Did you have a good night’s sleep, and are well rested and ready for the day?
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Or, did you toss and turn and took a very long time to fall asleep, only to wake up tired?
Sure, most of us leads stressful lives, but our busy lives must not interfere in our sleeping!
If you are waking up tired with your brain out of order, and drinking lots of coffee to stay awake, read on to learn about some sleeping techniques, so you can have a good night’s sleep!
Most humans needs 5-6 sleep cycles each night to wake up refreshed and ready for the day without feeling tired and groggy. As you lay in bed and are drifting off to sleep, it doesn't seem like much is happening, but after you fall asleep, a lot happens! Your brain swings into action, telling your body how to sleep. As you slowly fall asleep, you begin to enter the five different stages of sleep shown below.
Stage 1: In this stage, your brain gives the signal to your muscles to relax. It also tells your heart to beat a little slower, and your body temperature drops a bit.
Stage 2: After a little while, you enter stage 2, which is a light sleep. You can still be woken up easily during this stage. For example, if you hear a car horn outside, you'll probably wake up.
Stage 3: When you're in this stage, you're in a deeper sleep, also called slow-wave sleep. Your brain sends a message to your blood pressure to get lower. Your body isn't sensitive to the temperature of the air around you, which means that you won't notice if it's a little hot or cold in your room. It's much harder to be awakened when you're in this stage, but some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep at this point.
Stage 4: This is the deepest sleep yet and is also considered slow-wave sleep. It's very hard to wake up from this stage of sleep, and if you do wake up, you're sure to be out of it and confused for at least a few minutes. Like they do in stage 3, some people may sleepwalk or talk in their sleep when going from stage 4 to a lighter stage of sleep.
Stage 5: You are in the Rapid Eye Movement stage. R.E.M. stands for rapid eye movement. Even though the muscles in the rest of your body are totally relaxed, your eyes move back and forth very quickly beneath your eyelids. The R.E.M. stage is when your heart beats faster and your breathing is less regular. This is also the stage when people dream!
The Sleep Cycle Done 5-6 Times Each Night
People dream during R.E.M. sleep, the period that follows the deepest stage of sleep. Everybody has dreams, although some people have a tough time remembering them. No one knows for sure why people dream. Some scientists think that dreams are your brain's way of making sense of what happened during the day. Others think that dreams allow your brain to sort through the events of the day, storing the important stuff and getting rid of the junk. Some scientists say that dreams are a clue to what you're worried about or thinking about. No matter what, dreams are important part of sleep, and you should look forward to them!
Why Do People Dream While Sleeping
Stick To A Schedule
Stick to a regular routine by going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning. Yes, setting an alarm to tell you when to go to bed and to wake up works!
Develop A Bedtime Ritual
Taking a warm bath, reading a book or newspaper, going on a jog/run, praying, talking with a spouse or family, drink a warm drink, etc. Developing a bedtime ritual you follow every night helps you sleep!
The Bedroom Should Only Have A Bed
The bedroom should be only for sleeping and getting ready for the day. That means things like TV’s, smart phones, tablets, computers, and other electronic distractions should be out of the bedroom in every house!
Cut Out The Caffeine/Alcohol
Drinking drinks with caffeine or alcohol, or using tobacco, can mean a long night. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco consumption to ensure a good night’s rest!
Be Physically Active
Research shows that people who are physically active fall asleep faster and have a better rest. The reason, your body is worn out and needs the sleep to repair itself! Plus, sleep keeps you from getting sick more often!
Get Yourself Away From Screens
This is a hard one for geeks/nerds, but to fall asleep faster, get yourself away from screens one hour before bedtime. The blue light from screens can mess up your sleep!
Keep Your Bedroom Cool And Dark
Your bedroom should be between 68-72 degrees while sleeping. Also, your bedroom should be totally dark. If you sleep during the daylight, get a eye mask! And sleep with a fan to keep yourself cool!
Don’t Stay Up Late To Get Work Done
Staying up late to get work done for the next day is not only bad for getting a good night’s sleep, it leaves you with a sleep deficit. And it also leaves your tired for the next day, put the work off and get some rest!
Turn Your Alarm Clock Around
Yes, laying in bed watching the time go by on your alarm clock can hamper yourself from falling asleep. A simple fix, turn the alarm clock around facing the other way, and use an old-fashioned alarm clock!
Can’t Fall Asleep, Get Out Of Bed!
Tossing and turning and can’t fall asleep? Get out of bed, walk around, read something, drink a warm drink, and try to fall asleep again in 30 minutes. Tossing and turning in bed leads to a bad sleep!
Health Problems / Not Enough Sleep
Impaired While Driving
Get Sick More Often
High Blood Pressure
Shorter Life Span
Without adequate sleep, you get sick, fat, and stupid.
Without a good night’s sleep, your brain begins to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you're normally awake. You can't control microsleep, and you might not be aware of it. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of the trip? If so, you may have experienced microsleep. If you're listening to a lecture, for example, you might miss some of the information or feel like you don't understand the point. In reality, though, you may have slept through part of the lecture and not been aware of it.
Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative. Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior. Losing just 1-2 hours of sleep each night can lead towards a sleep deficiency!
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. Simply, sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
Sleep Deficits And The Workplace
Research has shown that people who are sleep deprived make mistakes more often, can’t solve problems as well, and aren’t as creative. Tired employees are also more likely to participate in cyberloafing — watching cute cat videos instead of working. There is also research connecting sleep loss and work performance. And, sleep-deprived workers are less ethical. Plus, sleep plays a role in less employee productivity and effectiveness. Companies needs to institute e-mail free weekends, sleep education, paying attention to one’s circadian rhythms, and allowing employees to nap during the day.
Napping for 20-30 minutes a day, even if one is not sleep deprived, leads to an improved performance and effectiveness!
Amount Of Sleep One Needs Each Night
And yes, reading a bedtime story to your kids each night helps them fall asleep faster. And they perform better in school!
On average, some need more, some need less sleep!
Sleep Apnea Is Very Dangerous!
Do you snore, or do you know of someone who snores? If a person snores loudly and constantly, it could be sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
When you sleep, your airway should remain open, so you can breathe while you are sleeping.
In Sleep Apnea, your tongue collapses and blocks your airway. Causing you to wake up.
If your airway is blocked, you body signals your brain to wake up briefly to re-open the airway. Sleep Apnea relaxes the tongue, causing you to block your airway, and forcing your body to get the airway back open. People with sleep apnea re-awake up to hundreds of times each night.
Treatment For Sleep Apnea
If you think you have Sleep Apnea, see your doctor and complete a sleep study. If found to have Sleep Apnea, treatment ranges from a dental device to a CPAP machine, which forces your airway open when it closes.
Bottomline, Sleep Is Important
Most research shows that we don’t get enough sleep, and our deficit is seriously hurting our productivity, our physical health, even our mental well being. After all, becoming more productive, efficient, and effective in every other area of our life is pointless if we cheat our minds and bodies the rest they deserve.
“Each day has enough trouble of its own,” -Jesus
It’s important you get a good night’s sleep each night so you are well-rested and ready to go the next day! Get into the habit of getting 8-9 hours of sleep each night, you will be glad you did! Good night, sleep tight!