If You Feel Very Drowsy In The Morning, This Might Explain Why

PBS_BraincraftPublished: February 22, 2018Updated: February 24, 2018129 views
Published: February 22, 2018Updated: February 24, 2018

Feel disoriented when you wake up? One in seven people suffers from this effect called 'Sleep Drunkenness'.

It is the same for everybody: you wake up to the annoying sound of your alarm clock, telling you it is another day for you to get out of your bed and go about your day, but instead you talk to the phone, thinking someone is calling you and then ‘hang up’ to go back to your sleep. It is called ‘severe sleep inertia’, a state when you wake up suddenly from your slumber and you feel groggy and disoriented, thinking how confusing life is.

According to research, one in seven people experience this phenomenon, with episodes typically lasting up to 15 minutes after you are so rudely woken up. During those episodes, it is quite normal to pour your morning cereal in the dishwasher.

When we sleep, we cycle through three stages of light and deep sleep. The first and second stages are light, called non-REM 1 and non-REM 2 stages. During these stages, we can be woken up pretty easily. But when we hit non-REM 3, we enter deep sleep, followed by REM, which stands for Rapid Eye Movement. Yes, our eyes actually move back and forth and we are most likely to dream during this stage.

Sleep drunkenness occurs when we are woken up from this REM stage, while our brains still contain a chemical called adenosine. It is a neurotransmitter that travels between nerve cells, promoting sleep and suppresses arousal. When you have your morning cup of joe, the caffeine fights the morning effects of adenosine and speeds up the rate our nerve cells communicate with each other. This is especially helpful if you reach for your hot, black beverage as soon as you wake up.

So, next time you find yourself talking to your alarm in the morning, remember - there could be a sleep drunkenness anonymous group somewhere if we weren’t all so far apart.

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