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Sleep Quality versus Quantity

New research shows that waking up throughout the night is worse than a shorter slumber. We have been saying that all along.

The QUALITY of sleep is as important as the QUANTITY of sleep.

New research from John Hopkins School of Medicine in the US has found that being woken up throughout the night does more damage to a positive mood than a shorter night’s sleep.

The study published in the journal Sleep examined 62 health subjects who underwent three experimental conditions in an inpatient clinical research suite. They experienced one of the following situations: three consecutive nights of forced awakenings, three consecutive nights of delayed bedtimes or three nights of uninterrupted sleep.

“When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don’t have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration,” said lead study author Patrick Finan. Even though the study was conducted on healthy subjects, Finan said the results are likely to apply to insomnia sufferers.

It’s like the results have an implication for how stress and depression can affect sleep and mood. “It appears that losing slow wave sleep impairs the ability to recover or stabilise positive emotions in response to stressors,” Finan said. “So we should be paying attention to not just the quantity or quality of sleep…but the combination of the two.”

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