Sleep is a profoundly recurring state of body and mind, normally characterized by decreased awareness, decreased motor activity, decreased sensory activity, decreased consciousness during rapid eye movement sleep ( REM sleep ), decreased muscle activity during non REM sleep, and less interactions with environment during waking hours. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and periodic limb movement sleep (PLMS). Because of these potentially serious consequences, it is crucial for researchers to find ways to cure sleep disorders and the associated sleep problems.
The basic understanding of sleep is that different areas of the brain oscillate at different phases throughout the night, with each stage of sleep corresponding to a period of wakefulness. The most widely accepted model of sleep is based on a three-stage sleep cycle, in which stage one is the deepest of the sleep cycles, followed by lighter stages through to stage four. This three-stage model predicts how different parts of the brain will function during different stages of sleep.
One of the most widely studied sleep disorders is childhood sleep problems, which are characterized by difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently or staying asleep. Childhood sleep problems are particularly common in those under stress and pressure, or during periods of physical or psychological activity. Children who experience sleep problems are often encouraged to sleep in their own rooms, instead of going to bed and being cooped up with the other kids their age. This is unhealthy and can have detrimental effects on children’s psychological development.
The lack of an adequate sleep timetable and the resulting inability to successfully cope with normal daily activities is recognized as a major cause of both physical and psychological disorders. Children with sleep problems are more likely to become stressed, frustrated and anxious, leading to negative social interactions. Physical health is also impaired because children who cannot sleep are not able to concentrate on tasks at hand and this can have an enormous impact on their school performance. It is also believed that children who do not get enough sleep suffer from more serious physical health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. A lack of sleep can also have an impact on mental health, causing depression and anxiety, as well as a poorer ability to concentrate and learn.
Many Americans are struggling to live a healthy life, and many suffer from one or more sleep disorder disorders. It is estimated that more than 35 million Americans are sufferers of one or more sleep disorders, such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and snoring. One in ten Americans report feeling sleepy during the day, having trouble concentrating, having trouble staying awake, waking frequently or having interrupted sleep. Americans spend more than two hours per day sleeping, making them one of the most sleep deprived populations in the world. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that lack of adequate sleep can lead to higher levels of stress, increased medical bills and increased health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
When choosing how to arrange your bedroom it is important to set a routine, keep it as easy as possible to achieve and to be consistent in order to get the best results. Make sure you have the correct temperature for sleeping and try to avoid draughts and drafts. Try and get a comfortable mattress, not one with too many springs, loose fillings, too little space, thin pillows and headboards. If you have allergies, make sure you know what products, substances and places you are allergic to before buying any bedding or sleep system. Choose a color that helps you relax, not one that distracts you and keeps you awake. Finally, set a bedtime routine which will consist of getting up from a seated position, taking a warm shower or bath, relaxing music and spending time reading a good book.