Interrupting Your Sleep Cycle Is Bad For Your Mood

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By Kirsten Cowart

Having interrupted sleep where you wake up several times a night is more likely to put you in a bad mood than when you sleep for an uninterrupted, shorter period of time, according to a new study.

“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,” said lead author and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Patrick Finan from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

This study included 62 healthy women and men who assessed their mood over the space of three consecutive days. 2 groups of test subjects were formed where one group would go to bed later and have no interruptions in their sleep and the other would have a normal bedtime with multiple forced awakenings.

After the first day, the findings for both groups were nearly the same – they had equal amounts of high moods and low moods. However, after the second night, things began to change.  

When compared to the first day, those who were forced to awaken multiple times during the night had a 31% reduction in their positive mood by the second day.  Those who got less sleep, but no interruptions had a reduction of 12% in their positive mood by the second day.  

According to the three day study, there was no significant difference in negative moods because of sleep patterns, which leads the researchers to believe that sleep disturbances are mostly harmful to your ability to stay in a positive mood.  

The study focused on people who reported normal sleep patterns, but it is likely that these findings would be similar in people who suffered from sleep apnea or insomnia too.  

Both of these issues can cause one to have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep long enough to get the full benefits of the deeper sleep cycles. Around 10% of US adults suffer from insomnia.  

“Many individuals with insomnia achieve sleep in fits and starts throughout the night and they don’t have the experience of restorative sleep,” Finan said in the university news release.

Having a poor mood is very common in people who suffer from insomnia, according to Finan. He said that additional research is needed to see how the various sleep cycles affect your ability to feel refreshed and restored after sleeping.

Do you feel restored and refreshed after you sleep at night? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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