Sleep and its Importance
Sleep is a vital function that allows our bodies and minds to rejuvenate and recharge, leaving us feeling refreshed when we wake up. Lack of sleep can harm our health and adversely affect our performance at work and social life. Sleep disorders are common nowadays, and managing insomnia is crucial as early detection and treatment can help manage it.
The Four Stages of Sleep
Once we fall asleep, our bodies follow a sleep cycle that splits into four stages. The first three stages are known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and the final stage is REM Sleep.
This stage is a transition between the sleep-wake cycle and is characterized by light sleep. Our muscles relax, and breathing and eye movements begin to slow down.
The NREM sleep stage is characterized by deeper sleep, and our heart rate and muscles continue to slow down. Eye movement begins to cease, and our temperature will decrease. Stage 2 is typically the longest of the four stages of sleep.
In this stage, our heartbeat, breathing rate, and brain and muscle activity will reach the lowest level. The brain activity and its pattern are known as delta sleep. After that, our body starts its repair as it is in a deep sleep.
Stage 4 REM Sleep:
While our brain is aroused with mental activities, our voluntary muscles become immobilized in this stage. In addition, brain activity is similar to waking hours in this sleep. On the contrary, our body is paralyzed, preventing us from acting out our dreams. It begins approximately 90 minutes after we doze off. Once the REM is over, our body returns to stage 2 and begins the cycle again.
Five Benefits of Good Sleep
We have streamlined five reasons why good sleep is essential for health and how it can improve our health. Poor quality sleep can have detrimental effects on our health and well-being. It improves performance, mood, and mental health. Conversely, lack of sleep can adversely affect our health in many ways.
Here is the good news for all the weight watchers: you can maintain an ideal body weight by practicing a healthy sleep cycle. According to studies, individuals who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are at high risk of weight gain and high body mass index.
Improve and Maximize Athletic Performance:
Good sleep enhances athletic performance. According to a study, quality sleep may improve fine motor skills, reaction time, muscular power, and problem-solving skills.
Improve Your Heart Health:
Lack of quality sleep can put you at risk of developing heart disease. As per the analysis, individuals sleeping less than 7 hours have a 13% increased risk of death from heart disease. In addition, it is vital to practice sleep hygiene not just for your heart’s health but your general health.
Improve Mental Health:
Poor sleep and depression are closely related, and often, people dealing with depression and allied issues have chronic sleep issues and sleep disorders. In addition, often, people with sleep apnea and other health conditions are linked with low-quality sleep.
Poor sleep can increase the risk of inflammation in the body. Sleep is key to managing our CNS, as per the stress-response systems. Therefore, lack of sleep can have a negative impact and increase the risk of inflammation in the body, and as a result, it can negatively impact our health.
How to Get Quality Sleep at Night?
Here are some tips to help you doze off and get undisturbed eight-hour sleep.
Follow and Stick to a Sleep Schedule:
Make it a habit to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Sweat it Out:
Indulge in mild to moderate exercise in the daytime, and avoid doing exercise close to bedtime, as this may disrupt the sleep cycle. The idea here is to make your body tired as it will help you fall asleep quicker.
Increase Sun Exposure by Going Out in the Park:
According to research, getting natural light for at least 30 minutes in the morning will improve your sleep patterns and positively impact your health.
Limit Smartphone Use:
Do not use smartphones and gadgets before bedtime. Do not use your phone in bed; stop using your mobile or laptop at least one to 1.5 hours before you hit the sack.
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