Snuggle back & don?t smell the coffee | india | Hindustan Times
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Snuggle back & don?t smell the coffee

This is one report in the Journal of American Medical Association that gets its conclusions bang on.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 01:43 IST

This is one report in the Journal of American Medical Association that gets its conclusions bang on. And this is one editorial not for the sprightly, twinkle-eyed early-morning riser. The most interesting part of the morning, as any interesting person will know, is when one is awake but not quite. Researchers call this state of being ‘sleep inertia’. We, non-researchwallahs call it, ‘grogginess’. And now it seems that it’s not for any old reason that a sailor’s traditional drink is called ‘grog’ — for the scientific report has found that sleep inertia has the same effect on our cognitive abilities as four bottles of beer.

The Colorado University study shows that people who wake up after eight hours of sound sleep have more trouble thinking than those who have been deprived of sleep for more than 24 hours. A quick look around will confirm this. Researchers have sounded a word of caution to those who need to act or take decisions immediately on being woken up — doctors on emergency, fire-fighters, etc. The study pinpoints that sleep inertia is most severe in the first three minutes of waking up. It reduces in ten minutes, but in many, especially those with high sleep deficits, the ‘grogginess’ can continue for several hours.

There is, however, no need for alarm — or a desperate need to stay awake all the time in order to think clearly. But the study is certainly a wake-up call. For the healthy and the sound thinking, don’t rush to wake up. Take a few minutes. In fact, we suggest, delight in the few minutes that it takes the grey cells to smell the coffee. Then slowly tune in to the world that’s zzzzzzzz....