Deep sleep allows you to feel rested, invigorated. Deep sleep is essential for good health and to help you be more productive.
Without deep sleep we become irritable, moody, we can’t focus, and we are certainly not fun to be around!
When I don’t have a good night’s sleep, I feel heavy, my mind is foggy, my neck is stiff and my whole outlook towards the day is grim. My only consolation is thinking that this tiredness, that will only get worse throughout the day, might help me sleep better that night.
Usually, thankfully, I have no issues and I do get deep sleep most of the time. But so many of my friends have severe sleep problems. They literally have dark circles under their eyes…
In this sleep series, join me in learning why sleep is such a fundamental part of our lives, taking up so much of our daily hours. We’ll dig into the sleep crisis in America, how our bedrooms, beds and mattresses are not helping us and the misunderstood sleep vampires lurking in our homes. I’ll also share some tips and tricks to make sleeping a little easier.
Deep sleep is a must for all living creatures.
It also affects your thinking, helping you restore mental energy and it even affects your personality and sense of humor.
Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Are you one of those chronically sleep deprived people?
It’s not rocket science that there is a relationship between sleep and disease.
We feel drained when we don’t rest well, so of course, sleep is essential. All human beings need for survival: water, air, food and sleep (shelter).
During deep sleep, your body releases growth hormone, regulates appetite, repairs muscle tissue, balances the body’s immune system and all our cells regenerate.
Those that are sleep deprived are more likely to be overweight, have strokes or other cardiovascular disease and are more prone to infections, more on that coming up in this series.
According to Time Magazine, researchers believe that the brain, at some point during the day, produces a signal telling the body’s major systems to start slowing down for the day, in a sense, prepping it for deep sleep.
However, for people with insomnia or chronic sleep problems, this vital signal might not be firing at all.
The lack of deep sleep is one of the main causes of not making appropriate judgements nor maintaining long attention spans, especially while driving!
According to these same researchers, sleep is the single most important thing people should do to reset their brain and body for health.
In my opinion, and it might sound lame, one of the difficulties of sleeping nowadays is our disdain for idleness and rest. We deem sleep as not important.
We live in a culture that prizes activity and success in a quest for achieving more of everything. In fact, many people dismiss sleep as if it were something they can cut corners on.
And one of the symptoms of this, is what my friends always complain about: “my brain doesn’t stop!”. They’re still thinking about work, the client that didn’t come through, the meeting in 2 days, etc.
We are all different and have different needs.
But, sleep is a critical part of your overall health and should be treated as a sacred undertaking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, babies usually sleep 16-18 hours, teenagers need around 9.5 hours and adults usually need 7-8 hours, while elderly people, most of the time, need less.
We spend about 1/3 of our lifetime sleeping!
If you wake up in the morning and you:
For this you’ll need the right environment to nurture sleepiness and a healthy set of habits to sync your tiredness with the cycle of a 24-hour day; details coming up.
The National Institute of Health asserts that we all dream and that we spend about 2 hours each night dreaming - it’s just that some of us do not remember our dreams… I’m one of them. But I’m trying every single morning to remember right before my dream vanishes into oblivion.
As we sleep and dream away, our brains are going through something like a ‘reset’, similar to our computers. There are a lot of neuron firing as we slumber, the brain balances hormones, enzymes and proteins to re-balance.
However, such a blissful experience is not common for far too many people.
For some people, unfortunately, they lie in bed with lights off, just to find themselves with their eyes open and mind racing, frustrated and tired… not being able to doze off into deep sleep.
Lack of deep sleep is a debilitating issue. It not only makes people irritable, forgetful and depressed but they are also more prone to accidents.
According to the National Institute on Aging, insomnia is the most common sleep problem in adults aged 60 or older.
Let’s understand how we sleep in the next section and we’ll delve into the fascinating science of deep sleep.
NBC News, What happens in your body and brain while you sleep, www.nbcnews.com
National Sleep Foundation, www.sleep.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Recommended hours of sleep per day, www.cdc.gov
American Sleep Association, Stages of sleep, www.sleepassociation.org
National Institute of Health, Brain basics: understanding sleep, www.ninds.nih.gov
Time Magazine, The sleep cure, www.time.com
National Institute on Aging, A good night’s sleep, www.nia.nih.gov