What Makes Sleep so Important?

We hear it all the time: “sleep is important” still many of us don’t know why. Even worse most of us still don't know how to sleep properly! 

All this shouldn't be surprising since The reality is not even scientists fully understand why we sleep! That doesn't mean that we don't understand what the benefits of sleeping are (or at least most of them). 

One of the biggest misconceptions is that sleep is a shutting down period; on the contrary, it is quite an active period for our bodies and our minds. It’s a period of restoration and strengthening. 

It is very important that we educate ourselves as much as we can about sleep since it seems that a lot of people have problems sleeping.

There is no set time for us to sleep everyone's is different, some people need more sleep so don’t let anyone judge you if need to sleep in every once in a while. The average is 7.5 hours. Again everyone is different! 

One of the crucial things that happen during sleep is that your mind “regroups” organizing what happened during the day and turning short term memories into long term ones. Sleep is also when our body regenerates and repairs itself. 

 

Sleep is not a constant state when we sleep we go trough different phases. These phases constitute a cycle. You can go through more that one cycle during the night. It’s very important for your body that you complete these cycles to fully rest

Sleeping Cycle

Non- REM Sleep

Phase 1- During this phase, you are half asleep half away. Many people experience light twitching at this point (not always so light). Sleep is very light at this point. 

Phase 2- Your breath starts slowing down. Dreaming rarely occurs in this stage. Sleep is still quite light at this time. 

Phase 3 This is when your sleep becomes deeper. Your breathing and heart rate are at they’re lowest. You can dream at this point although it not as common as in REM sleep. It is during this period that the Parasomnias ( a type of sleeping disorder) like sleep walking and talking happen. 

REM Sleep

This seems to be the phase of sleep that most people know about. it is when your eyes lid start opening and closing very quickly hence the name: Rapid Eye Movement. 

This is where dreams occur if you are in fact a dreamer. Your brain is so active at this point that is may even be more active than when you are awake! Crazy right? The same thing doesn’t happen to your body, you are pretty paralyzed at this point, probably not a bad thing in case you decided to react all you dreams

After this, you start over again. 

After reading this you should be able to recognize these stages when you sleep. Are you going through the whole cycle? Are you having trouble getting past the lightest stages of sleep? 

Understanding sleep will help you figure out if there is something in your sleeping pattern that isn't working. So make sure you pay attention to this very important part of your day.