still in a sleep state and aren't ready to perform.

A word to the wise: Dream on, but snooze with caution. 

H/T Research Digest

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