Disturbed sleep is more harmful to you than lack of sleep
- Dr. Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi |
- Updated: Oct 31, 2015 21:55 IST
Waking up several times during the night makes you far more grumpy and depressed than not getting enough sleep./ (Shutterstock)
Not getting enough sleep can do more than just leave you feeling tired. It affects memory, concentration and your ability to deal with the world, making it tough for you to negotiate social situations. It makes you unsympathetic, short tempered and over time, depressed.
New research this week shows that disrupted sleep can affect your mood and behaviour as much as chronic sleeplessness. Waking up several times during the night makes you far more grumpy and depressed than not getting enough sleep, with fitful sleep making people less energetic, unfriendly and depressed the next day than people who slept late, reported researchers in the journal Sleep. Sleep disruptions shorten the periods of deep, slow-wave restorative sleep needed for the brain to feel calm and rested, the study found.
Waking up several times during the night makes you far more grumpy and depressed than not getting enough sleep, with fitful sleep making people less energetic, unfriendly and depressed the next day than people who slept late. (Shutterstock)
Building block of cell growth
Sleepless nights short-circuit a fundamental cellular process that drives physical growth, physiological adaptation and brain activity. The study, published in the journal,Plant Celllast month, found that protein synthesis – needed for cell renewal and growth -- activity not only changed through of the day, but also did so under the influence of circadian rhythms, the body’s internal sleep-wake cycle that tells you when to sleep and when to get up.Read: We sleep better and faster with ageSince muscle action, brain activity, growth and development are controlled by proteins whose synthesis is carefully regulated – for example, infection reduces protein synthesis activity, making you feel sluggish and tired – insomnia-induced changes in synthesis affect the way we function and develop. This makes sleep even more critical for young children and teenagers, who undergo rapid spurts in growth and development.Nine hours in the land of nod
Few, however, are getting enough sleep. Genetic changes in adolescence shift circadian rhythms to almost three hours later during teenage years, leading to chronic sleep deprivation among young people. Teenagers need about nine hours of sleep each day but average around seven hours, largely because they have to get up in time for school irrespective of when they went to bed. Since circadian rhythms determine when the brain and body are at peak functioning, being forced to follow adult-timetables affects the ability to learn, development and health of young people.