Hitting Snooze on Your Alarm Before a Shoot? Why it's Actually the Worst Thing You Can Do
Good sleep is key to keeping your body functioning normally, but as anyone in the production world can relate to, you're probably not getting much of it before and during a shoot. While everyone's circumstances and experiences are different, movies, especially low-budget films, tend to be crewed with lots of tired and overworked individuals, and the more tired you are, the worse you are going to perform physically and cognitively. If you've been in this situation at one time or another, there's a good chance you've been hitting the snooze button a few times before you actually get up for the day, but this video from AsapSCIENCE explains why it's one of the worst things you can do:
The interrupted sleep cycle is precisely the reason that naps are only recommended in lengths of about 20-30 minutes. If you are one of many who hits the snooze button multiple times, here are some tips from Fast Company to help you improve the situation (there are lots of great links embedded in the quote as well):
Get realistic about your waking: If you set your alarm early to accommodate snoozing, you're going to have a tough time rousing. So set your alarm for when you can actually get up.
Instead of having a set bedtime, have a set wake-up time: It tells your body that it needs to get going at a consistent pace.
If you must snooze, snooze longer: The first snooze alarm clock had a snooze setting of nine-minute intervals. But as sleep fragmentation experts will tell you, your body gets the most benefit from 20 minutes of uninterrupted extra rest.
I'll be the first to say that I'm as guilty of this as anyone, and in very sleep deprived times have resorted to setting 6-8 different alarms, to compensate for all of the ones I'll snooze or dismiss. Sleep is incredibly important for film sets where you can easily harm yourself and others -- even fatally so. Not only is being on set dangerous, but driving to and from a shoot while tired can be the most dangerous thing you do all day. DP Haskell Wexler's documentary Who Needs Sleep? explored this issue and how reasonable turnaround times can prevent unnecessary traffic accidents or even deaths. Plenty of studies have proven that driving drowsy can be worse than driving while intoxicated:
And if you don't believe that old video from ABC, Mythbusters also proved the same in the episode "Arrow Machine Gun":
Although both situations - downing a couple of shots and staying up all night - clearly impaired Tory and Kari's driving skills, causing them to make mistakes and veer out of their lanes, the lack of sleep had more dangerous effects. Compared with cruising around while tipsy, sleep deprivation caused Tory to drive 10 times worse; sleepy Kari's driving was three times more erratic.
Improving your sleep habits can be as simple as not hitting snooze, and that little extra sleep can mean a huge difference in how you perform for the day. While that extra few minutes of sleep between snoozes may seem like a good idea, it actually may be making you that much more tired. Getting solid sleep is important for all humans, so this information obviously doesn't just apply to those working long hours in manual labor jobs like filmmaking.
There are many more links to studies on sleep over on the AsapSCIENCE YouTube video. Check it out below.
[via Fast Company]