W hen you are scrambling to meet the demands of modern life, cutting back on sleep can seem like the only answer. Who can afford to spend so much time sleeping? The truth is you cannot afford not to. In this article, learn about how restorative sleep can benefit your personal health, and how to determine your needs when it comes to sleep while maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
Many of us want to sleep as little as possible—or feel like we have to. Trust me, there are many nights during school semesters that I only receive two to three hours of sleep. We know the essential on how to maintain a healthy and happy life. For example, exercise and good balance nutrition are crucial for optimal health and happiness, so is your sleep schedule. You probably hear this phrase too many times before “The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your life”. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort than sleeping.
We know that sleep is a time for our body to rest. This is true, but our brain stays busy to oversee a wide variety of biological maintenance tasks for your body to recover the next day. Inadequate hours of restorative sleep can hinder your performance each day. You won’t be able to work, learn, create and communicate at your true potential.
It’s not just the number of hours in bed that is important—it’s the quality of those hours of sleep. If you’re giving yourself plenty of time for sleep, but you’re still having trouble waking up in the morning or staying alert all day, you may not be spending enough time in the different stages of sleep—especially deep sleep and REM sleep. By understanding how the sleep cycles work and the factors that can lead to those cycles being disrupted, you’ll be able to start getting both the quantity and the quality of sleep you need.
Your biological clock or circadian rhythm is otherwise known as your internal 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is regulated by processes in the brain that respond to how long you’ve been awake and the changes between light and dark. When you are asleep, your body is trying to producing melatonin, also known as a hormone that makes you sleepy. During the day, sunlight triggers the brain to inhibit melatonin production so you feel awake and alert.
This sleep-wake cycle can be disrupted by factors such as nightshift work, traveling across time zones, or irregular sleeping patterns, leaving you feeling groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times. The production of melatonin can also be thrown off when you’re deprived of sunlight during the day or exposed to too much artificial light at night, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle and preventing you from getting the sleep you need. Tune in next week for the myth and facts about sleep.
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