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Hitting the snooze button won't hurt your health, new sleep research finds

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If you snooze, you lose? Maybe not, according to new research looking at the health impacts of hitting your alarm's snooze button.

The research, published Wednesday in the Journal of Sleep Research, found no evidence that snoozing past your morning alarm has negative effects on sleep and cognitive processes. Instead, snoozing may actually help regular snoozers' waking process.

The research included two studies. The first observed the waking habits of 1,732 adults, 69% of whom reported using the snooze function or setting multiple alarms as least some of the time. 

In this group, snoozing ranged from 1 to 180 minutes, with an average of 22 minutes spent snoozing per morning. Researchers also found snoozers tended to be younger than non-snoozers and identified themselves as evening types more than morning people.

The second study focused on the sleeping and waking patterns of 31 regular snoozers. After 30 minutes of snoozing, researchers found this group lost about 6 minutes of sleep but did not find clear effects on stress hormone levels, morning tiredness, mood or overnight sleep quality. For some, the snoozing also improved cognitive performance once awake, as compared to waking up immediately. 

"The findings indicate that there is no reason to stop snoozing in the morning if you enjoy it, at least not for snooze times around 30 minutes. In fact, it may even help those with morning drowsiness to be slightly more awake once they get up," author Tina Sundelin of Stockholm University said in a news release

While these studies found a certain amount of snoozing is OK for your health, previous research tells us that not getting enough consistent sleep in general can have serious health consequences

According to research from the American College of Cardiology, released earlier this year, getting the right amount of good sleep each night can play a role in heart and overall health, which could in turn add years to your life. The data also suggests that about 8% of deaths could be attributed to poor sleep patterns.

"Certainly all of us... have those nights where we might be staying up late doing something or stressed out about the next day," Dr. Frank Qian, co-author of that study, told CBS News at the time. "If that's a fairly limited number of days a week where that's happening, it seems like that's OK, but if it's occurring more frequently then that's where we run into problems."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans don't get enough sleep on a regular basis.

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