One Night’s Shortened Sleep Has Immediate Negative Effects.

19 Aug One Night’s Shortened Sleep Has Immediate Negative Effects.

We all believe that we can just “catch up on sleep on the weekend” but it doesn’t necessarily work. There are studies that you can “bank” hours and sleep for longer on the weekend but the detrimental effects of having a shortened sleep one night are immediately visible the following day with this peaking after three consecutive nights of poor sleep.

A recent study performed by the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida looked at this very phenomenon and found that the biggest jumps in symptoms of a poor night’s sleep occurred just after one night of sleep loss. These symptoms can include anything from negative emotions such as anger, loneliness, nervousness, and irritable to more physical symptoms like upper respiratory issues, aches, and gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms were found to worsen through the week but symptoms peaked at their most severe on day three post a poor-quality

Data was gathered from 2000 middle-aged adults who were relatively health and well educated. Among these participants, 42% had at least one night of sleep loss sleeping 1.5 fewer hours than normal. They were asked to track their mental and physical behaviours in a diary for eight consecutive days which allowed research to track total sleep achieved and the effects of receiving less than their normal amount obtained.

The researchers reported that about 1/3 of US adults sleep less than six hours per night and that it becomes a habit that we all just follow along with, regardless of the detrimental effects it can have on our daily functioning. A previous study done by the same researcher found that just 16 minutes of sleep loss could impact an individual’s job performance for that day.

The findings from this study bring the recommendation that adults need to set a minimum of six hours aside for the nightly sleep and anything less than that means the following day will more than likely be negatively affected.

Source: Soomi Lee. Naturally Occurring Consecutive Sleep Loss and Day-to-Day Trajectories of Affective and Physical Well-Being. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaab055