Reaping the benefits of sleep means sleeping without interruptions, according to a new research conducted at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The power of a good night sleep is restorative. Not only for our body, but for our mind as well. Following our circadian rhythm, setting aside all possible distractions and following the course of a healthy sleep has significant impacts on our positive mood. The John Hopkins research looks at how different sleeping patterns may affect our mood, without necessarily translating into more complex mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Drawing on previous research linking a healthy night’s sleep with a lower incidence of mood disorders and cognitive capacity, Ph.D. Patrick Finan and colleagues conducted a small-scale study including 62 participants.
Patrick Finan is an assistant professor of behavioral sciences and psychiatry with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The 62 participants, both female and male had no sleep disorders or medical issues. Randomly assigned to one of three groups, the participants had to experiment different sleeping patterns throughout a three-night experiment.
Under laboratory conditions, all three groups were monitored throughout the span of the study. Before bedtime and after waking up, the research recorded their mood, taking into account both negative and positive scales.
One of the groups, also acting as the control group enjoyed a healthy, uninterrupted sleep for each of the three night. A second group was forced to change bedtime hours. Thus, their sleep span shortened, with bedtimes being pushed later in the night. Participants in the third group were awaken several times during their sleep.
The results of the study, published in the Sleep journal show that reaping the benefits of sleep means sleeping without interruptions. After recording the mood of participants in each group, the research team concluded that following the first day of the experiment, short-sleepers and participants whose sleep was interrupted several times fared similarly in regards to positive mood.
For both groups, a significant decline in positive mood was registered after the first part of the study. However, following the second part, participants whose sleep was interrupted fared even lower. The second group’s positive mood didn’t vary much compared to the first part of the study.
Being a short-term research, the results indicate that interrupted sleep impacted positive mood, without necessarily increasing negative feelings throughout. However, if such a rhythm is maintained for a longer period of time it may lead to serious mood disorders.
As is the case with insomniacs for instance. Skipping sleep stages and sleeping in fits, they cannot experience restorative sleep. Insomnia affects approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia
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