You need to sleep!
Sleep is essentail for our well-being. It’s our fundamental need, like water, food and air.
I know, we all know that sleep is important. We all feel weird, tierd, annoyed, when we lack of it, or even when we have too much of it.
Sleep is important for our body to operate normally.
Some researches showed that 88% people who have trouble sleeping are suffering from fatigue, 77% have problems with relationships, 56% are feeling hopeless and 53% are feeling lonely.
Of course every one of us need different amount of sleep. Especialy when we get older, we tend to sleep less hours. But aproximately 7-8 of good night sleep is recommendet for an average adult.
How do we know that we have problems with our sleeping habits? You probably know them all, but still:
- We are waking up at night withouth any reason
- We have trouble falling asleep and are moving around bed before we do
- We wake up very quickly if there is just a small amount of distraction around
Ok we all know that sleep is important, but most of us don’t know exactly why is that so and what is happening to our body if we lack of it.
So let’s take a look what is happening with our body and brain while we are asleep…
We can devote our sleep cycle into two phases:
- The first phase of the sleep cycle we experience is known as Non-Rapid eye Movement (NREM) and occurs in four stages.
- The first stage is referred to as “light sleep”. Here the muscle activity slows down and though we are sleeping, we can be easily roused.
- We move into stage two after about ten minutes. Stage two on average will last 20 minutes, during this time our breathing and heart rate slow down.
- The third stage sees us entering deep sleep. This is where our brain begins to produce delta waves and the rate of breathing and heart rate slow to their lowest levels. After this, we enter the final stage of NREM sleep. This is characterised by a combination of limited muscle activity and rhythmic breathing. It is this stage of sleep where we may feel disorientated when woken suddenly.
Benefits of 1st phase:
During NREM sleep, the body has the opportunity to fix any wear and tear from the day. The body will repair and regenerate tissue, build muscle and bone and strengthen the immune system.
2. The second phase is know as Rapis-eye movement (REM).
Approximately 25 per cent of the sleep cycle is spent in REM sleep. This phase occurs 70 to 90 minutes into sleep. It is at this stage that the brain is the most active: our breathing rate and blood pressure rise and our eyes dart from side to side. Despite increased activity in the brain, it is assumed the muscles remain paralysed due to the body protecting us from acting out the dream. We experience three to five REM episodes each night. During the night, each cycle will become less dominated by non-REM phases, progressively becoming more dominated by REM sleep. It has been reported that dreams are at their most vivid when woken from REM sleep.
So as we see, it means that we go through more sleep phases throughout the night.
So when cycles are disturbed with sudden, unexplainable wakening, when we don’t get through enough cycles during the night, our body can’t perform all the functions that are »reserved« for sleeping.
Lack of sleep, nightmares and not being able to normaly go through all the phases of sleeping cycle affect the lavel of stress hormones and neurotransmitters and are causing »a mess« in our brain, so we have problems controling our thoughts and emotions. When we have truble sleeping our body is also not able to regenrate normaly, meaning that lack of sleep slows down the muscle growth and weakens the imune system (that’s why we need more sleep when we are sick).
So we have to make sure that we have good »sleeping hiagene«, meaning we go to bed at same hour, we have enough hours of sleep, we get rid of all the disturbing devices (suh as tv, computer, smartphone). It’s also important to relax before sleep. We can take a long batch, meditate, do progressive muscle relaxation, etc. Some even say that the best way to get a good night sleep is to make sure your bedroom is on low temperature, dark and with a fresh air and used only for sleep and sex, not for other disturbing activities (such as watching tv, eating, etc.)
You want to know my sleeping habits? How I changed my Sleeping higiene? And how did I conquer all the sleeping disturbers? More in my next post, so stay tuned….