Fit Nepal

Living Healthy and Happy

The most comforting form of relaxing your body is Sleeping. When i say this, i don’t believe anyone will contest it. Sleeping truly brings our body and mind to a compete rest and revitalizes our system to be ready for the next activity.

There has been countless studies done regarding the sleeping habits and the sleeping pattern to understand, truly how important it is to get a good nite sleep. A well rested mind can be more productive, focused and full or energy to tackle the competitive world we live in. From the outside, sleep really does not present itself abs being productive. It shuts down the whole system of the body and brings everything to a full stop. So one might say, how is that productive when the whole body is just motionless and appears dead to the outside world. Makes sense, right? Well, what we forget to realize is that, sleeping may seem useless to the moving world, it does wonders to our inner organs which we need to operate in the outside world. Getting enough sleep is very crucial to the health of our brain.

pic credit:

Sleep Stages

As per the findings from many research, there are two basic types of sleep:  rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep (which has three different stages).  Each is linked to specific brain waves and neuronal activity.  You cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times during a typical night, with increasingly longer, deeper REM periods occurring toward morning.

Stage 1 non-REM sleep is the changeover from wakefulness to sleep.  During this short period (lasting several minutes) of relatively light sleep, your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow, and your muscles relax with occasional twitches.  Your brain waves begin to slow from their daytime wakefulness patterns. 

Stage 2 non-REM sleep is a period of light sleep before you enter deeper sleep.  Your heartbeat and breathing slow, and muscles relax even further.  Your body temperature drops and eye movements stop.  Brain wave activity slows but is marked by brief bursts of electrical activity.  You spend more of your repeated sleep cycles in stage 2 sleep than in other sleep stages.

Stage 3 non-REM sleep is the period of deep sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning.  It occurs in longer periods during the first half of the night.  Your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels during sleep.  Your muscles are relaxed and it may be difficult to awaken you.  Brain waves become even slower. 

REM sleep first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep.  Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eyelids.  Mixed frequency brain wave activity becomes closer to that seen in wakefulness.  Your breathing becomes faster and irregular, and your heart rate and blood pressure increase to near waking levels.  Most of your dreaming occurs during REM sleep, although some can also occur in non-REM sleep.  Your arm and leg muscles become temporarily paralyzed, which prevents you from acting out your dreams.  As you age, you sleep less of your time in REM sleep.  Memory consolidation most likely requires both non-REM and REM sleep.

How much sleep do you need?

Your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, but this varies significantly across individuals of the same age.  There is no magic “number of sleep hours” that works for everybody of the same age.  Babies initially sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours per day, which may boost growth and development (especially of the brain).  School-age children and teens on average need about 9.5 hours of sleep per night.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but after age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings.  Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep. 

In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to longer work hours and the availability of round-the-clock entertainment and other activities. 

Many people feel they can “catch up” on missed sleep during the weekend but, depending on how sleep-deprived they are, sleeping longer on the weekends may not be adequate. 

Direct relation between Sleep and Brain.

  1. Sleep Helps Your Brain Work Faster And More Accurately
  2. Sleep Helps You Make Sense Of New Information
  3. Sleep Helps Your Brain Cement Memories
  4. Sleep Helps Your Brain Think More Creatively
  5. Sleep Helps Your Brain Clear Out Harmful Toxins
  6. Sleep Helps Your Brain Regulate Your Appetite
  7. Sleep Helps Your Brain Keep Your Body Looking Good

Hope Through Research

Scientists continue to learn about the function and regulation of sleep.  A key focus of research is to understand the risks involved with being chronically sleep deprived and the relationship between sleep and disease.  People who are chronically sleep deprived are more likely to be overweight, have strokes and cardiovascular disease, infections, and certain types of cancer than those who get enough sleep.  Sleep disturbances are common among people with age-related neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  Many mysteries remain about the association between sleep and these health problems.  Does the lack of sleep lead to certain disorders, or do certain diseases cause a lack of sleep?  These, and many other questions about sleep, represent the frontier of sleep research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *