Sleeping Right, Feeling Right: The Stages Of Sleep

We all know the benefits of sleeping right and even if we don’t know in detail the impact of lack of sleep on us, we sure as hell know that grumpy, foggy, irritating feeling we get when we don’t get enough rest.

The thing is, just like a car needs refueling or like plants need water to grow, we need rest. As adults, we need at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night for physiological and psychological healing to occur.

There are two general stages of sleep, the NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and the REM (rapid eye movement). The NREM further has four stages:

Stage 1 NREM-sleep is of very light quality, which means that during this stage, we can be easily awakened. It usually lasts about 10 minutes. Then there’s Stage 2 NREM; here, the sleep is still fairly light. Fifty percent of normal adult sleep may be spent in stage 2. After an initial 20 minutes or so of stage 2 sleep, a deep form of sleep called stage 3 to 4 is entered. Stage 3 refers to medium-depth sleep, and Stage 4 signals the deepest sleep. Stage 3 to 4 is where most sleep-walking, sleep-talking and night terrors occur.

After an initial 90 minutes or so of NREM-sleep, we enter the rapid eye movement, or REM-sleep. Dreams occur 80% of the time we are in REM-sleep. Unlike stage 3 to 4 sleep, which is most abundant during the early portion of a sleep period, REM-sleep periods become longer as the night progresses and we become more rested.

When we enter stage 3 and 4 sleep, our body secretes growth hormone which is necessary for physical growth in children but in adults, it repairs our broken skin and builds our muscles. During the day, the sun causes a lot of damage to our skin but when we sleep right, our body repairs the damages and we wake up with a glow! But when we don’t get enough rest over a long period of time (chronic deprivation), our skin begins to age, our under eyes get permanently dark and we develop fine lines and lackluster skin. Lack of sleep also causes our body to release stress hormone which breaks the collagen in our skin and our skin then loses its shine and elasticity.

Lack of sleep also affects your sex life! Bet you didn’t know that now did you? Well, chronic sleep deprivation can lower the testosterone levels (the sex drive hormone) in both men and women and this disturbance in hormone level can totally destroy your mojo!

Lastly, lack of sleep reduces our concentration level. It messes with our alertness and reasoning, a sour sleep cycles plays a role in fusing memories in the mind. So when we don’t sleep, we are unable to remember what we learnt the previous day. It makes our memories cloudy and we tend to get confused easily.

We all have a habit of staying up late watching movies, doing schoolwork or office work and the likes but the fact is, when we don’t get enough sleep, not only will it affect our energy level the next day making us less productive, but it will also affect our physical appearance. I don’t know about you but I would like to look healthy and have awesome skin so yeah I’m definitely sleeping early from now on!

You should try sleeping early too and notice the difference.

 

This article was written by Faith Onaji

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