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Sleep Study shows sleep more Debilitating than Deprivation – like being drunk

.January 10th 2006

Sleep Study shows sleep more Debilitating than Deprivation – like being drunk

Mysteries of sleep

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 intoxication”. 

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 drinking.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM