Long-term lack of sleep is bad for your health. But it may occasionally happen that we are obliged to stay up all night. In this case, is it better to forget about rest or sleep even for an hour to survive the next day?
At the end of a night of partying, you have already asked yourself this question: to keep going, is it better to go to bed, even for an hour or two, or to get on with your day? For health professionals, the answer is simple: better to sleep a little than not to rest at all. But even short-term sleep will only be restorative under certain conditions.
To sleep or not, that is not the question
So, for professionals it is better to sleep, even a little, than to have a complete sleepless night. Sleep is essential for the body and the brain. Skipping this rest time means depriving yourself of the deep and paradoxical sleep necessary for physical and mental restoration. It also means experiencing extreme fatigue, mood swings, stress, and concentration problems that can impact your day. In the long term, sleep deprivation can also cause hypertension, heart problems, obesity or diabetes. It is therefore far from recommended, and should not be a habit.
But sleeping for an hour is not ideal
However, if any period of sleep is preferable to no rest, an hour of sleep may not have the desired effect. Indeed, sleep is governed by 90-minute cycles to rest the body (each night there are several cycles that follow one another). For a beneficial effect, it is better to count in phases of 90 minutes, or 1h30, to know how long to sleep: 1h30, 3h, or 4h30… This will always be insufficient in terms of your need for sleep, but will not cut you short. middle of a cycle. If you only reserve an hour of sleep, there is a good chance that waking up will be even more difficult and your state of fatigue will be less manageable during the day. “And for good reason, if we wake up in the middle of a cycle, waking up will be very difficult whereas if we wake up at the end, “the brain is already activated”analyzed Dr Damien Davenne, chronobiologist interviewed by Marie Claire.
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The possibility of a nap during the day?
There is also the possibility of taking a nap during the day to recharge your batteries a little. Good idea, if you get the chance. But again, the art of napping depends on conditions. According to a recent Japanese study, the best solution for surviving a sleepless night would be to combine two naps: one of 90 minutes to maintain long-term performance and a 30-minute nap to maintain higher levels of fatigue. weak and rapid reactions. Two separate naps would therefore be more effective for staying awake than a 120-minute nap. On condition again that you do not nap too late in the day so as not to disrupt the following night.