Researchers discovered that being woken from a deep slumber from any sort of disruption (such as technology or crying baby) causes the same confusion, depression and fatigue as being severely sleep-deprived. As a result, this can have a detrimental effect on on-call professionals, including doctors or firemen, impacting upon their attention span and ability to make decisions.
Individuals who work ‘on call’ may receive several phone calls a night. These nightly wakings could be relatively short — only five to 10 minutes — but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm. This negatively impacts one’s cognitive and emotional wellness. It has been found that disrupted sleepers were more confused, depressed, and fatigued. Research has shown a direct link between disrupted sleep and poor attention spans and negative mood after only one night of frequent interruptions. Anger can also be linked to this fatigue as a result of disrupted sleep.
Everyone, despite their profession or lifestyle, should be aware of the detrimental effects of the various kinds of disruption in sleep on daily functioning and mood. Thus, disrupted sleep can negatively affect one’s mental health. We should all consider countermeasures to avoid disruptions (such as cell phones on overnight), to minimize their consequences on our mental health.