Some people can sleep anywhere at any given time. They’re often humorously referred to as the “masa,” short for “masandal, tulog” (can fall asleep as soon as they get back support). Others, however, find it hard to sleep in new places. We typically refer to this as “pamamahay,” or the feeling that you’re not really at home in a new place. We knew that being in a different place can cause sleep difficulties, but what we didn’t know was why it was so hard for some folks to sleep in a different bed.
A new study published in Current Biology explains what exactly happens when we sleep in a different place. Apparently, when you sleep in a different environment, your body does its best to protect you. By keeping the left hemisphere of your brain awake, your body can still react to potential dangers even while you’re catching some zzz’s. As we are most vulnerable while asleep, being in an unfamiliar place heightens the body’s alertness, urging it to take measures to protect itself even subconsciously.
This is why grogginess is experienced the next morning after sleeping in a different bed. It’s really hard to get a good night’s sleep when your body has a high sense of self preservation, so if you tend to experience “pamamahay” on the regular, getting more sleep at home is advised. This way, you can, at least, bank on a few restful zzz’s before you have to sleep somewhere else.