Expert Q&A: Get Out of Bed or Fall Back Asleep?
Q: Sometimes if I wake up early and it's too soon to start the day, I fall back asleep. But later, I wake up feeling tired. Would it be better if I just got up when I initially woke up?
First of all, you have to determine your own sleep requirement, which is how many hours of sleep you need to function during the day. The average is 7.5-8 hours, but some people can function adequately with 4 hours or less while some need 9 hours or more.
A person should stay in bed only for the entire duration of sleep requirement, no longer. At times, a person can experience sleep inertia, or a state of reduced alertness, performance, or vigilance when they wake up. This is often caused by staying in bed longer than necessary and can be worse when someone wakes up from deep sleep. Don't stay in bed longer than you are required.
Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, FRCP, FACP, is Professor of Neuroscience at Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education, South Orange, NJ, and Clinical Professor of Neurology at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ. He is also currently Professor and Co-Chair of Neurology and Program Director for Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine, at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center, Edison, NJ.
After graduating in Medicine from Medical College, Calcutta and University of Calcutta, India, Dr. Chokroverty had post-graduate training in internal medicine and neurology in hospitals in the United Kingdom (UK). After being certified in Internal Medicine, he became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) of UK. Residency training in neurology and fellowship training in neurophysiology took place at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, and Hines VA Hospital, IL. Dr. Chokroverty is board certified in neurology, electrodiagnostic medicine, sleep medicine, and clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Chokroverty is the Founding President of the World Association of Sleep Medicine, an international organization devoted to promoting sleep health throughout the world. He was the Founding Chair of the Sleep Section of the American Academy of Neurology, a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center of Sleep Disorders Research of the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Chair of the Sleep Science Award Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Chokroverty is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Sleep Medicine, an international journal dealing with clinical sleep disorders. He is the author or editor of fourteen published books and five books in press, including fifteen books dealing with sleep medicine, one on management of epilepsy, one of movement disorders and two on magnetic stimulation in clinical neurophysiology. He has published extensively in both national and international scientific journals producing over 500 papers, book chapters, and abstracts, and has made over 285 presentations at national and international conferences.
Dr. Chokroverty's recent research interest has focused on sleep and movement disorders; restless legs syndrome; sleep disordered breathing in neuromuscular disorders; autonomic failure and neurodegenerative diseases, and actigraphy in Insomnia diagnosis and management.
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