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Interrupted Sleep Worse For Mood Than Reduced Sleep

Update Date: Nov 03, 2015 11:39 AM EST

If you wake up many times through the night, then you tend to be more grumpy and irritable than if you have continuous and undisturbed sleep, says a new study, according to healthsite.

"When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you do not 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," said study lead author Patrick Finan from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The scientists studied 62 normal men and women and made them go through "three sleep experimental conditions". They had to be subjected to three uninterrupted nights of maybe "forced awakenings, delayed bedtimes or uninterrupted sleep", according to ndtv.

The subjects recorded their fluctuating and diverse positive and negative emotions, ranging from cheerfulness to anger.

Those subjects who went through eight forced awakenings, as well as those whose bedtimes were postponed exhibited a first low positive mood. Then, after the first night, their moods became "high negative", according to a mood assessment questionnaire that was given to them before they went to sleep.

After the second night, scientists found that the forced awakening group showed a reduction of 31 per cent in their positive moods, according to ndtv, while the delayed bedtime group showed a reduction of 12 per cent compared to the first day.

No marked differences were found in the negative mood between the three teams on any of the three days. Hence, fitful sleep harms the mood quite heavily.

It is thus obvious that those who suffer from insomnia tend to sleep in "fits and starts" all night, without the healing, restorative sleep that is needed, said Finan.

The study appeared in the journal Sleep.

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