what is it and how to avoid it?


A 2006 Harvard University study described sleep inertia as “a deterioration in cognitive function that occurs immediately upon waking and subsides within tens of minutes.” That is, this phenomenon is similar to mental fog, which makes it difficult to start daily activities within 15 minutes, although for some people it may take longer.

And it is true that some sleep experts recommend a 20-minute nap first thing during the day and in quiet places without light, because this rest improves digestion, metabolism, memory and mood, increases energy and performance, reduces stress and fatigue, It is also true that too much sleep can exacerbate the problems of nighttime insomnia, the risk of diabetes, anxiety or obesity and cause dizziness and disorientation due to sleep inertiaas explained by the head of neurophysiology at the Vinalopo University Hospital (Elche) Nochemi Rodriguez and the head of the neurophysiology service at the Ribera Povisa Hospital (Vigo) Dr. Aranzasu García Peña.

In this regard, Dr. Rodriguez explains that daytime sleep improves digestion and metabolism because our body relaxes and focuses on digesting food, although it is recommended not to sleep immediately after eating to avoid reflux and increased stomach acid. In addition to boosting energy to relieve the feeling of tiredness after the first half of the day, Vinalopó’s specialist also highlights how daytime sleep helps to improve mood, because the body releases endorphins, “happiness hormones” that “create a state of well-being.” -to be and improve the mood and spirit of people.

However, Dr. Garcia Peña notes that there are people who choose not to take a nap because it affects their nighttime sleep or doesn’t “feel” them well. “Sometimes, daytime naps can have negative effects, such as increased drowsiness, feeling dizzy, and some disorientation upon waking up. And there are people who, if they suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia, taking naps can further interfere with their nightly sleep.” In addition, he assures, “sleep during the day has been observed to be associated with an increase in certain diseases, such as type II diabetes.”

In this regard, Vinalopó notes that the negative impact of daytime sleep on certain profiles is that sleep inertia which usually accompanies sleep of more than 30 minutes, “because it gives the body enough time to fall into deep slow wave sleep, which makes us feel overwhelmed when we wake up.” However, as far as interfering with nocturnal sleep, Dr. Rodriguez says short naps should not affect us unless there is a problem with insomnia or poor sleep quality.

sleeping mode

Both experts also explain that sleep patterns are not the same for all ages, but rather that sleep characteristics change both in terms of total sleep time each night and in terms of the length of each sleep phase. with the distribution of sleep throughout the day.

Thus, the number of hours we sleep each day decreases throughout our lives. So, if children under 12 months need to sleep from 12 to 16 hours every 24 hours; children from 1 to 2 years old need 11 to 14 hours, including daytime sleep; children from 3 to 5 years from 10 to 13 hours, including daytime sleep; from 6 to 12, from 9 to 12 hours; from 13 to 18 years old from 8 to 10 hours; and adults, between 7 and 8 am.

They also warn that it is just as bad to sleep too little or too much. “Poor and poor sleep is associated with poor cognition, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, increased anxiety, irritability, fatigue, low self-esteem, decreased libido, increased daytime sleepiness, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease” explains the first.

Lack of sleep can also increase the risk of diabetes, anxiety, or obesity due to impaired glucose metabolism, increased appetite, and decreased energy expenditure. Instead, a lot of sleep “may be a sign of a sleep disorder, associated with conditions such as narcolepsy or mental health problems, excessive drinking, and certain drugs.”

How to avoid sleep inertia?

* Correct and orderly sleep.

* expose yourself to light immediately after waking up.

* Drinking plenty of water and a good breakfast can help your metabolism and thus wake up quickly.

* Use relaxing music for sleep, as some research suggests this habit can help reduce sleep inertia.

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