Sleep is a natural, recurring condition of body and brain, characterized by decreased sleep, a marked decreased arousal, fairly limited sensory activity, decreased motor activity and relatively low interaction with external environment during REM sleep. There are various theories on sleep and its related processes, including the following: sleep is needed to make new memories, reduce daytime sleepiness, improve cognitive functioning, and consolidate memory. Most psychologists believe that sleep can help us adapt to changes in our environment by allowing us to use more of our cognitive and behavioral abilities during the day. They also believe that sleep helps preserve health and reduce the risks of serious health problems such as sleep apnea. Some researchers have proposed that sleep plays an important role in the development of age-related diseases and disorders.
Studies show that getting enough sleep is vital for psychological well-being and physical health. People who lack sleep do not have the same mental acuity as those who get enough sleep. Lack of sleep also adversely affects our emotional well-being and behavior. It is extremely important that individuals strive to get enough sleep every night to maintain optimal levels of mood and performance.
In our natural sleep cycle, sleeping and waking up are separated by about eight hours. A person who sleeps for eight hours is said to be a healthy sleeper. Sleeping and waking up at the same time is called delayed sleep phase (DSL). People who sleep for longer than seven hours are said to be a chronic insomnia. As we grow older, our capacity for sleeping also declines.
Recent studies show that people who are more alert when they get up in the morning do better at work than those who are alert when they go to bed. In fact, people who are more alert when they get up in the morning do better at work than those who are alert when they go to sleep. It seems that the amount of alertness that an individual requires from going to sleep or waking up depends upon his ability to think and focus. Going to sleep and waking up refreshed is the goal of many people who want to exercise their brains.
Those who are chronically sleep deprived are usually unhealthy. Chronic insomnia has been associated with various types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostrate cancer, leukemia and lymphoma. The lack of sleep has also been associated with high blood pressure, depression, decreased performance at work, accidents and even some forms of cancer. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to become overweight or obese and have more serious health problems. So, if you’re saying that you don’t need to sleep as much as you used to, I’m afraid you’re wrong!
A recent study carried out at the University of Rochester found that non REM sleep ( REM ) sleep accounts for around 70% of the total sleep that is taken by humans. Non-rem sleep accounts for falling asleep while the body is still in a state of wakefulness. The latest research into the brain and sleep found out that the brain’s activity is sensitive to stimulation caused by melatonin, the sleep hormone. This means that certain light and dark tones can promote brain activity in the brain regions that are responsible for memory and learning.