What is Sleep?
Sleep is a natural recurring state in which the consciousness is altered, sensory activity and voluntary muscular activity of the body is reduced. It is an active resting state essential for strong mental physical & emotional health.
What are the stages of sleep?
When we sleep, we go in two main stages NREM and REM , each has unique characteristics including variations in brain wave patterns, eye movements, and muscle tone.
Non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep which is further divided into three stages (N1, N2, N3) has unique characteristics (N3 is deep sleep) These occur in cycles usually 4- 5 times during the night. We spend 80 % of time during sleep in NREM & 20 % in REM.
In N1 stage one can easily be disturbed by slight noise, if done so one may feel that he or she hasn't slept .
N2 Stage forms 50% of sleep
N3 stage (slow-wave sleep or SWS) On waking up from this stage one feels confused, groggy minutes after waking up.Bed wetting, night terrors, sleep walking occurs during this phase.
REM Sleep: It is the most active stage of sleep with change in breathing, heart rate , blood pressure, muscles twitching & there are increased dreams in this stage REM sleep is very important for memory consolidation.
How many hours of Sleep does one need?
This varies according to the age .Newborns require almost 16 - 18 hours & the requirement decreases as one grows older.Teenagers require 9 hours & adults require average of 7 - 8 hours.The Elderly require 6 - 7 hours. Sleep is considered adequate when there is no daytime sleepiness or dysfunction.
Why is sleep important?
We need sleep to keep us healthy, happy , & doing our best!
Your Brain Needs Sleep, so you can:
- Remember what you learn
- Pay attention, concentrate & make decisions
- Solve problems & create fresh ideas
- Removes unimportant information (memory)
Your Body Needs Sleep, so your:
- Muscles & bones repairs
- Skin has an anti-aging effect, it gets repaired ; the under eye circles, wrinkles, & fine lines get reduced
- Body can stay healthy & fight sickness
What happens if one doesn't get enough sleep?
This affects physical & mental wellbeing. A poor night's rest leads to decrease in overall quality of life. It can affect various systems of the body & can cause serious medical diseases.
- Cardiovascular problems -high blood pressure, heart disease
- Behavioral problems -irritability , mood disorders
- Brain attacks - Stroke
- Metabolic problems - diabetes
- Decreased immunity
- Accidents at work & while driving.