The Power of Sleep

Long ago it was believed that sleep was merely an activity which was passive and those falling asleep went into a dormant state of mind. However in the late 1950s a research proved that when a person falls asleep, his brain still remains active. It further stated that sleep is also one of the factors responsible for how our body functions daily. Thus it is safe to say that our bodies require sleep to recharge our internal batteries for its better working. If we lack getting a good sleep, it might result in improper functioning of our body resulting in an impact on our health.

Power of sleep

We as humans spend a third of our lifetime in sleeping, which could vary a little here and there based on factors such as your age, sex, health and the acts you perform before sleeping. A regular day-to-day sleep works in cycles of around 90-110 minutes, wherein the first cycle is shorter consisting of a long deep sleep followed by short Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage, which reverses its time pattern as the night progresses. It is therefore a well-known fact that if we wake up in just a few minutes after we sleep, we hardly recall anything that happened before the sleep. For example we seem to forget phone conversations that occurred in the middle of nights.

Benefits of a Good Sleep

Healthy sleep is a necessity for our proper functioning to gain optimum energy, boost immunity, cognitive ability, physical strength and resilience. It also helps in slowing down the ageing cycle and risk of illness and diseases. Let us see how your body benefits while you are asleep:

  • It helps to form a path in your brain for better learning and memory.
  • It regulates hormones levels (those responsible for metabolism and stress)
  • Lowers the risk of injury with improved physical performance.
  • Helps significantly in improving overall stamina and strengthens the immune system.
  • Can improve productivity with better focus and creativity.
  • Helps regulate and process emotions and to make better decisions.

How to sleep better

Thus considering the work done on our body while we are asleep, lack of sleep might result in noticeable bodily dysfunctioning. But here we need to understand that above everything else, the quality of sleep is far more essential than how long you sleep. It is always better to have a six hours refreshing sleep than eight hours of poor sleep leading to a bad day.  There are several factors that may cause sleepless nights, may it be students studying for exams or individuals pouring themselves into office work. Sleep deprivation and insomnia can lead to problems in the long run though, but here are some suggestions one can follow easily to get a better sleep:

  1. Experts say it is always better to sleep on your right side for a good night’s sleep because of the positioning of your heart and liver.
  2. To be in the bed by 10:30 or even early if possible, because that’s when our body drifts into a sleep mode.
  3. Instead of thinking about stressful things, visualize happy thoughts and images, this helps you feel peaceful and relaxed.
  4. Reading helps to relax and stay calm before bed, further aids in separating stress and sleep time. But it is important to note that reading here should be done on paper books, not electronic one. 
  5. Caffeine causes alertness thus preventing chemicals in the brain that encourage good sleep, however this might vary individual to individual. 
  6. Aromatherapy uses essential oils and helps promote sleep as it relaxes your senses aiding to fall asleep faster.

If one follows these suggestions, one can get a sound sleep which is quite essential for our physiological functioning and the repairing our body goes through during sleep. Maintaining a good sleep schedule is the least we can do to improve our overall health and well-being. Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.

How much sleep is good sleep?

Quality sleep is what one needs for good health and well-being, but the number of hours of sleep one needs may vary according to individual and his/her age group. Experts recommend a 7-9 hours of sleep for an average adult which may vary for other age groups as shown in the diagram. Starting from today pay attention to your sleep pattern this week, how many hours of sleep you get based on that and comparing the diagram bring certain changes.

How much sleep is good sleep

We all are living in an age of changing faster lanes, and thus sleeping hours is the first of many compromises we make. Whether you are a college student, a new mother or a struggling entrepreneur you’ve certainly had many late nights and early mornings trying to meet up with your endless to-do list. We all have been there and have done that, and it’s okay to sacrifice a little sleep to fulfill them but what is not okay is making this a regular long-term habit.  A certain amount of sleep is the basic requirement of our body which if sacrificed for a long time may result in detrimental effects on our health. Thus, one of the most important things you can do for overall health and well-being is: sleep

Sleep well!!