by Jen Jenkins, Market Analyst
A new study divulged in the journal Sleep is one of the first to compare two types of sleep – uninterrupted sleep and abbreviated sleep. Patrick Finan, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, conducted this study alongside colleagues. A group of 62 men and women, all labeled as both “healthy” and “good” sleepers, were tested in a sleep lab for three consecutive days and nights to determine how different types of sleep positively or negatively affected their moods. They were randomly assigned to 3 different groups: one third of the group acted as the control group and enjoyed uninterrupted sleep; another third went to sleep much later than the other groups but once asleep were not woken up; and the last group went to sleep at the same time as the second group, but were woken up several times during the night. Finan monitored the brain patterns of each group and found that the group that was woken up frequently throughout the night lacked the deep sleep that normally has us feeling rested upon waking. As a result, this group also had a significant drop in positive mood.
Overall, the interrupted and abbreviated sleepers both showed drops in positive mood after the first night compared to the control group. However, the following nights had the interrupted sleepers reporting positive feelings continuing to decline whereas the short sleepers felt about the same as the first night. Keep in mind that these two groups got the same amount of sleep, they just experienced it differently, one consecutively and the other broken up. Finan was keen to show that since we already know lack of sleep can alter a person’s mood, we should now be focusing more granularly on the relationship between the two and how the quantity and quality of each is uniquely related to how a person feels.
For a more in depth look at this study click here.