Interrupted sleep is worse than staying up late, study shows

Thursday, December 10, 2015 by

A study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine has found that it is actually better to sleep for a shorter, uninterrupted time than to have interrupted sleep over a longer period.

Not only will you feel less rested from fitful sleep, you’re more likely to be cranky, as well.

The researchers studied 62 men and women for three nights and subjected them to one of three sleep trials; forced awakening, delayed bedtime or uninterrupted sleep.

The forced awakening group suffered eight awakenings throughout the night. The first night, the delayed sleep and interrupted sleep groups were quite similar, but that changed on the second day. Based on mood assessment, the forced awakening group had a 31% reduction in positive moods, while the delayed bedtime group only saw a 12% decline for day two.

Patrick Finan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, says, “When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don’t have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration.”

Dr. Finan states that this shows the effects of sleep deprivation are cumulative, no matter what form the deprivation may take.



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