Hitting the snooze button? You’re far from alone, study shows

A study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame is painting a clearer picture of our tendency to hit the snooze button — and if you delayed getting out of bed this morning, you’re certainly not alone.

The study, published in the journal SLEEP, found that 57 percent of the participants were habitual snoozers. While scientists and medical professionals have long advised against it, the act of snoozing — how often and why we do it — remains virtually unstudied.

“Most of what we know about snoozing is taken from data on sleep, stress or related behaviors,” said Stephen Mattingly, lead author of the study who conducted the research while a postdoctoral researcher at Notre Dame, with Aaron Striegel, professor of computer science and engineering at Notre Dame. “Alarm clocks, smartphones, they all have snooze buttons. The medical establishment is generally against the use of snoozing, but when we went to look at what hard data existed, there was none. We now have the data to prove just how common it is — and there is still so much that we do not know.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep. The findings of the study suggest snoozing may be how some battle their exhaustion.

“So many people are snoozing because so many people are chronically tired,” Mattingly said. “If only 1 in 3 people are sleeping adequately, that means a lot of us are turning to other means to manage fatigue.”

The study surveyed 450 adults with full-time, salaried employment. Participants completed daily surveys and a questionnaire. Data collected from wearable devices measured sleep duration and heart rate. According to the study, females were 50 percent more likely to snooze than males. Snoozers tracked fewer steps than other respondents and experienced more disturbances during sleeping hours.

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