A Different Kind Of Jet-Lag:
Ever have trouble waking up?
We all have, and in this video DNews gives a couple hints at what might be happening that makes it so difficult.
And it all starts with a term found in some pretty interesting studies: Social Jetlag…
It Starts With The World & Your Body Disagreeing:
The term Social Jetlag, means living a life that asks you to wake up before your cycles want you to.
And although you’d think people follow their instincts or just set a good schedule, it actually affects up to 70% of the population.
There is also a name for that first terrible feeling you have as you develop it.
That Difficulty Waking Up Is Called “Sleep Inertia”:
You’ve felt it before. -Anything from mild slowness at first, right up to serious grogginess like you’re some kind of sleep-drunk.
This phenomenon can last as much as an hour, depending on how bad your sleep was and when you woke up.
-Especially if anything interfered with it, like mis-timed food, drink, exercise, & computer-screen use.
It usually happens when you wake up during one of the two deepest parts of sleep.
Sleep Basics 1)Your Sleep Has 4 Cycles:
So for most living things on Earth that need rest, Sleep comes in 4 cycles: Transition, Medium, Deep, and REM.
Phase 1 is the 10-minute transition between awake and just barely asleep.
During this and every other phase, your brain actually starts changing speed.
Phase 2 lasts about 20 minutes and the brain changes speed again in varying bursts.
Your heart rate also slows down & your body starts cooling off.
Sleep Basics 2)The 800lb Gorillas, Phases 3&4:
And now the big one at the heart of the problem: Phase 3. This phase is generally called Slow-Wave Sleep, or Delta Sleep.
It’s the longest & lasts about 1 hour.
As the name might suggest, this is the phase when people sleep like rocks & cannot easily be woken-up.
Strangely-enough, it’s also Ambien-Town, where people do all kinds of odd absentminded stuff like sleepwalking.
Stage 4 is of course the famous R.E.M. sleep, when you have all your crazy dreams.
Sleep Basics 3)Lather, Rinse, Repeat?:
So when you fall asleep, you go through the first 1234, but then repeat 234 afterward.
This usually happens about 4-5 times in a full 8-hour session.
And this repeat-cycle hints at the problem.
Depending on you, your environment, & your schedule, you might be waking up in the wrong phase.
If your alarm goes off in stage 3, which is the deepest, you’ll get the worst type of Sleep Inertia.
-And the Snooze Bar will only make you feel worse.
Phase 3 Is Where Sleep Inertia Happens:
This is usually the case when people describe being jolted out of a sound-sleep & then feeling so wiped-out it’s like they were run over by a bus.
And the chemical reason for this is, the hormones keeping you asleep on your Phase 3 Delta flight are still kicking around in your kind-of “awake” body.
Initial research suggests that this is generally crappy for your overall health, and may even be implicated in things like Alzheimer’s.
You And Your Snooze Bar Are Your Own Worst Enemies:
No, you can’t have 5 more minutes.
It not only sucks for you to wake up outside of a REM cycle, or maybe a cat-nap in Phase 2,
If you get woken-up, hit the snooze-bar and then successfully go back,
You’re just starting the cycle all-over again.
And after the 15 or 30 minutes, you’re just going to get interrupted again.
You’ll feel worse, not better.
The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Sleep Cycle:
Having a healthy sleep cycle takes effort and consistency.
The waking-up part of it is no different.
You have to set ONLY ONE alarm with no extra minutes, don’t use the snooze bar, and force yourself to get up as soon as you wake up.
It’s going to be difficult for awhile, and you will probably experience plenty of sleep inertia, but it gets better with time.
Also, open the curtains and get some sunlight in your eyes as soon as possible.
Blue Light At Night Kills Your Sleep, But AM Sunlight Wakes You Up:
Because the same part of your brain that gets screwed-up when you look at computer screens late at night, also takes the wavelengths in sunlight as a sign to get up.
(strangely-enough one of the studies on this part says computer screens don’t help you wake up; go figure…)
This will also sound depressing, but if you can run the same sleep-wake schedule on the weekends too, it may help your weekday schedule easier when you go back to it.
Routines And Naps Are Your Secret Weapons!:
Sunday sleeper-inners may be outraged at this, but remember there are always Naps for the middle of the day!
And afternoon naps are -Always- better than trying to get that extra 5 minutes, first thing in the morning.
Another part of helping your sleep can be a set morning routine you go through that also tells your body to wake up,
Like: Rehydrate with water, Shower, Drink some coffee, Cook breakfast, Read the paper, etc.
One point not directly-treated in the video is this: The Root Cause.
But The Real Secret Is This:
A researcher in England named Paul Kelley did some interesting experiments with his high-school students based solely on the “biological clock” that runs our sleep cycle.
And what he found was this: The Entire Day is scheduled wrong.
All of his students, he conjectures, were being asked to Get Up Too Soon.
He changed their class start-times from 8:30AM to 10AM, and grades went up by 19%, even at the highest-levels.
So, though it may be a tough-sell to your boss, similar things might also be true for the rest of us Adults.
Maybe all the good habits in the world can only get us halfway there?
Check out the details in the Links:
JUMP BONUS!: More sleep? -Well doesn’t that also mean less work? Europeans, Tony Schwartz, & sleep-researchers all say, “Yup!”
Videos “Why Is Waking Up So Hard?” and “Science Finally Says We Should Never Work 40 Hours”, by DNews
Photo “Cat”, by Patataj Patataj
• Source: YT-DNews
• BSA-Start secondary school at 10am to improve learning
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