In Defense of the Snooze Button

Wake Up WeekThis week, we’re looking at what it really means to have the “perfect” morning, whether you start your day like a Soylent-chugging Silicon Valley CEO, or by rolling out of bed and straight out the door. Rise and shine.  

Everyone wakes up differently, but most people agree that the snooze button is bad. But I would like you to consider a different opinion. I would like you to consider that the snooze button is good.

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People may say “you snooze, you lose,” but people like saying things that rhyme. (Try “you slumber, cucumber” if you don’t believe me.) Waking up is terrible. Getting up is even worse. The idea that you should be subjected to something terrible (waking up) and then immediately take part in something even worse (getting up) with no buffer in between is madness. I don’t care if I’m “messing with my body’s natural wake mechanisms”; getting up with my first alarm makes me sad, and letting myself hit “snooze” for half an hour makes me—if not happy—much less sad. (If you are a morning person who can’t relate to this, great! I’m happy for you!)

I am a delicate house plant that has to seep into the morning. (I leave my white noise maker on for a full hour after I rise so as not to be overstimulated.) For people like me, the snooze button is a gift. It allows you to sleep a little more, yes, but it also lets you mentally prepare yourself for the day. From the comfort of your bed, you can map out your morning, letting yourself drift in and out of light slumber every nine minutes, until you are finally ready to face an existence you didn’t ask for. (No one asks to be born.)

This should be fairly obvious, but key to successful snoozing is setting your alarm at least half an hour earlier than the time you need to physically get out of bed, as snoozing past “get up time” sets you up for a stressful and frazzled morning, and we’re trying to avoid frazzles. In between that first alarm and “get up time,” your time is your own. You can listen to a pleasant song or podcast, cuddle a pet or person, have sex (or masturbate), or meditate. You could also enjoy those extra few minutes of sleep, and refuse to feel bad about enjoying those extra minutes of sleep, no matter how loudly society yells at you. (You can’t hear society. You’re asleep.)

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