Have a Good Night Sleep
Sleep is among the most desirable things as it is loved by most and enjoyed by all. It is one of the most beautiful gifts of nature to mankind.
Functions: It is a very important physiological process as it serves as a restorative and is very crucial for normal thermo-regulation and energy conservation. One cannot perform any kind of physical and mental job efficiently after a sleepless night.
Sleep is made up of two physiological states,
* Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM)
* Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM)
REM is qualitatively different kind of sleep characterized by highly active brain and activity levels similar to those in wakefulness. Eye movements occur rapidly during this phase. Distinctive feature of REM sleep is Dreaming. Person awakened during REM sleep frequently repots that they had been dreaming. It constitutes 25% of total sleep in adults. Pulse, respiration and blood pressures are all high during this phase as compared to NREM or even during waking.
NREM on the other hand is a peaceful state relative to waking. The pulse rate is typically slowed 5 to 10 beats a minute below the level of restful waking and blood pressure also tends to be low. Dreaming does not occur during NREM sleep and is almost no eye movements as well as penile erection. It constitutes 75% of total sleep during adulthood.
Nature of sleep is cyclic and these cycles are regular and reliable.About 90 minutes after the onset of sleep, NREM yields to first REM episode of the night.
Sleep Requirement: Some persons are normally short sleepers, requiring less than six hours of sleep to function normally. Long sleepers are generally efficient, ambitious, socially adept and content. Long sleepers are generally mildly depressed, anxious and
Alcohol and Sleep: Although Alcohol intake in the evening usually results in an increased ease of falling asleep, it adversely affects the sleep architecture. It results in decreasing REM sleep of dream sleep, decreased deep sleep and increased sleep fragmentation including more and longer episodes of awakening. Therefore, it is a myth that drinking alcohol aids sleeping.
Sleep Disorders: About a third of adult population experience some type of sleep disorder during their lifetime. Four major symptoms characterize most sleep disorders are-: Insomnia, Hypersomnia, Parasomnia and Sleep Wake Schedule disturbances.
Out of these four disorders, Insomnia is most common and widely recognized
one. It is characterized by difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep. It could be secondary to any medical condition like painful condition, aging, endocrinal, metabolic or dietary factor or obstructive sleep apnea (Snoring).
It also results from anxiety, tension, depression, environmental changes and post traumatic stress disorder.
Tips For Sound Sleep:
- Avoid daytime sleep naps.
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Make your bedroom a pleasant place to be; Clear it of news papers, books and other distractions.
- Keep the room temperature comfortable.
- Choose bedding in light natural fabric.
- For couple of hours before going to bed, avoid smoking, eating a heavy meal or drinking tae, coffee or alcohol.
- Do some regular exercise during the day, but avoid bursts of intense activity as this just triggers the stress hormone i.e. adrenaline, which will delay sleep.
- Take some time to relax before you turn in for the night, have a warm scented bath, read a non-stimulating novel.
- Do not take your problems/ anxieties to bed with you.
- Avoid the use of medicine for sleep, without advise of your doctor.
- Some scientists are of the opinion that sleeping in north-south direction brings sound sleep as blood contains iron pigment and it circulates harmoniously under the effect of magnetic field of earth.