General Facts and Major Takeaways About Sleep
Sleep is always an essential element of a healthy living. We all require enough sleep in order to function well in during the day. Basically, scientific research has shown that we spend a third of our entire lives sleeping. As for the remixing two-thirds of the time spent in a waking state, the quality and functionality of this time is usually determined by the amount and quality of sleep we get. As important as sleep is, public awareness about the topic is lacking. Most people are focused on the popular 7-8 hours of sleep a day rule, and they don’t know that quality is as important as quantity when it comes to sleep. I have, therefore, come up with facts about sleep in order to make sure that you guys get a good sleep and a prolonged life as well!
Facts We Should Know About Sleep
1. Sleep Helps In Consolidating Memory
A research by Holcomb (2016), found out that, out of 490 participants put under various sleep durations, there were varying changes in the capacity of their memories. Those who received less sleep showed a significant memory deprivation. In fact, they found things that were previously simple very hard to remember.
On the other hand, those who were subjected to prolonged and quality sleep showed significant improvement in their memories. Information that was stored in their short term memories such as names of new acquaintances were quickly transferred into their long term memories and could easily be remembered. From the research, we can conclude that quality sleep is important for memory enhancement.
In addition, sleep not only helps in improving memory in healthy individuals, it also helps in improving symptoms of certain diseases. Lack of enough sleep may be an accelerator of diseases such as Alzheimer. Several researches and studies on humans and animals have found out that, as more sleep-wake fragments develop, the chances of evolving Alzheimer disease also increases.
Primarily, this is due to the fact that, prolonged sleep deprivation may increase amyloid plaque depositions which are highly correlated to Alzheimer disease. However, individuals and animals that have longer sleep extension periods have a dwindled chance of developing Alzheimer disease.
It is therefore imperative to ensure that you get out of your everyday ‘workaholic’ mentality and give yourself some proper sleep to reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer.
2. Sleep Reduces Cardiovascular Diseases
According to several medical studies, sleep is an important component in reducing cardiovascular diseases. The study found out that, during sleep, your heartbeat is usually slow and the blood pressure is also at minimal levels. These states of affairs occur basically because, during sleeping, the brain is not functioning in the same way it does when you are awake. However, the heartbeat and blood pressure have been found to significantly increase in the morning after you are wide awake.
Physiology Of Sleep
It is of great importance to note that the level of respiration is usually low during sleep. This is due to that fact that, the ribcage movement is reduced and the transfer of oxygen in and out of the lungs is reduced. This means that, you are at a lower risk of acquiring communicable diseases when asleep as compared during your wake hours.
Many people often think that sleep is just an experience of closing the eyes. However, sleep is far much more important to your health than you may think. During sleeping hours, and especially during rapid eye movement sleep (REM), this is when you experience dreams, several things take place. Factually, almost 2 hours of your sleeping experience is spent dreaming. During sleep, the parts of the brain that are inactive during you waking hours are heightened in dreams. They include unconscious thoughts, intelligence, and higher order reasoning thoughts.
Sleep also facilitates the release of various vital hormones in the body. These hormones include melatonin and thyroid hormones, which help in the regulation of body temperature. Also, melatonin helps in the regulation and creation of other hormones. In addition, melatonin also facilitates the correct flow of the circadian rhythm which helps in the sleep-awake process.
Major Sleep Takeaways
· Strictly Follow The Circadian Component
Many people often don’t know about their overall daily 24 hours cycle, and those who know about the circadian rhythm don’t even bother to follow it. However, this is one of the gross misconducts when it comes to attaining a proper sleeping sequence. This is due to the fact that, your homeostatic component of sleep greatly influences your overall health. According to a recent research, your life expectancy may be reduced by almost five years due to lack of enough sleep.
Basically, there are certain environmental cues that impact our general human physiology. These environmental cues that are relevant to sleep include the sunlight. When sunlight penetrates into the eyes, it triggers a response in the brain that facilitates the production of melatonin and other neurotransmitters. This is the system known as the circadian system and it affects most of your daily bodily responses such as fatigue, sleeping and tiredness.
· Sleeping Drugs Are Not A Long-Term Solution
A great number of people suffering from insomnia and lack of proper sleep tend to use medication to help them fall asleep. They forget that they drugs may have side effects such as addiction. But based on a research from the Harvard University, melatonin, which is a hormone in the body doesn’t also has a sleep inducing effect. So, if you want to fall asleep without resorting to sleeping pills, consult with your doctor about using a melatonin supplement.
What you need to keep mind is: lack of enough sleep is unhealthier than you might think. This is because sleep deprivation might lead to an increase in insulin resistance, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. In addition, inadequate sleep may lead to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and a reduced lifespan. So, next time you are considering cutting back on your sleeping hours, keep these health hazards in mind.
Sleep should be taken as an essential part of our day. Just like everybody recognizes eating and adequate nutrition as an essential component to living, enough and quality sleep should also be treated as an important aspect of our lives.