NHS doctor reveals energy-zapping mistakes

AN NHS doctor has revealed the three mistakes you are making in the morning that are making you more tired.

It includes hitting the snooze button, which only makes it harder for you to get up and keeps you sleepy for several hours once you do.


Do you have a habit of pressing snooze every morning?Credit: TikTok @dr.karanr
It could be making you more tired


It could be making you more tiredCredit: TikTok @dr.karanr

Dr Karan Rangarjan, an NHS surgical doctor and lecturer at Sunderland University, said “snoozing” tells your brain that it’s OK to get back into sleep mode.

The doc, who has become a TikTok sensation, regularly gives tips on how to get a better night’s sleep among other health hacks.

He has garnered more than 200 million likes on his videos giving bite-sized health knowledge.

Dr Raj told his 4.1 million followers: “Three mistakes you make every morning… You press the snooze button. 

“This convinces your body you’re entering another sleep cycle causing it to release more hormones that induce sleep.

“When you do get out of bed your body is full of sleep chemicals that keep you tired for up to four hours.”

Before you wake up in the morning, you’re usually at the end of REM sleep (AKA dreamy sleep).

If you hit the snooze button, you might end up back in REM sleep, and the next time your alarm goes off 10-15 minutes later, you are disoriented.

“The start of the sleep cycle is not a good time for being jolted awake by your alarm again,” experts at the Sleep Clinic Services said.

“In fact, you’ll end up feeling like you’ve had a really bad night’s sleep. Even though you slept like a baby.”

Many people choose to set an alarm knowing they will snooze it for around an hour before the time they have to get up, say between 6am and 7am.

But science suggests they’ll feel more refreshed by setting the alarm for 7am and getting straight up, gaining an hour of uninterrupted sleep. 

James Wilson, AKA The Sleep Geek and co-founder of Beingwell, said of “snooze button syndrome”: “This leaves people feeling lethargic for hours after they wake, and makes the waking up experience pretty horrible.

“A great solution is a sunshine alarm clock, this rises like the sun and pulls the body out of a sleep state into a state of wakefulness in a more natural way. Even if you still need an alarm it makes it less likely that you will hit the snooze button.”

Checking your phone

Dr Raj said: “When you wake up your brain gradually increases your alertness, going from delta to theta to alpha brain wave activity.

“Checking your phone skips the theta and alpha thus putting you on edge.”

Brain waves are on a spectrum of fast and slow, putting you in alert or sleepy/relaxed states.

While delta is the most deeply relaxed and asleep, alpha are more dominant when you are sitting quietly relaxed. 

Looking at your phone as soon as you wake up can "put you on edge" as it skips slow moving brain waves, Dr Raj said


Looking at your phone as soon as you wake up can “put you on edge” as it skips slow moving brain waves, Dr Raj saidCredit: TikTok @dr.karanr

At the top are gamma waves, produced by the brain when you’re focusing or fully engaged in activity.

Dr Raj suggests that it is dangerous to skip the stages between delta and gamma, taking you from intense relaxation to instant focus on your phone.

On top of this, you could start your day with stress about work or relationships or in an unproductive, distracted mood.

Kiran Bhondi, founder of wellness-focused start- OsenaLondon, told The Sun: “As tempting as it is to catch up on any notifications you missed overnight (probably not actually that many), it’s important you reduce screen time wherever possible, otherwise you’ll find yourself at the hands of demands from other people, which can be really stressful when you’ve not had some you time.”

Drinking coffee too early

Dr Raj said “maximum cortisol levels is produced between 8-9am which naturally wakes you up”.

Therefore, he said: “Drinking coffee between these times means you’re not getting the most out of the caffeine’s stimulatory effect.

“Instead, save it for when your cortisol dips,” Dr Raj said, pointing to a graph that suggests our peak tiredness hits at noon.

Blood levels of cortisol, a hormone, vary throughout the day, but generally are highest around an hour after we wake up.

Dr Raj suggests keeping your coffee till noon


Dr Raj suggests keeping your coffee till noonCredit: TikTok @dr.karanr

If you drink coffee regularly in the morning, your body may start depending on it rather than letting cortisol do its job – and that’s where caffeine dependence kicks in.

But experts also warn against drinking coffee past lunch time, as this could prevent you getting to sleep that night.

Dr Raj has previously revealed how to work out the exact time you should go to sleep in order to wake up feeling refreshed.

He has advised against ever sleeping on your front – as this could be the cause of neck and back pain – and that couples should never go to bed at the same time.

Followers also loved his “10-3-2-1” trick for helping you nod off easier at night.

Sleeping on your front is bad for your health, expert warns – as he reveals side sleeping will stop back and neck ache


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