Hitting snooze might feel like more sleep, but it's disrupting the restorative part your body needs

Getting out of bed can be a real drag, especially on a cold morning. And if you're like many people, hitting the snooze button once or twice might be part of your morning wake-up routine, allowing you a few morning minutes in your warm bed. 

But according to Dr. Reena Mehra, a sleep expert at Cleveland Clinic, all that snoozing isn't helping your body get the restorative sleep it needs.

"The latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep. And so, if you're hitting the snooze button, then you're disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep," she says. 

Dr. Mehra says we have different arousal thresholds during different stages of sleep. 

If we're disrupting late stage REM sleep it can cause a 'fight or flight' response, which increases our blood pressure and heartbeat. 

Dr. Mehra says the short period of sleep we get in between hitting snooze, five or ten minutes at a time, is not restorative sleep. She adds that some people become conditioned to hitting snooze and actually get used to it.

However, if a person feels the need to hit snooze again and again, it's an indicator that they're either not getting enough quality sleep or that they might have an underlying sleep disorder.

Dr. Mehra says if you find yourself hitting snooze a lot, it's time to take a look at your sleep habits.

Just make sure you're getting seven to eight hours of sufficient sleep and good quality sleep. And if that's happening, and someone still feels the need to hit that snooze button, then they should probably see their physician to make sure there's no undiagnosed sleep disorder that could be contributing to that.

Dr. Mehra says the best way to de-condition yourself from hitting snooze every morning is to make sleep a priority. 

That means go to bed earlier, also don't keep the alarm on your nightstand, don't have it in arms' reach. Make it so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. 

Also try and use light to your advantage to help you wake up. Or even set the coffee to start brewing so your nose will help you wake up. Use all those senses.