Why Interrupted Sleep is Worse than Staying Awake
Researchers found that people who experience frequent interruptions during their sleep were less happy and less energetic the next day than people who went to bed late but were able to sleep continuously for a few hours. Not getting enough sleep may make you grouchy, but you could feel even worse if your sleep is frequently interrupted, compared to if you simply go to bed late. Based on the subjects’ brain waves, the researchers determined that the people whose sleep was interrupted spent less time in deep, slow-wave sleep. The shortage of slow-wave sleep was tied to lower levels of positive mood. And those who were awoken frequently not only felt less energetic, but also less friendly and sympathetic. From the study, people whose sleep is frequently interrupted spend less time in deep sleep — a restorative phase of sleep — than people who go to bed late, the researchers found.
Why we tend not to Sleep Well in a New Place
An explanation for this is that one half of your brain stays more awake than the other. Monitoring the brain activity of research subjects, using advanced brain-imaging techniques. The results showed that during the first night, the left hemisphere of the brain was more active during deep sleep (or “slow-wave sleep”) than the right hemisphere. This difference in brain activity is similar to, though not as drastic as, what is seen in marine mammals that sleep by shutting down just one half of their brain at a time, the researchers said. The study also found that the greater the difference in brain activity between the two hemispheres, the harder it was for a person to fall asleep.
Modern Life has not Stolen Our Sleep
Although it might seem that the glowing lights from smartphones and other trappings of modern life reduce people’s ability to get a decent amount of shut-eye, scientists now suggest that people do not get any less sleep today than they did in prehistoric times.
Tips for Sound Sleep
- Create the mood: light reduces the rate at which the body produces its sleeping aid “Melatonin”
- Keep the bedroom at a comfortable atmospheric pressure and temperature
- Just relax. Right before bed, clear your mind; take a few deep breaths and stretch. If you’re feeling especially stressed, try a warm bath before bed. You may keep a notepad next to your bed, so you can write down whatever pops into your mind when you’re trying to sleep. You can worry about those things tomorrow.
- Don’t have any caffeine or caffeinated food, alcohol and nicotine around bedtime ( for about 6 hours before bed).