• Question: Why do we sleep and just wake up in some time in the morning?

    Asked by evelina100 to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 3 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 3 Jul 2012:

      Check out the answers here: https://niobiumj12.imascientist.org.uk/2012/06/29/why-are-we-sleepy-when-we-wake-up-in-the-morning/. I think it’s something to do with sleep cycles. As we sleep, we change between very deep sleep and very light sleep. During light sleep, we wake much more easily, and are affected more by noises in the outside world.

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 5 Jul 2012:

      I think part of it is because our bodies have something called a circadian rhythm – this is basically an internal clock. This clock is linked to the light-dark cycle. It is found in part of our brain and researchers have found that if you damage that part of your brain then you will no longer have a regular sleep-wake pattern.

      So I think the reason that we enter lighter sleep in the morning and so wake up more easily is that our internal clock is telling us it is morning and that it is time to get up.