Why You Should Rethink Your Alarm Clock

If you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, you might want to rethink hitting the snooze button. According to experts at Mindbodygreen, snoozing your alarm for an extra 10 minutes or so of sleep can actually cause more harm than good. That's because this is not enough time for you to really fall back asleep or at least slip into some of the deeper stages of sleep, like REM sleep.

As a result, your second alarm can suddenly jolt you awake again, which can make you feel even more tired by the time you actually get out of bed. Dr. Ellen Vora, a holistic psychiatrist in New York City, told Mindbodygreen that "nobody wins" when you snooze your alarm because you're not getting the quality of rest you need to have a more relaxed and enjoyable morning. However, if you've become too reliant on your alarm clock's snooze button, you might want to try using a different alarm tone.

Choose a more gentle alarm sound

If you're prone to smashing your alarm clock as soon as it goes off, you should try picking a gentler sound. While it might seem like having a loud and unpleasant alarm would be more effective at helping you wake up in the morning, harsh and jarring sounds can sometimes backfire, causing you to instinctively shut off your alarm or hit the snooze button (via Wirecutter).

That's why Dr. W. Christopher Winter, the president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, recommends choosing a more gentle and soothing sound, like chirping, or even one that slowly increases in volume. These types of sounds allow you to more gradually wake up and become conscious.

Believe it or not, using light may also help you ease into a state of wakefulness. Whether it's morning sunlight or artificial light from a lamp (or a sunrise alarm clock), being exposed to light just as your alarm is going off can help make it easier for you to effectively wake up in the morning.