Understanding Sleep Disorders and the Importance of Getting Enough Sleep Each Night
Sleep is a natural, recurring state of body and mind, characterized by decreased awareness, typically inhibited awareness, decreased emotional activity, decreased muscle activity and primarily behavioral inhibition during rapid eye movement sleep (REMS), and reduced interaction with outside environment during non REM sleep. It is important for individuals to know their body’s normal sleep/rest cycle so as to be able to know the normal sleep requirements of their body. One hour after waking up from sleep, the average person needs at least seven hours of sleep; however, there are people who need more or less than this, depending on their lifestyle. For those who sleep less, they may require as little as four hours of sleep. A person should make sure that they are getting the required amount of sleep daily, to maintain the proper levels of health and alertness.
The four stages of sleep are: light, rest, alpha, and beta. Each of these stages should take at least seven hours, during which time each stage goes through its regular cycle. Alpha is the first stage that comes before falling asleep, while the duration of each stage increases as you go deeper into the sleep cycle. After the first four stages, you will wake up to begin the light phase of your cycle.
If you need sleep more than seven hours per night, you may have a problem. The first two stages of sleep are not enough to trigger your body into relieving the chemicals and components of your brain that need to be worked out and reset. In such instances, you need sleep more, in order to make up for the shortfall of chemicals in your brain. If you feel that you need sleep more, then you are encouraged to find a healthy sleep schedule and activity plan to ensure that you are getting enough sleep every night.
Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock, which helps determine when you are most alert and when you are most tired. When it is getting close to time for sleep, your brain signals your body to enter the REM (or dream) stage of sleep. At this point in your sleep-wake cycle, you will experience heightened alertness and can focus more efficiently. During the dream stage, you will retain memory and remain awake longer, as compared to your waking state. A person who awakens with jet lag often finds themselves experiencing poor judgment and poor decision-making, as well as falling asleep randomly and waking up at inappropriate times.
As you go through the different stages of sleep, there are specific things that affect your sleep cycle. If you are sleeping too much, your body will need to recharge itself, which takes up most of the time during your sleep cycle. For instance, if you work on your laptop all night, you may find yourself having to stay up until well before your scheduled time for bed in order to complete your tasks. Conversely, if you are not getting enough sleep, you will find that you get easily frustrated because you cannot seem to get enough sleep. This can lead to a number of other negative effects on your day to day life.
Each of the three stages of sleep is different and sets your body into a different stage of alertness. In between each one of those stages, however, you are less likely to be refreshed and will become more irritable. Therefore, you should set aside thirty minutes of your sleep at regular intervals just to reset your melatonin levels, so that you can fall asleep and wake up at the same time each night. When you set your melatonin level, it is best to use a natural melatonin supplement because these are the purest forms available. There are also synthetic forms of melatonin, which you can buy over-the-counter, but these may not be as effective. You should consider all of your options before deciding on which sleep disorder treatment is best for you.