Few people realize how important sleep is! Sleep is not just a form of rest it can make a big difference in how you feel and think. A good night of Sleep helps you cope with stress, solve problems, or recover from illness. Today's fast paced life styles can make getting a good night's sleep seems like a waste of time but it is truly a need. A lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your cognition, mood, and memory. By not getting enough sleep we are increasing daytime drowsiness, concentration, irritability, increased risk of falls, accidents and lower productivity. Restorative sleep requires more than hitting the pillow at night and waking up in the morning (Saisan, Benedictis, Barston, Segal, 2008).
Sleep is affected by internal body clocks, sensitive to light, and time of day. A body's natural instinct is to sleep during the dark hours, this makes having a quiet dark space the best for sleeping.
Keeping the bedroom a place for sleep only can help the sleeping habits. A TV in the bedroom is not a good idea, the flashing light can stimulate the brain and this tends to keep you awake. A typical night's sleep follows a REM (rapid eye movement)/NREM (not rapid eye movement) cycle.
We start out by a state of drowsiness where we are easily awakened.
We then move into light sleep where our heart rate slows down and our body temperature decreases.
We move into a deeper sleep where there is more difficulty waking. This stage allows the brain and muscles to restore energy for use during waking hours. This is also when our immune system functions at a higher level to fight off illness.
REM sleep is next where our bodies' process emotions retain memories and relieve stress. This...