ZZZZ.. Can you even imagine what we are about on this weeks episode? That’s right, you guessed it! We are talking about SLEEP. And not the boring you need sleep stuff we always preach but the reason WHY sleep is important! Tune in now and learn what regulates our sleep-wake cycles, the stages of sleep, the recommended hours and as usual our SECRET Tips! If you want to listen to our episode now you can do so by CLICKING HERE.
♡ Why is Sleep Important?
We rave about sleep and how important it is all the time. The amount of sleep is dependent on many factors including age, your circadian rhythm, among others. But why is sleep important? That’s something we get into on this episode.
We all know that sleep helps you recharge, assists with keeping your skin and body healthy, among other things. We also know that when we don’t get enough sleep we don’t feel good, are unable to concentrate and our memory becomes poor.
We’ve been there too, trust us!
Your body has an internal clock that regulates your sleep cycle and it is known as the circadian rhythm. You can notice how this works on yourself by seeing that you get more tired as the day goes on and then get really tired right before you go to sleep. This is also known as a sleep drive or sleep-wake homeostasis and some people say it has to do with adenosine.
Adenosine is a neuromodulator that you have in the brain. Adenosine is thought to increase throughout the day and break down during sleep. So logically speaking that means that Adenosine likely has to do with tiring you out.
There are many things that can affect this circadian rhythm we all have such as, light. In the hypothalamus you have a region known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is the place that reacts to any form of light whether artificial or natural. When your eyes are exposed to light it processes signals and helps your brain determine if it's daytime or night time. You can see how important the suprachiasmatic nucleus is for us in our day to day.
Moving along, at night or when the natural light is gone your body releases melatonin. This helps you become more tired whereas, in the morning your body releases cortisol to make you more energetic and awake.
♡ Stages of Sleep
There are 4 sleep stages. Once you fall asleep you go through these various cycles. The first three stages are known as NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep and the fourth stage is known as REM (rapid eye movement sleep).
Stage 1 NREM: This is basically light sleep and lasts for several minutes. You can notice it’s initiation on yourself when you just start to fall asleep. At this time your heart, lungs, and body begins to relax. Your eye movements slow down and so do your brain waves.
Stage 2 NREM: This is the second stage and it is characterized by deeper sleep so everything that was beginning to relax is now even more relaxed. This stage is the longest of all the sleep stages because it is the stage of DEEP sleep. During this state your eye movements stop and your body temperature will get lower. Your brain waves are generally slow during this sleep except for brief spikes of higher frequency wavelengths.
Stage 3 NREM: At this point your heart rate, breathing, muscles and brain wave activity are at their lowest levels allowing for maximum relaxation. This is why this stage is said to be responsible for how refreshed you feel the next day. From the time you go to bed through the time you wake up this stage shortens in duration throughout your sleep. So the first time you hit this stage will be the longest.
REM: which is also stage 4. The first time you reach this stage during sleep is about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. REM literally means your eyes are moving fast. In addition during this stage your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure will begin to rise. This is also the stage that’s responsible for DREAMS. Isn’t that awesome? However, the not so awesome part is that your arms and legs will become paralyzed. This is theorized to be a protective measure your body does to avoid from physically acting out your dreams. Unlike Stage 3, REM sleep duration increases as the night progresses. Many studies link REM sleep to memory consolidation or what is known as making your memories long-term. As you get older the length of the REM stage decreases leading to more time spent in the other 3 stages.
If you haven’t noted this by now these 4 stages occur in cycles so they will repeat throughout the night up until you wake up. Each cycle should last about 90 to 120 minutes and your NREM sleep or the first 3 stages constitutes about 75 - 80% of each cycle.
Note: You may also wake up briefly during the night but not remember the next day. These episodes are known as “W” stages.
♡ How much Sleep do you need?
The average recommended house of sleep per age group. This can vary slightly from person to person. As a rule of thumb, for any adult over the age of 18 the recommended hours of sleep will be between 7 and 9 hours. Additionally, the general trend is you will see that as you get older you require less hours of sleep.
♡ Secret Tips
All of these tips revolve around sleep hygiene so here goes:
Think of your bed as only good for two things: Sleep and Sex
Have a Schedule
Relaxing pre-bed Routine
Hotel grade Mattress
Shut off ALL Electronic Devices
Avoid drinking too much Caffeine
Monitor Alcohol intake
That's all for this week, don't forget to leave us feedback, rate, review, subscribe and send in your questions so we can continue to improve as well as, provide you high quality content.
Disclaimer: The Content on our podcast/website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.