A good sleep pattern can do wonders
Some people already pay more attention to a good sleep pattern than others. While some long for their bed, there are those who consider sleep to be unnecessary. Yet, adequate sleep is essential and gives you a full battery that you need for the next day. Giving both your body and mind the energy they need, sounds good right?
What is sleep?
Like the ringing alarm clock that wakes us up every day, we have internal clocks in our brains. Those clocks make the alternation between sleeping and being awake. If the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin increases, then the body is getting ready to go to sleep and if the amount decreases, it is time to wake up. There are factors that can affect our biological clock and the amount of melatonin in our body viz. light sources and stress.
Often businessmen, politicians and other people in high office see sleep as a waste of time. Donald Trump himself admitted that he only sleeps 3 to 4 (!) hours a day. Don't take this as an example, because sleep is indeed important for good health and to be able to function optimally throughout the day.
Too often we behold sleep as something mysterious that we don't know much about. Even scientists can't give a concrete answer to the question: what is sleep?
What happens to us when we sleep?
Your mind comes to rest when you sleep, because it makes you feel rested and it provides recovery. After a too short night due to a late night at home with friends or a party, you will have already experienced that your alertness and ability to concentrate decrease.
The sleep cycles
In total there are four stages in our sleep cycles, each lasting about 90 to 120 minutes. What happens after those minutes? That's when we engage in micro awakenings. Our body 'checks' for any stimuli that affect our sleep and your body tries to resolve that. Then you immediately doze off back to sleep. So you shouldn't think that you immediately have a sleep problem if you occasionally wake up during the night.
There are 2 important phases in your sleep cycle:
- The first important phase is the deep sleep which provides physical recovery. Your body recovers from the efforts made throughout the day by increasing blood flow to your muscles. You may have wondered why babies and children need more sleep than adults. It's because your body grows and develops the most during that phase.
- Another important phase is the REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep which provides mental recovery. Very active brain and a faster and more irregular heartbeat and breathing accompany that phase. Your brain processes the accumulated information from throughout the day and the data in your short-term memory is transported to your long-term memory. For example, imagine you're learning a new skill at work and you don't understand it very well at first. Then there's a chance you'll be able to perform the skill better the day after because you slept on it overnight.
Why is a good sleep pattern so important?
So sleep is important for your body and your mind. But what exactly does that mean? We take a closer look at some of the benefits of sleep:
- Less time to get sick: especially in winter, it's important to get enough sleep, as you're more susceptible to illness. Your immune system works less if you don't sleep enough, because during sleep you make extra antibodies such as white blood cells and lymphocytes.
- Good for your memory: so that has to do mainly with the REM sleep that processes and stores gathered information.
- Better for the line: do you think a healthy and varied diet is important? Then getting enough sleep is definitely a must. Otherwise, you'll put the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin out of balance, your brain will be confused and you won't give your body the signal that you've already had enough calories.
- Less chance of high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia.
- You'll look fresher and more energetic: say goodbye to your puffiness and drab skin.
- Avoid gloomy thoughts: people who are not rested can often appear cranky, as insufficient sleep affects your irritability and dejection. In the long run, you may even suffer from anxiety disorders and depression.
- Boost your sex life: insufficient sleep reduces your libido.
Sleep is an important part of your life
Despite the little scientific research on the concept of sleep, we are all aware that we need enough sleep to get through the day more productively and that there are many short- and long-term effects associated with it. We cannot give a definitive answer to the question: how much sleep do I really need? It all depends from person to person and what you feel best about yourself. Do you want to promote a relaxed sleep and a good night's sleep? Then maybe these tablets are the solution g