For a long time, medical professionals held the view that sleeping was merely a passive activity. They believed it to be when your body and mind took a break from the outside world.
However, it turns out that your body may be relaxing as you sleep. However, your brain is working diligently on numerous tasks that are essential to your survival.
Simply said, the higher the quality of your sleep, the better your life will be overall. On top of that, we devote a third of our time to it. That ought to be plenty to inspire you to achieve the best possible sleep.
Learn everything you can about sleep and how it affects our general wellbeing by reading on.
What Is Sleep?
The Stanford Sleep Medicine Center’s resident sleep expert, Dr. Rafael Pelayo, describes sleep as “a normal restorative, physiological process.”
The definition we receive from sleep specialists at the Harvard Medical School of Sleep Medicine is similarly comparable. However, they go one step further by defining sleep as follows:
#1 A procedure in which you are less likely to react to outside stimuli
#2 A mentally unbalanced situation that is easily reversible
#3 A physiological condition that influences blood pressure, temperature, and brain wave activity
#4 A crucial physiological activity that preserves sound physiological and mental processes
The Different Stages of Sleep
Your brain alternates between the REM (rapid eye movement) stage and the non-REM stage when you sleep. Each lasts for roughly 90 minutes.
Non-REM sleep is divided into three phases that make up the first stage of the sleep cycle:
#1 When you’re first starting to nod off is the first stage.
#2 Your body temperature will drop and your heart rate will slow down during the second stage of light sleep.
#3 The third is that when your heartbeat slows down the most, deep sleep is the most restorative.
The REM sleep cycle occurs next. Your eyes quickly start to darken from side to side at this point because your brain activity is at its peak. The majority of your dreams occur at this time as well, particularly the ones you recall when you wake up. Your breathing becomes faster and more erratic, and your heart rate slightly rises.
Another fascinating truth is that your arms and legs become temporarily immobilised while you are in REM sleep. According to experts, this is our body’s attempt to defend itself in case you choose to carry out any of your dreams.
The two most significant phases are REM and deep sleep. They are essential for strengthening memory and enhancing cognitive abilities.
Why Is Sleep Important?
The key to keeping up a healthy lifestyle is getting regular, quality sleep. Never consider getting enough sleep to be a luxury or an indulgence, as our culture would have us believe.
Your body and mind sort through the events of the day while you sleep. They discard the information you don’t need and keep the crucial data forever.
Lack of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate and shortens your attention span throughout the day. Lack of sleep has an impact on numerous physiological functions. You consequently spend the entire day feeling fatigued and worn out.
Here are a few more advantages of having adequate sleep.
#1 You feel revived and energised when you awaken
#2 Your immune system benefits from sleep
#3 Sleep helps manage stress and control emotions
#4 Your body requires sleep to stay healthy and disease-free
#5 Sleep organises memories while you sleep
#6 Sleep improves attention and concentration while restoring cognitive functioning.
How Can We Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
It depends on the individual how much sleep they need. It takes into account aspects like age, gender, health, and even DNA.
However, people should strive to get between seven and nine hours of high-quality sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
To acquire a restful night’s sleep, researchers have developed a number of techniques. These techniques can be used to create goals, which can subsequently lead to habits. All you need to do is consistently put them into practise each day.
Let’s check them out.
Make Your Bedroom a Sleep-Friendly Zone
To begin with, turn down the lights around 30 minutes before going to bed. Make sure the temperature is comfortable.
Your bed should have comfy sheets and a duvet. Your mattress and pillow are a further significant consideration. To speed up your ability to fall asleep, they should be supportive yet firm.
Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine
Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time so that you can stick to it. Even on weekends, try to maintain consistency.
Your body will understand the message after a few days and start to use its circadian rhythm. You’ll have an easier time falling asleep and wake up feeling more rested when this rhythm is in harmony.
However, if it’s out of synch, you’ll experience the same dizziness and sleepiness that come with jet lag.
Avoid Stimulants and Large Meals in the Evening
Four to six hours before going to bed, avoid drinking or using stimulants, according to medical professionals. Keep in mind that caffeine has a four to five hour half-life. In other words, it takes your body around five hours to eliminate just half of the caffeine you ingested.
Heavy meals might cause you to feel uncomfortable and are just as bad for sleep as caffeine. Your digestive system won’t start to relax; instead, it will work nonstop to break down all the food you ate. It will be more difficult to get to sleep as a result.
Ban Screens from Your Bed
Cell phone and computer screen light is bad for your ability to sleep. This light looks to your brain like sunshine. It consequently prevents the hormone melatonin, which tells your brain to go to sleep, from being released.