December 24, 2015 – Interrupted Sleep


Anchor lead: Which is worse? Interrupted sleep or short sleep? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who have their sleep interrupted multiple times versus those who simply sleep fewer hours report worse moods after a couple of days, a Johns Hopkins study led by Patrick Finan, a sleep expert, has found.

Finan: You can imagine that these kinds of findings are perhaps most applicable to people in the health care field who are on call, any on call worker for that matter who has the experience of being acutely disrupted and having to deal with it the next day. Now not all people who are in on call work end up developing clinical sleep disorders.  Experimental studies like this are I think important for isolating mechanisms of interest and then we need to follow up on them with clinical studies to sort of more thoroughly investigate the phenomenon.   :28

Finan says this study was able to show that people whose sleep was interrupted didn’t experience a type of sleep known as ‘slow wave’ and speculates that this is what impacts on mood, including reductions in sympathy and friendliness as well as lower overall energy.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.