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Sleep inertia is a physiological state characterised by a decline in motor dexterity and a subjective feeling of grogginess, immediately following an abrupt awakening from deep sleep. Typically, sleep inertia lasts between 1 and 30 minutes though if the person was awakened due to a danger it is reduced to only a few seconds.
Factors[edit | edit source]
NASA studies have shown that a variety of factors influence the severity and duration of sleep inertia. These include:
- Length of sleep. After roughly 30 minutes, the body enters into deep sleep. Waking from deep sleep induces more sleep inertia than otherwise.
- Time of sleep. Sleep inertia is thought to be related to the phase of the body's circadian rhythm. Waking during a trough in body temperature tends to produce more sleep inertia.
- Chemical influences. Studies have shown that drugs such as caffeine suppress the effect of sleep inertia, possibly by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain.
Cause[edit | edit source]
The cause of sleep inertia is not clear. One theory is that it is caused by the build-up of adenosine in the brain during non-REM sleep. Adenosine then binds to receptors, which produce the feelings of tiredness.
[edit | edit source]
- Abstract: Caffeine eliminates psychomotor vigilance deficits from sleep inertia
- Flying Safely Article on Napping
- Patrick Sherry on Napping
- CNN.com - Study: Waking up like being drunk