Sleep Inertia, Difficulty Focusing and Lethargy When Waking Up

After sleeping, the body should feel refreshed. But sometimes, there are times when you feel dizzy when you wake up. This sleep problem is called sleep inertia.

Table of Content

1. Symptoms of sleep inertia
2. Causes of sleep inertia
3. How to deal with sleep inertia

Generally, this condition only occurs for a few moments. However, it is possible for someone to feel sleep inertia continuously. When he woke up, there was a tremendous sense of confusion.

Symptoms of sleep inertia

Symptoms of sleep inertia can be similar, whether you wake up from a nap during the day or at night. Some of the sensations that arise are:

  • Incredibly sleepy
  • Weak and lethargic
  • Difficult to concentrate
  • Dizzy
  • Evicting people who are around
  • It’s hard to keep track of what just happened or should be done

Everyone can have different symptoms. The good news, according to a 2019 analysis in general, sleep inertia only lasts for 30 minutes and disappears completely.

In fact, sometimes it only takes 15 minutes to completely recover and no longer feel dizzy. On the other hand, it is also possible for a person to take an hour to feel a little better, and only an hour later to feel refreshed.

Causes of sleep inertia

Some of the allegations that trigger sleep inertia are: According to Hashem Al-Ghaili Interrupted Sleep Affects Your Mental and Cognitive Health

  • Delta wave height

Delta waves in the brain are closely related to deep sleep. People who experience sleep inertia have much higher delta waves. At the same time, the beta waves associated with alertness or wakefulness are less than normal.

  • Slow brain reactivation

When you wake up, it’s possible that the process of reactivation or re-activating certain parts of the brain takes place more slowly. It also includes the front part of the brain ( prefrontal cortex ) which plays an important role in executive function.

  • Slow blood flow

Slow blood circulation to the brain can also affect how quickly a person returns to being awake and alert when he wakes up.

How to deal with sleep inertia

If a person has severe sleep inertia that interferes with life, the doctor will recommend treatment. Recommendations may vary, depending on whether there are other sleep problems, such as sleep apnea.

However, when the problems encountered are not too significant, there are several steps to avoid them through strategies such as:

1. Don’t drink too much coffee

For coffee lovers, you should adjust the rhythm of the best time to drink coffee. According to research, consuming caffeine at the wrong time may disrupt normal sleep cycles.

2. Nap

Apparently, short naps of 10-20 minutes can help prevent sleep inertia at night. However, this does not necessarily apply if the nap is done as “retaliation” for not sleeping all night. So, keep your sleep cycle as good as possible.

3. Looking for sunshine

There’s a review of studies in 2016 that suggest seeking sunlight early in the morning. The goal is to speed up the return of alertness and concentration after waking up.

Not only sunlight, but light from lights can also help increase alertness. At the same time, the body becomes more ready to do its job.

4. Reset sleep schedule

The body has a circadian rhythm that regulates when you fall asleep and wake up. Ideally, the body wants to sleep biologically at night. If you force a difficult activity right after you wake up, this can be a challenge. Especially when the body clock thinks it is time to rest.

Therefore, as much as possible avoid being awake and immediately do difficult tasks in the middle of the body’s biological clock to rest.

5. Complete the stages of sleep

Each individual has a stage of sleep that lasts 90 minutes. This stage starts from the transition period, light sleep, deep sleep, to REM ( rapid-eye movement ). Each cycle lasts for about 90 minutes.

Waking up when all of these phases are complete allows one to feel more refreshed. Unfortunately, the length of the sleep cycle is difficult to predict. Even when you wake up at night to go to the toilet, this can mess things up from the start.

6. Practice sleep hygiene

Not only for the sake of maintaining the quality of sleep, Sleep hygiene is also important to avoid the occurrence of sleep inertia. Try turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. Then, make the bedroom atmosphere dim and cold without any light effects.

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