The Importance of Sleep
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is imperative. Without it you wouldn’t be able to function. Research shows that people who get a full nights rest are able to learn more efficiently. It also shows that if you get enough sleep that you are better at managing stress and making decisions. Basically, you are more likely to be able to accomplish the things that you want if you get a good night’s rest. A lot of people think that all sleep is the same but it’s not.
There are 2 main types of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. There are a couple big differences between the two types of sleep: One during NREM sleep your dreams are very short and brief and during REM sleep they are longer. During NREM sleep your dreams aren’t as vivid and interesting and are more likely to be forgotten. They are more just like your thoughts. Your dreams during REM sleep are more interesting and deeper. REM sleep lasts usually around one or two hours a night while NREM sleep lasts around six hours. Neither type of sleep is necessarily better than the other, but are both needed. When you first start to calm down and doze off you’re in the first stage of sleep. During this stage of sleep you are semi-awake and semi-asleep. This is when you experience what you may call “day dreams” or hallucinations. In this stage you may also experience something called a myoclonic jerk. This occurs when you have a dream that you are falling and you actually jerk and wake yourself up. It is also in this stage of sleep that you seem to be asleep but when someone or something makes you wake up you claim that you weren’t actually asleep.
In the second stage of sleep your heart rate and body temperature start to decrease. This stage of sleep only lasts for about 20 minutes. During this stage of sleep you can experience what’s called a hypnic jerk, this is when all of the muscles in your body relax. You are very easily woken up during this stage because you still aren’t in a deep sleep, but you do realize that you were asleep when you get woken up. During this and the fourth are when you are physically exhausted and need to sleep.
The third stage of sleep is a little bit more interesting. During this stage of sleep you are considered to finally be in a deep sleep. If you get woken up during this stage it may take you a little longer to process things and be able to function. You also may not remember waking up once you have went back to sleep and have woken up on your own. This stage is when your body starts to heal from everything it has been put through throughout the day. Your immune system works the hardest when you are sleeping, therefore you heal faster. That’s why you always want to sleep so much when you are sick, your body wants to heal itself so it makes you tired.
The fourth stage of sleep is the most interesting. You are in your REM sleep stage. This stage is when your brain starts to unwind from everything that it has had to process that day. This is the stage when you’re mentally exhausted and your brain is finally getting the break that it needs. Nightmares occur during this stage.
It has been proven that the older you get the less sleep you need. It doesn’t feel that way though, it feels like the older you get the more sleep you need, but no. Children need more sleep because it helps them learn more efficiently and have better behaviors. Children that don’t get enough sleep can end up having behavioral issues. It has been found that children who haven’t gotten enough sleep have the same symptoms and reactions as children with attention deficit disorder. It also has been found that women need more sleep than men. It’s not exactly clear why women need more sleep, but some researchers have theorized that it’s because women usually have children between the ages of 18 and 44 so they are usually the ones that have to get up and tend to the children. Women are also wired to fall asleep and wake up earlier than men. It has also been shown that women are more likely to have sleep disorder such as insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome. All of this puts women at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and psychological distress.
In conclusion, sleep is a very important part of your everyday life. Once again, without it you can function. Sleep plays so many roles in life that it’s impossible to name all of them. It’s imperative that you get a good night’s rest and let your body heal itself both mentally and physically.
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