Why We Sleep Badly On Our First Night In A New Place

Whether we are moving in a new home or stay at a hotel during the holiday, it seems to us that the first night’s sleep is not at all restful. We pant, and our mind is in a state of alertness and we can not detach at all, as happens when we sleep in our own bed. Have you ever wondered what the reason is? The phenomenon is called “the first night effect,” and the researchers claim they have discovered it for over 50 years.

“Even when studying young and healthy people with no chronic sleep problems, we notice that 99% of them experience this effect on the first night, a strange state of wake,” says Yuka Sasaki, a researcher at Brown University.

To detect the cause, Sasaki and other US researchers recruited 35 healthy volunteers to bring them to a lab where they slept two nights with a week break between the two nights. Volunteers have been connected to machines that measure their heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, breathing, eye and foot movement, and activity in both brain hemispheres.

Experts have focused on brain activity with low waves, a type of brain behavior that indicates how deep the person sleeps. They analyzed four trajectories in the brain during both sleep sessions, measuring how the depth of sleep was affected by the noise in the room.

After the first night of sleep, the subjects showed a greater weakness in the left half of the brain. Also, the left side was much more sensitive to strange sounds, which were a possible threat. A week later, when the subjects returned to the lab, their workmanship was more consistent in their brains, suggesting that they were accommodating with the surrounding environment.

The results showed that during the first night, the left part of the brain was more active during deep sleep than the right hemisphere. What is the reason? The human brain, like animals, might consider a new room to be an unpredictable and dangerous environment. Thus, experts have discovered that people can also rest a part of the brain while the second remains in the alert, a phenomenon called sleep with a low-level frequency.