Everything You Need to Know About Fragmented Sleep
Do you find yourself fatigued and tired in the middle of the day for no reason whatsoever? Do you wish you were able to sleep more even after a long duration of sleep? Do you feel you are becoming lazy and drowsy, which has started to affect your productivity at work negatively? Then perhaps, it is not procrastination, but an issue with your sleep called sleep fragmentation. If you find yourself unable to sleep at night and wake up more than once, you might be suffering from fragmented sleep, which can be quite dangerous to your health. While some people experience long awake periods, others wake up for a few minutes and resume sleeping. Whatever the case, frequently interrupted sleep reduces slow-wave sleep, which is important to restore energy to our bodies to resume their activities the following day.
What Are The Causes Of Fragmented Sleep?
There are several reasons for sleeplessness leading to fragmented sleep. These can be mental, physical and/or environmental factors.
Mental: Overthinking, anxiety and depression can cause restlessness in a person and be possible reasons for sleeplessness.
Physical: Any physical injury causing body pain or even a cold can cause unrest in a sleeper, being another reason for sleeplessness. Also, postpartum women commonly experience fragmented sleep as they frequently wake up at night to tend to their little ones.
Environmental: As adequate environmental conditions play a crucial role in determining the quality of sleep, any unwanted change in the environment, whether it is poor lighting, too cold or too hot temperature, or uncomfortable bedding, can be reasons for sleeplessness.
Other Health issues: Often, fragmented sleep is associated with an underlying larger sleep issue such as sleep apnea and snoring. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which the sleeper experiences repeated episodes of stopped breathing during their sleep, causing them to choke, gasp and wake up. Another common sleep disorder is insomnia which makes it difficult for the sleeper to fall asleep or causes them to wake up early.
Also Read: Why should you consume melatonin gummies
Harmful Effects Of Sleep Fragmentation:
For any human to function normally and at full capacity, an average adult requires at least 6-8 hours of sleep daily. In that sense, the best time to sleep would be 10 pm, and the best time to wake up would be 6 in the morning. If you find yourself sleeping for a considerably lesser duration or have a disturbed sleep with periods of interruption in between, read below about how fragmented sleep is dangerous and affects your body:
- A night of poor sleep at night can obviously cause excessive daytime sleepiness. People with fragmented sleep are unable to concentrate on their tasks and react and respond slowly. Short-term and long-term memory loss can also occur due to sleep fragmentation.
- Disturbed sleep can lead to poor cognitive abilities, increasing the risk of car accidents and workplace injuries for sleepers with fragmented sleep.
- An adequate sleep is essential for the overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of a person. This is why fragmented sleep can be dangerous, as it affects all these parameters which determine our safe well-being.
- Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to several chronic illnesses, such as mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's.
What is the Treatment for Sleep Fragmentation?
Like every disease, the treatment lies with the cause. It is important for you to first visit a sleep specialist and get a detailed examination of your sleeping habits. By using advanced equipment, these specialists perform a sleep study to record data about your body during a whole night of sleep. This study is beneficial in pinpointing underlying sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Insomnia treatment and treatment for sleep apnea can help reduce fragmented sleep.
If your reasons for sleeplessness are not the above mentioned disorders, then you can adopt the following simple lifestyle changes to improve the quality of your sleep and prevent disturbed sleep:
- Don't confuse your body clock by taking naps during the day. Avoid frequent daytime naps and allow your body to sleep and wake up according to the natural body clock.
- Maintain an adequate sleep environment by using noise and light-blocking curtains to prevent disturbed sleep.
- Reduce screen time an hour before sleep. Turn off all your gadgets as they emit blue light, which triggers our brains to stay awake.
- Use comfortable bedding such as a suitable mattress, fresh sheets and pillows to create a comfortable and cozy sleeping environment.
- Set your AC at a cool temperature to prevent poor sleep and ensure you get an adequate number of hours of sleep.
So give a rest to your mood swings, periods of depression, poor concentration and drowsiness. Visit your health expert and improve your sleep cycle. Don't take it easy; after all, your health is your wealth.
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in Ayurveda.
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