Health Benefits Of Sleep


Sleep is a nature’s way of helping the body and mind to rest and rejuvenated at periodic intervals. People believe that when one sleep, the brain switched off; in fact, while the body rests a lot is going on in the brain repair, restoration dreaming, processing of new experiences and information are just some things your brain deals with when you are fast asleep. Sound and deep sleep adds value tour waking hours as it keeps us energetic and alert throughout the day.

The deep sleep stage is when the brain enters the rapid eye movement cycle (REM). This is when the sun-conscious over rides the conscious mind and dreaming take place. Interestingly, a lack of REM sleep plays havoc with our system. Emotions become fragile which can cause mood swings, irritability and confused thoughts. The light sleeper in particular, may not experience complete REM cycle which can cause problems.

Another benefit of sleep is that it boosts our immune system by helping our body produce extra protein molecules which help fight infections. At least 9-7 hour sleep is mandatory for adults; so much information is absorbed during working hours that the brain needs its own very quiet time to process and absorb all data. ”Let’s sleep on it” is a wise decision because sleep not only helps retention but also aids in recalling the forgotten facts. So, to sharpen your memory takes a nap!

Sleep in natural anti-ageing remedy. The second stage of sleep, called delta sleep, is the time when our hormone levels peak. This is when cell repair and damage control to the skin takes place.

REM & Non-REM sleep:
When we sleep, our body rests & restores its energy levels. However, sleep is an active state that affects both our physical and mental well-being. Night’s sleep is considered as the best way to help us dealing with stress, solve problems or recover from illness.

What is Non-REM sleep?
The period of non- REM sleep is made up of stages 1-4. All these stages last between 5-15 minutes. Sleep cycle consists of a progression from stages 1-4 before REM sleep is attained, then the cycle starts over again.

Polysomnography (PSG):
It is also known as a sleep study, is as multi-parametric test used in the study of sleep. It helps in diagnosing sleep disorders. The test result is called a polysomnogram.

Stages of sleep: The nature has divided sleep into 5 stages.

Stage 1:
In this stage the eyes are closed. If aroused from this stage of sleep, a person may feel stressed and not slept from long time. Stage 1 may last from 5-10 minutes. There may be a sudden muscle contraction during stage 1 sleep.

Stage 2:
This is the relaxation stage during which PSG readings show intermittent peaks and valleys, or positive and negative waves. This is the period of muscle relaxation. The heart rate slows and the temperature of body becomes low.This is the point when body prepares to enter deep sleep.

Stage 3 & 4:
These are deep sleep stages. These stages are known as slow waves. If aroused from sleep during these stages, the person may feel disorientated for a few minutes.
During the deep sleep, the body undergoes repair phase plus build muscles and bones and appear to strengthen the immune system. In late age such as after 40 years you sleep less deep. Ageing is also associated with shorter time spans of sleep.

REM sleep:
This stage starts after 90 minutes and lasts for 10 minutes. Intense dreaming may occur during REM sleep as a result of increased brain activity, but possibilities are there that paralysis may occur simultaneously in the major voluntary muscle group. According to studies, it is revealed that the ratio of sleep is more during infancy as compared to early childhood. During adolescence and young adulthood, the % of REM sleep declines. Infants can sleep 50% of their sleep in this stage as compared to adults who only spend 20% in REM.