The oxford dictionary defined sleep as a condition of body and mind that typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.
There are five phases of sleep that human beings go through or they can be in anyone at any point. They are as follows:
This stage of sleep is characterized by light sleep, people float in and out of this sleep and they can wake up easily. Muscle activities slow down at this stage and eyes move slowly. When you wake up from this stage of sleep, you can remember disjointed graphic pictures.
Once we are in this second phase of sleep, our eye movement stop, and our brain influences slow down. This is followed by spindles which are intermittent surges of fast impressions
In the third phase, the brain becomes very slow and begin to experience delta impression which is characterized by scattered lesser and quicker waves.
During this phase, the person is in deep sleep and the brain produces only delta waves. It is a challenge to wake people up in phases 3 and 4. There is limited muscle activity and eye movement. When you wake people up in this stage, they are dazed and find it difficult to adjust instantaneously. At this phase some people have nightmares, sleepwalk and children urinate while asleep.
The fifth and last phase of sleep is called REM sleep. At this phase, our body muscles are momentarily inactive, our breathing becomes fast, narrow, irregular and our eyes jolts swiftly. At this stage, people have dreams, their heartbeats and blood pressure increase. Males have penile erection involuntarily and this happens between 70 to 90 minutes of sleep.
The quality of our sleep is determined by a lot of factors, different signals in our brain determine whether we are awake or at sleep. There are diets and medications that can alter these indications to determine how well we sleep. Some beverages like coffee and medicines can stimulate our brain and cause an inability to sleep which is also called insomnia. Nicotine withdrawal in heavy smokers and alcohol consumption denies people of REM and makes them sleep lightly, at this stage they can be awakened easily. Therefore you cannot solve the problem of insomnia with alcohol consumption.
Light sleep triggers forgetfulness, people tend to forget things they just did briefly before sleep. We also do not have healthy sleep when our patterns of sleep are disrupted regularly.
The amount of sleep we require is determined by several issues ranging from our age to how tired we are at the point of sleep. Adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily; children need about 16 hours and teenagers about 9 hours. As we grow older, we sleep more lightly and for smaller durations. People over 60 years tend to have sleeping problems; this may be because of sicknesses attributed to old age, the medications are taken to cure these sicknesses, or generally as characteristics of aging.
Inadequate sleep affects our body badly, if you regularly fall asleep within 4 minutes of lying down, feel sleepy during the day, or have momentarily incidents of sleep while awake, you are deprived of enough sleep or you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Now we will look at ways we can sleep better peacefully. Studies confirm that poor sleep has unhealthy effects on our brain, hormones, and how effective we are on our tasks. So a good night’s sleep is very important just like healthy nutrition and steady exercise.
So if you want to sleep better peacefully and live a healthy life, here are things you need to do.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening. Blue light in the night makes your body believe its day time and this keeps you awake.
- You must have your bath before you sleep.
- Exercise your body regularly during the day.
- Enjoy daily sunlight or artificial bright light during the day.
- Do not drink caffeine at night because it stimulates the nervous system and stops you from relaxing naturally at night.
- Have a consistent sleep pattern that will help your brain adjust to a good sleep pattern.
- Take healthy supplements that can help you relax and sleep naturally.
- ACDC hemp flower is popular to have a relieving effect without intoxicating.
- Sleeping during the day will disorganize your internal clock mechanism and disrupt your sleep pattern. So avoid sleeping for a long time during the day.
- Reduce your intake of fluid or liquids during the night to avoid constant urination that will wake you up at night.
- Sleep and wake at appropriate times so that your body will align itself to sunrise and sunset.
- Avoid heavy alcohol consumption; it disrupts sleep patterns, causes snoring and sleeps apnea.
- Improve your bedroom environment by reducing noise, light; ensure your sleeping room is clean, quiet, and pleasant.
- Ensure your bedroom temperature is suitable for sleep.
- Don’t eat heavy food late in the night.
- Sleep on a comfortable bed, with a good mattress and pillow.
Finally, having outlined ways you can sleep better, a word to the wise is enough, it is good you take cognizance of them to live a healthy and better life.