Sleep inertia: why you feel even more tired after an afternoon nap

A little daytime sleep can be good for your health and well-being. It can reduce stress, improve mood, strengthen your immune system, and help you stay alert. But what happens when you wake up after an afternoon nap and feel even more tired and grumpy than before you fell asleep? This may be due to sleep inertia.

Sleep inertia is temporary disorientation and decreased performance and/or mood after waking from sleep. People may exhibit slower reaction times, poorer short-term memory and slower rates of thinking, reasoning, remembering and learning. This occurs when your body does not want to wake up because it has fallen deeply into a slow sleep.

We often go through many different stages of sleep, including rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NEM). NEM usually forms most of the sleep pattern, and even then, we can divide it into light sleep, intermediate sleep, and deep sleep. In the sleep cycle, we go from unconscious to NEM to BDH (when we dream frequently).

But why do we feel so wrecked when we wake up after an afternoon nap? It could be caused by several factors.

1. adenosine.

A small molecule called adenosine accumulates during the day and decreases when we sleep. This may be the reason why we feel so tired after an afternoon nap-we just haven’t had time to fully clear out yet.

2. Increased delta waves

Delta waves are more common in HEM and are likely increased after sleep loss or deprivation. If your brain has not decreased delta waves, it may cause sleep inertia.

3. Increased or decreased blood flow to the brain

During sleep cycles, there may be an increase or decrease in blood flow to the brain. People with chronic fatigue syndrome may have decreased blood flow and this is accompanied by symptoms similar to sleep inertia. There is a possibility that decreased blood flow may be related to sleep inertia.

How to avoid sleep inertia?

1. determine the optimal length of your daytime sleep.

2. avoid daytime sleep if you suffer from insomnia.

3. When you wake up after an afternoon nap, do some light exercise or take a walk outdoors.

4. avoid caffeine before daytime sleep.

5. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule so that your body can get used to the routine.

Sleep inertia can be an uncomfortable feeling, but it usually goes away quickly. If you feel tired and sleepy all the time, see your doctor to rule out other causes

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