Ep. 122 – You Snooze, You Lose

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 122 of The Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

Today Dr. Trayford shares brain training tip 122. The alarm clock wakes you up in the morning and what is the first thing that you do? If your answer is that you push the snooze button, then you might want to rethink that move. Dr. Trayford recommends placing your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Actually as you set a consistent sleep cycle, then you eventually may not need an alarm clock, but if you still do use an alarm clock then getting up when it goes off will ensure that your last few minutes of sleep in the morning aren’t interrupted. Thanks for listening!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

Jason: I do have an idea for the meaning behind this tip.

What’s your interpretation?

Jason: taking those micro-naps during your day, will throw off your sleep rhythm.

Not exactly.

In this tip what we’re talking about today is the snooze button on your alarm clock.

Jason: No I don’t really use the snooze button.

The ultimate thing to keep in mind here is that when you get into good reliable sleep cycles and sleep patterns. We rely on them during the day, we have reproducible sleep and waking times, it develops really good sleep hygiene patterns. Some people can even get to the point where they are waking themselves up on the same time, consistently. So for them an alarm clock really isn’t even necessary.

Most people use an alarm clock. There are bad ways to use an alarm clock and there are effective ways to use an alarm clock. This tip is about resisting the urge to hit the snooze bar. One way to do that is to simply put the alarm clock across the room. My alarm clock is probably 15 feet from my bed, just so I can’t roll over and turn it off to go back to sleep.

Hitting the snooze bar does you no good. You simply aren’t going to get any kind of quality sleep in the 10 or 15 minutes between the alarms going off. Hitting the snooze bar also disrupts your stress responses first thing in the morning.

Our cortisol levels start to spike prematurely in the morning. You end up feeling groggy and sluggish in the morning when you’re not getting into that deep REM sleep. As we’ve talked about in the past, it’s a matter of quantity and quality. That extra little quantity of sleep you get in the morning is simply not going to have any quality associated with it.

Along the lines of waking. If you have a loud and annoying alarm clock, it also increases your stress response first thing in the morning. Ideally, you want an alarm clock that gradually increases in volume and is set to a pleasant radio station.

Don’t hit the snooze button, try to focus on establishing a consistent, healthy sleep cycle and someday you might find that you don’t even need an alarm clock.

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