Asked by: Che Lowenstein, Hassocks
It’s well known that our sleep can suffer on the first night in a new environment. Sleep scientists noticed this decades ago when they started studying people in sleep labs, dubbing it the ‘first-night effect’.
One recent study found that the left side of the brain experiences lighter sleep than the right side during the first night. This may be an evolutionary mechanism to keep us alert to potential dangers in unfamiliar surroundings.
We’re more likely to wake up during the first night, and because we tend to remember our dreams better when we wake up a lot, this is probably why your dreams feel more vivid than usual.
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