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Waking Up Feeling Tired? Here’s Why, According to Science

Alarm clock rings, you start to get up but still drowsy. Why? It doesn’t make any sense to feel sleepy in the mornings when you have been asleep for the past eight hours or so. Shouldn’t you wake up to the feeling of being energized and refreshed? No. According to science, there are reasons that explain why, unless you suffer some sleeping disorder.

Neurobiological

In a neurobiological perspective, a person spends most of his time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep while dreaming at the same time. The brain is very active during this time that it quickly consumes large amounts of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a molecule responsible for storing and releasing energy in cells. According to experts, Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that restrains, i.e. shuts down the neurons that makes someone attentive. The drowsiness is caused by the Adenosine remains that were accumulated in the brain while dreaming.

Who You Slept With

According to an article by Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., a neuroscience, molecular virology and psychology professor at the Ohio University, a study was conducted to investigate couples’ sleeping quality, specifically checking the balance of REM and absence of it. For women, sleeping with a man caused negative effect on the quality of sleep. Intimacy preceding sleep reduced the negativity of women’s subjective report but REM and non-REM was still unbalanced.

On the other hand, the sleeping quality of men sharing a bed with a female partner resulted otherwise—irrespective of whether an intercourse occurred. In short, men’s subjective report of sleep quality is higher when sleeping with a woman than alone; while women do not benefit from sleeping with a man unless physical contact is involved beforehand.

What You Ate

What you eat prior to bedtime has something to do with the quality of your sleep. A study suggests that sweets may help promote drowsiness as elevated blood sugar levels have been observed to heighten neuron activity that induce sleep. When these neurons sense sugar presence in the blood, they promote the feeling of drowsiness which most likely explains why we feel the urge to take a nap after having a large meal.

Your Sleeping Time

Evening-type (people who stay up late and wake up at a later time) individuals were more likely to suffer from daytime dysfunction and poor sleep quality, according to Wenk. Late bedtime is also associated with reduced Hippocampal volume—responsible for memory and learning abilities.

Not Enough Sleep

While the exact number of sleeping hours for someone to fully and properly function is unknown, sleep deprivation can lead to many negative effects such as excessive drowsiness, weight gain, pick fights and dwell on negative emotions. According to SingHealth “small amounts of sleep loss over many nights may result in subtle cognitive loss” which is unrecognizable until it becomes severe and disturbing. After all, a good sleeping hygiene is a must to function properly.