Sleep Important For Us
Sleep is a fundamental function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep as well helps the body stay healthy and prevent disease. However, without enough sleep, the mind cannot function properly. It can damage your ability to concentrate, think openly, and process memories.
Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Children and teens need significantly more rest, especially if they are younger than five years old. Unfortunately, work schedules, daily stresses, an uncomfortable bedroom environment and medical conditions can prevent us from getting enough sleep. A healthy diet and then positive lifestyle habits can help confirm adequate sleep each night – but for some, chronic sleep deprivation might be the first sign of a sleep disorder.
The Science Behind Sleep
A built-in “body clock”4 regulates your sleep cycle, controlling when you feel tired and ready for bed or feel refreshed and alert. This clock works on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. After waking up from sleep, your willpower becomes increasingly tired throughout the day. These feelings will peak in the evening by bedtime.
Also known as [sleep-wake balance, this [sleep] urge may be linked to adenosine, an organic compound produced in the brain. Adenosine levels increase as you become more tired during the day, and then the body breaks down this compound during [sleep].
Light also affects the circadian rhythm. The brain contains a specialized region of nerve cells known as the hypothalamus. A cluster of booths in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus processes signals when the eyes are exposed to normal or artificial light. These signals help the brain control whether it is day or night.
When natural light fades in the evening, the body will release melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness. When the sun rises popular the morning, the body releases a hormone known as cortisol, promoting energy and alertness.
Our body follows a [sleep] cycle divided into four stages when we fall asleep. The first three stages are known by way of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) [sleep], and the final stage is known as rapid eye movement (REM) [sleep].
Step 1 NREM: This first stage marks the transition between wakefulness and [sleep and consists of light [sleep. The muscles relax, and your heart rate, living, and eye movements slow down. So, for example, do your brain waves, which are more active when you’re awake. Stage 1 typically takes a few minutes.
Stage 2 NREM: This second stage of NREM sleep is characterized by deeper sleep as your heart rate and respiratory rates continue to slow, and the muscles become more relaxed. Your eye movements will stop, and your body temperature will drop. Brain waves also stay slow, except for brief high-frequency electrical activity moments. Step 2 is typically the longest of the four sleep stages.
Step 3 NREM: This stage significantly makes you feel refreshed and fresh the next day. Heartbeat, breathing, and brainwave activity reach their lowest levels, and the muscles are as relaxed as possible. This phase will be longer at first and will decrease in duration throughout the night.
REM: The first REM phase occurs approximately 90 minutes after falling lifeless. As the name suggests, your eyes quickly move back and forth under your eyelids. Respiratory rate, heart rate, then blood pressure will begin to increase. Dreaming typically occurs during REM sleep, and your arms and legs are paralyzed – this is believed to prevent you from physically achieving your dreams. The duration of the individual REM sleep cycle increases as the night progresses. Numerous studies have linked REM sleep to memory consolidation5, the process of transforming recently learned experiences into long-term memories. As you get older, the duration of the REM phase decreases, causing you to spend more time in the NREM phases.
These four phases will repeat regularly throughout the night until you wake up. For the most incredible people, the duration of each cycle is approximately 90-120 minutes6. NREM sleep accounts for about 75% to 80% of each cycle. You may also wake up briefly during the evening but not remember the next day. These segments are known as the “W” phases.
The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep
For maximum adults, at least seven hours of sleep7 each night is required for proper cognitive and behavioral functions. However, insufficient sleep can have serious consequences. For example, some studies show that sleep deprivation leaves people helpless to attention delays, common reasons, delayed reactions and mood swings.
It has similarly been suggested that people may develop some form of tolerance to chronic sleep deprivation. Although their brains and bodies struggle with insomnia, they may not be aware of their shortcomings because less [sleep] seems normal. Additionally, lack of snooze has been associated with a higher risk for certain diseases and medical conditions. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and premature death.
Adults who don’t get enough [sleep] separately can practice positive lifestyles and sleep habits to log the seven to nine hours they need. These include:
Set a realistic bedtime and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Maintain comfortable temperature locations and low light levels in your bedroom.
Ensure a comfortable [sleep] environment by having the best mattress, pillows, and linens for your sleep preferences and body type.
Consider a “screen ban” on your bedroom televisions, computers and tablets, cell phones, and other electronics.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and significant mealtimes in the hours before bed.
Escape using tobacco at any time of the day or night.
Exercise throughout the day; this can help you relax and prepare for [sleep] in the evening.