It is quite clear why after a few hours of sleep at night, we wake up in the morning tired. However, many ask what happens when we go to bed on time and provide our body with the necessary eight hours of sleep and still wake up tired. Experts have cited one reason that may be the answer to this.
The National Health Service (NHS) recently found that one in three people who suffer from sleep deprivation is due to stress, overwork or focusing on different screens, such as computers, cell phones or televisions.
However, what actually causes fatigue, even when we give the body the necessary rest, can be something completely different and that is the inertia of sleep.
What is the inertia of sleep
The answer to this question was provided by sleep expert Natalie Pennicotte Collier, who explained that although we think not much happens when we put our head on the pillow, the situation is actually different. We then go through four stages of sleep that make up a sleep cycle: wakefulness, light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep (also known as the dream phase).
“It’s useful to evolve your sleep patterns from counting the hours to what they really are – a sleep cycle dance. “Sleep cycles last an average of 90 minutes and no two are the same, but each plays a different role,” she said.
In the first part of the night – Natalie explains – we experience a slow wave of sleep and less REM sleep, which only follows as the night progresses.
Since each stage of sleep has a different effect on the activity of our brain, it is logical that if we wake up in the wrong stage of sleep, our brain may be left behind by our body, which makes us feel disoriented and tired. .
This is called sleep inertia, which The Sleep Charity describes as a “feeling of tiredness after waking up” because we are still asleep. It usually takes about five to 30 minutes, but can also last from two to four hours.
Can we prevent the inertia of sleep
Experts say this is possible. By exercising when we need to wake up, it is possible to determine how many sleep cycles we will fit in and it is important to aim to wake up at the end of a full cycle, which will leave us refreshed and ready for a day off. re.
As for how to do it, we need a sleep calculator, which can help us know our cycles, but also how to use them to fight fatigue during the day.
“The best way to avoid the inertia of sleep is to maintain consistency and focus on five full 90-minute sleep cycles. “Start counting down from the moment you have to wake up and plan your new bedtime,” advises Natalie.
To avoid the inertia of sleep, the expert points out that it is better to wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, aiming to have at least five full cycles (about 7.5 hours).
It is also equally important to stick to a sleep routine, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time, whether it is a day of the week or a weekend.
Experts also advise that such changes and adaptation of the body to the new routine be patient, as results, as for anything else, are impossible to achieve overnight.