Sleep- the essential state of peace

Why do humans need SLEEP?

For a great day filled with lots of fun, sleeping is for everyone!

5 ways to improve sleeping schedules:

-try going to bed earlier at night

-go to a quiet place

-turn off the lights and create a dark setting

-eat healthy before bed!

-create a comfortable environment in which to sleep (soft pillow, sheets)

Definition of Sleep-

You hear about sleep constantly in contemporary society. But what is sleep and how does it affect our lives? Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. Sleep is that time to relax and revitalize after a long day of work. It is that state of ease and a time to reflect on past memories and develop thoughts. A time of dreaming and of rest, sleep is quintessential to man.


So why do humans sleep? The very first organisms recognize the necessity of sleep for two main reasons: preservation and Restoration. Humans have a biological impulse to sleep as it is a safe haven from the tumult of the world and from the dangers of the night. Primary instinct tells us to fall asleep each night to attain a sense of security.


What you should know about sleep-

The Hypothalamus id the control center of the brain. This area of the brain monitors changes in light or dark on the environment and changes the levels of hormones in the body. Melatonin is the hormone that specifically helps to regulate daily biological rhythms, increasing during the night and decreasing with exposure to morning light.

It is important to recognize the stages of sleep. There are 5 stages of sleep that on encounters as the night progresses. An electroencephalograph can be used to record the electrical activity on the brain's surface and is especially important the the study of the brain' stages of sleep. In stage 1 of sleep humans breathing is slowed and it is still easy to arouse an individual in this stage of sleep. Everyone has those grandparents or a father who insist that they were, "watching the television", even though they were in this stage of sleep. By the time a person has reached stage 2 of sleep, brain waves slow and by stage 3 a person experiences slow wave sleep. It is common for many adults to experience these first stages of sleep over the following stages. Stage 4 of sleep is highlighted by a deeper more intense wave cycle slowing. These stages (1-4) are all considered N-REM (non-REM sleep) and by the time stage 5 is reached REM sleep has begun. This stage id viewed commonly among researchers as the most important stage in a child's development and is constituted by rapid eye movement and dreaming. The term "paradoxical sleep" termed by William Dement is exposed in this stage. This stage of sleep, in terms of wave pattern, is similar to when a person is awake and pulse and breathing quickens.

Feeling the effects of sleep deprivation-

Some effects of sleep deprivation include:

-increases the risk of accidents

-irritability

-cognitive impairment

-memory lapses or loss

-impaired moral judgement

-severe yawning

-hallucinations

-symptoms similar to ADHD

-impaired immune system

-risk of diabetes type 2

-increased heart rate variability

-risk of heart disease

-decreased reaction time and accuracy

-tremors

-aches

-growth suppression

-risk of obesity

-decreased temperature


There are so many other consequences of sleep deprivation but these are some of the more known effects. It goes to show how influential sleep is in one's life. Specifically sleep deprivation in rats has been studied and research demonstrates that complete sleep deprivation leads to failure to thrive, excessive food intake with decreased weight, a loss of hair and skin abnormalities, hyperactivity, and finally the death of all rats at day 22.