When was the last time you were on your bed for hours, struggling to fall sleep?
How was the morning thereafter?
And how was the day at office? Were you at your best that day?
Study after study has suggested that a good night’s sleep affects in part how we take on the world next day. And that if the sleep deficiency continues for long, it can wreck our ability to think, learn, react, and take decisions.
A quick search through Google for ‘what is sleep’ gives us this in return (screenshot):
So, sleep is a condition of body and mind. And we need it the very way we need food and air for our survival.
Stages of Sleep
Sleep specialists categorize sleep into 5 different stages which are stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement). Once you have covered all the stages, the cycle starts all over again.
We spend most of our sleeping hours in stage 2, about 20 percent of time in REM stage, and the rest 30 percent in stages 1, 3, and 4.
Infants, however, spend almost half of their sleeping time in the REM stage.
Why is Sleep Important?
- Because we just cannot stand that heavy, groggy feeling that comes to us after a sleepless night or when we don’t sleep well
- Because sleep is critical for our mental health, physical health, and how we function every day at home, in schools & colleges, and at offices
- Because sleep supports the growth and development of children and teens
- Because sleep deficiency that continues for long can make you more susceptible to heart diseases, strokes, kidney diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and what not.
- Because when you’re sleep deprived, you tend to get depressed, and might find difficulty controlling your emotions and behaviour
- Sleep deficiency is also linked to suicidal and risk taking behaviour
- Because quality sleep powers up your immune system which leads to a healthier and happier you
- Because if you’re sleep deficient, you are not likely to perform at workplace or school the way you should
- Because lack of sleep can delay your response time – so if you drive regularly, it’s very important that you take your sleep seriously and meet a sleep specialist at the earliest if you’re finding sleeping difficult these days
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Sleep needs vary from one person to another and depend on several factors including age and general health condition.
Infants usually need 16 hours of sleep a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average.
And, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep for most adults.
What to do if you’re getting sleepless nights these days?
- Figure out the causes and get rid of them
- Take a pledge to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle
- Include fresh fruits and green veggies and foods that help in inducing sound sleep
- Exercise daily – take a jog, or a brisk walk, do whatever suits you
- More importantly, meet your family doctor who might refer you to a sleep specialist. Read about the sleep disorder treatments here.
We’re done for this post. If you are having a sleep related problem or getting treated for a sleep disorder and need a second opinion on your case, just drop us a comment and we’ll get back to you at the shortest possible time.