Sleep Interruption May be Causing Your Bad Mood


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 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 rest, but no interruptions had a reduction of 12% in their positive mood by the second day.

Lack of Sleep Makes it Hard to Stay Positive

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 sleeping disturbances are mostly harmful to your ability to stay in a positive mood.  

The study focused on people who reported normal resting patterns, but it is likely that these findings would be similar in people who suffered from 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 sleeping cycles affect your ability to feel refreshed and restored after resting.

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

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Kirsten is a writer who loves to practice vipassana meditation, hiking, travel, nature, consciousness, and working to make the world a better place. Her current interests involve studying and practicing flow, staying In Flow, and recognizing the natural flow of the universe. Kirsten loves to learn about the holistic healing arts. She is also interested in ancient cultures and practices such as Druidism. Kirsten is honored to be part of such an incredible movement of love and heart-centered living in this world.

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