Sleep Study shows sleep more Debilitating than
Deprivation – like being drunk
If you feel groggy in the morning you are not alone. Researchers at the
University of Colorado in Boulder found that sleep causes a loss of
cognitive abilities immediately after waking. Lead author and assistant
Professor Kenneth Wright compares the sleep effect to “alcohol
The Colorado researchers call the grogginess “sleep inertia.” There
were eight men and one woman included in the study, with an average age
of 29. For three weeks they all got 8 hours of nightly sleep at home.
Next participants spent a week of sleep in a sleep lab.
All of the participants avoided alcohol, medications, nicotine,
recreational drugs, and caffeine. During the days they spent some of
their time adding double-digit numbers together.
After the sixth night in the sleep lab the participants were required to
take the addition test immediately after awaking. Then they were
required to stay awake for 26 hours straight, at which time they were
given the math quiz again.
The researchers found that their math skills were better after staying
awake for 26 hours than they were immediately after 8 hours of sleep.
According to the University Press release “These were very healthy
people who had performed the test hundreds of times, making the results
even more profound.”
The full text of the study appears in the Jan. 11 issue of the Journal
of the American Medical Association. Study authors included Wright and
Adam Wertz of CU-Boulder's integrative physiology department and Joseph
Ronda and Charles Czeisler of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston,
which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
The researchers believe this is the first study to quantify “the effects
of sleep inertia”. So now you know that you are not the only person
that feels “legally drunk” in the morning even though you were not
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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