Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling like you didn’t get any sleep at all? The overwhelming feelings of grogginess, heavy eyelids, and unyielding frustration that hit you as soon as you awake from the disappointing experience you thought was sleep? If you have, then you’ve experienced what professionals refer to as sleep inertia. Here we will discuss exactly what sleep inertia is, what its potential causes are, and the steps you can take to avoid it.

What Is Sleep Inertia?

Sleep inertia is identified as the period of disorientation, cognitive impairment, and drowsiness after waking up from inefficient sleep. The episodes normally only last for about fifteen minutes to an hour, but in extreme cases, they can persist for several hours and turn even the most responsible human being into a walking liability. The biological reason for this occurrence is still unknown, but many researchers believe it is one of the human body’s many built-in protective mechanisms to help maintain a state of sleep during moments of unwanted awakenings. This can be nice for those times when we’re able to close our eyes and go back to sleep, but not so much when it’s time to get up and go to work.

What Causes It?

As mentioned earlier, the reason sleep inertia occurs, biologically, is not completely known. The same goes for our complete understanding of the causes of sleep inertia. However, medical professionals and researchers have theories that help us explain the phenomenon, such as low blood flow to the brain, an increase in adenosine, and an increase in the brain’s delta waves. Each of these factors is what experts are considering the leading cause, and many effective treatments for sleep inertia have arisen from these theories.

Diagnosis And Treatment

While sleep inertia itself is not considered a sleep disorder, many people who are suffering from it could be experiencing the result of another known disorder. If you begin to experience frequent episodes of sleep inertia, you should consult a medical professional immediately for evaluation. In the absence of an underlying sleep disorder, there are certain steps you can take to avoid these prolonged episodes of sleep inertia, such as napping, limiting your caffeine intake, restricting the amount of light in your bedroom, or softening the things that wake you up in the morning like the sound of your alarm clock.

Come Into Jacksonville Sleep Center 

Diagnosing and treating a sleep disorder is vital to your timely recovery and return to a productive daily life. At the Jacksonville Sleep Center, we offer the latest technology for sleep disorder diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. If you are experiencing an imbalance in your sleep schedule and suffer from frequent episodes of sleep inertia then you need to come to see one of our docs: Dr. Nassar or Dr. Festic. Schedule your appointment with us today.