Science Behind Sleep

August 29th, 2010 · No Comments · Health

I was trying to read up on the internet about what sleep is all about and how it impacts the human body, some of the facts that I came across were really good.

Sleep is a key aspect of our life style and it determines how well we perform in our day to day activities.

When a person sleeps, the sleep pattern switches in cycles between Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM).

During the REM cycle, the person is not in ‘deep sleep’ and just trying to get comfortable. Once comfortable, the NREM cycle kicks in and after about an hour or so, the NREM sleep time is the most crucial part of sleep.

For anyone to get into more NREM cycles, I believe it is very important that they spend a good 30 minutes to an hour or so, before they start sleeping, just focused on winding down for the day. This can involve a combination of activities that help calm down the body – some examples are reading a book, drinking a glass of milk, meditating or praying, etc. In my view, even writing down a ‘to do list for the next day’ should help as it relieves the brain from having to remember and be thinking of what to do the next day, instead it can relax having known that there is a list of items planned for the next day.

A simple theory I have always followed is:

If you wake up in the morning and you feel like you want to sleep more, then you have not had enough sleep. I am not referring to the situation where a person sleeps 12 hours and wants to sleep more. I am referring to the situation where a person has had adequate sleep, for 8 to 10 hours, and when they wake up they feel they are fresh.

If you use the above mentioned theory, you can tell yourself if you have slept well or if your lack of sleep will be affecting your body. Other ways of finding it out are if the person gets tired within 12 hours of waking up from sleep.

I use these measures to gauge if I have had enough sleep or not. Please try to use the same theory to analyze if you have slept well enough.

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