We need to sleep every single day and not getting enough is detrimental to our health. But how much do we know about ‘sleeping’? Read on to find out more.
Unfortunately, there’s no concrete answer and it’s something that has baffled scientists for hundreds of years. However, we do know that sleep is important in maintaining our cognitive skills like speech, memory, and creative thinking also known as brain development.
Sleep is a cycle of 90 to 110 minutes and consists of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and REM sleep.
Non-REM sleep is broken up into light sleep, true sleep, and two stages of deep sleep. Light sleep is when muscle activity slows down and sometimes, slight twitching may happen. After about 10 minutes of light sleep, true sleep occurs where breathing and heart rate starts to slow down and lasts for around 20 minutes. During deep sleep, breathing and heart rate are at their lowest.
REM sleep usually starts 70 to 90 minutes after we fall asleep and it is common to experience three to five REM periods a night. This is when we dream and our blood pressure along with breathing rate increases. However, this is when we’re completely unable to move which is actually
Sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to think because certain parts of the brain become inactive while we’re technically still awake. Additionally, sleep deprivation could impact your decision making skills, solving problems, and behavioural and emotional control. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to depression, suicide and risky behaviour.
Physically, sleep deficiency could increase your risk of obesity and diabetes. Sleep encourages healthy growth and development because during sleep, hormones that promote natural growth in children and teens are released.
An important thing to not is to not drive when you feel drowsy. Driving while drowsy drastically increases your risk of being involved in an accident and even death!
Instead of a fixed time to go to bed, it’s best to have a time range. This matters especially if you’re either a ‘morning lark’ or a ‘night owl’. If you’re a night owl, it’s not right to force yourself to sleep earlier even if you’re not sleepy. It’s best to fit your sleep schedule to your natural tendencies.
It is important however, to ensure that you wake up at the same time every day with an hour leeway during your days off. Experiment with different bedtimes and amount of hours that helps you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.