Trouble sleeping?

If, so read below for some tips to improve your sleep

The science behind sleep

Our sleep consists of two basic states, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movment (NREM) sleep, which consists of stages 1 to 4. During sleep, the body changes between non-REM and REM sleep. Typically, people begin the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep followed by a short period of REM sleep. Throughout the course of the night we experience numerous cycles of these states of sleep. Most dreaming occurs in the REM stage, REM is charactized by eye, increased breathing rate and increased brain activity. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because, while the brain and other body systems become more active, your muscles become more relaxed, or paralyzed. Dreaming occurs because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed. Voluntary muscles are those that you need to move by choice, for example, your arms and legs. Involuntary muscles are those that include your heart and gut. They move on their own.

How long on average it takes someone to fall asleep?

The average sleep latency (the time is takes you to fall asleep) is somewhere between 15-20 mins. If you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow you might not be getting enough sleep. Or if you takes an hour or more to fall asleep, you might be trying to sleep too much.

What affects our sleep ?

There are many factors that can affect our sleep, below are some examples

How to improve our sleep

There are many things we can do to improve our sleep this includes:

During the day:

  • Participate in Physical Exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Curb your caffeine intake
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Store your sleep (avoid daytime naps, unless you are a really tired, take a 10-15 mins break)

During the Evening

  • Invest in a good quality bed
  • Turn out the lights
  • Optimum Temperature
  • Let the room breathe
  • Minimal noise

During the night

Before you go to sleep, relax so you'll be able to fall asleep faster, and have a more restful sleep.


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Dr. Winter, C () Stop Trying to get Eight Hours of Sleep, Available at: (Accessed: 17th November 2013).

() The Effects Medications has on Sleep, Available at: (Accessed: 17th November 2013).

() How to Improve your Sleep, Available at: (Accessed: 24th November 2013).

() Stages of Sleep REM and Non-REM, Available at: (Accessed: 3rd October 2013).

() Stages of Sleep, Available at: (Accessed: 3rd October 2013).

() How Much Sleep Do You Need, Available at: (Accessed: 22nd November 2013).