You probably think that getting no sleep at all is the most damaging thing, but, as it turns out, gaps in your sleep are worse than no sleep at all.
- Scientists have yet to determine what kind of sleep is worst for us
- The new study compares interrupted sleep and little sleep
- Your mood is affected the most
I remember an episode from Seinfeld where Kramer decides to adopt what he calls the Da Vinci method of sleep. It’s called polyphasic sleep and it means that you should sleep multiple times in 24 hours. Of course, he fails miserably, getting something like 3 hours of sleep in two days, which causes him to fall asleep while talking to Jerry, to everyone’s amusement.
However, the new study conducted on sleep says there’s nothing funny about sleep deprivation, because it actually gives you a bad mood. First of all, scientists have tried to determine what kind of sleep is worst for us: sleeping only a few hours, but sleeping normally, or going to sleep very late and only getting a small amount of sleep.
It’s possible we now know. 62 men and women, all of which are completely healthy and are good sleepers have participated in the study. Three days and three nights were spent in a lab where they were questioned about their mood before actually going to sleep. They were separated into three groups: group number one was not allowed to sleep early, and awoken after just a few hours, the second group was awoken at regular intervals during the night, and the third group was a control group, allowed to sleep normally.
It was clear after the first night, upon analysis by the scientists, that the first and second group had worse moods that the control group. The following nights, the ones who got interrupted continued to have bad moods, which even worsened at some point, while the short sleepers maintained the same mood. It was indeed, bad, but it didn’t get worse as for the interrupted ones.
The study also showed that stress and depression play an important part in bad sleep as well. The lead author of the study says it is very important that studies continue to be done, so that we can know for sure how depression is linked to bad sleep, be it short sleep or interrupted sleep.
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