3
$\begingroup$

Resting, as opposed to sleeping, helps with physical recovery and relaxation, but much of the benefit of real sleep is mental.

If I can't sleep, how much, if any, sleep-related benefit is gained by lying down for 6 hours with my eyes closed?

$\endgroup$
0
1
$\begingroup$

I believe the important⁽¹⁾ point is paradoxical sleep. If you cannot sleep, you should try to defocus your thought, in order to allow neurones to "run freely"⁽²⁾.

(1) It has be shown that rats deprived of paradoxical sleep died in 16-54 day.

(2) I don't know if this will work, but I've been taught at university that neurons can die from sub or over stimulation. For this reason I've come to the conclusion that one of the objectives of dreaming is to allow neurons to fire action potentials in regards with their own physiological needs, instead of coordinated thoughts needs of the brain.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. Please visit our site tour. There are claims in your answer without corroborated evidence. We work differently to most SE sites, where we have a strict policy that all answers should be backed up with reliable references so that the answer can be independently verified, regardless of the reader's/answerer's background. If you still have trouble with this, feel free to visit the help center or Psychology & Neuroscience Meta. Unreferenced claims can lead to answers being deleted. $\endgroup$ Jan 18 '20 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ For those who are not aware, paradoxical is REM sleep. The second point is unsubstantiated, and I don't know what it means. Please add a reference for that as well, or remove it if it's just personal opinion. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jan 26 '20 at 17:29
-1
$\begingroup$

If you lie down under certain circumstances (for 6 hours, eyes closed, comfy, in a quiet place and several hours after the last real sleep), I doubt you will stay awake the whole time.

First, there's is microsleep. Indeed, even if you were driving or in any other dangerous situation, your brain would manage to enter sleep mode for some seconds. So, these microsleep periods will happen and contribute to your rest.

Second, if an insomniac does that, there's a good chance that they are misjudging the amount of sleep they get. They might be entering several periods of low quality sleep, but won't be aware of it.

Third, the amount of sleep you need varies when exposed to stress, stimulus, new activities and so on during the day. Spending 6 hours in a low stress environment will reduce the amount needed.

In summary, it's better than nothing, but if it came close to real sleep, some people would manage to live with 6 hours of resting with closed eyes instead of sleeping.

$\endgroup$
1
-1
$\begingroup$

Lying down for 6 hours with your eyes closed and not claiming that you have slept, you are very likely in Stage 1 of the sleep cycle. This is a restful state that transits from wakefulness to sleep [1].

How effective? Much less effective than if you would fall into further stages of sleep because it is called sleep restriction, which impairs daily functioning [2].

[1] Stages of Sleep - Non-REM and REM Sleep Cycles. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tuck.com/stages/ [2]Van Dongen HP, Maislin G, Mullington JM, Dinges DF Sleep. 2003 Mar 15; 26(2):117-26.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.