If you're getting jolted awake in the middle of the night, it's not going to go well for you the next day.
A new study finds that there’s something worse than not getting enough sleep at night.
If your sleep gets interrupted in the middle of the night, it’s worse for your mood than not getting enough sleep, period, according to an Independent report.
A research team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore examined 62 individuals, splitting them into three groups, with one group awakened during sleep, one group going to bed late, and one group getting a regular, uninterrupted sleep. They published their findings in the journal Sleep.
The study took three days, and the findings were interesting: those who get woken up in the middle of the night had a lowered mood but still a positive one, but on the second night, there was a positive mood reduction of 31 percent.
Those who got less sleep because they went to bed later, on the other hand, had a 12 percent drop in positive mood on the second night.
Scientists believe that this is because those who get interrupted while sleeping aren’t able to have the long periods of deep sleep that researchers believe is critical to proper rest. Those who get less sleep may also get less deep sleep, but they still get more than those who are interrupted during the night, as the body must once again descend all over again into that deep sleep mode.
Patrick Finan, who is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Johns Hopkins, said that when sleep is disrupted in the middle of 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.”
It’s an important finding that reinforces scientists’ beliefs about what constitutes proper sleep. A good night’s sleep has important health benefits, and not getting enough deep sleep has been tied to mood problems and other health issues.