Sleep Facts

Is sleep important?

I need more time for working and my daily activities.
Today’s fast paced society can make sleep seem like a luxury, not a need, but this is simply not true.

You need quality sleep for good health. Sleep is an essential time of rest and rejuvenation. It benefits our minds and bodies in many ways.

What happens if we don’t get enough sleep?

When you continuously don’t get the amount and quality of sleep you need, you begin to pay for it during the day. Drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, higher stress, increased mistakes, increased risk of diabetes, cancer, psychological problems, weight gain and even accelerated aging.

Getting enough sleep everyday is as important to your health as eating healthy and being physically active.

What are the signs of sleep deprivation? How do I know if I need to go back into my bed?

I just accumulated a sleep debt. What is it and how do I pay it off?

A sleep debt is accumulated when you have been depriving yourself of sleep. You won’t be getting letters from the creditors. But you do need to pay it off to avoid decreased mental and physical health. Try getting a day or two of increased sleep to make it up.

However, try not to make it a habit. Making up sleep on the weekends so you can sleep less during the week, for example, can disrupt overall sleep quality. Your sleep quality will be better if you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day.

Right after I completed late nights on a stressful big project, I came down with a cold. Why is life unfair? Is there a link?

Yes there is. Sleep is essential to the immune system Without adequate sleep, the immune system becomes weak, and the body becomes vulnerable to infection and disease.

How do our bodies know when it is time to sleep?

We all have an internal circadian clock that provide cues for when it is time to sleep and time to wake. This clock is sensitive to light and time of day, which is why having a good bedtime routine and a quiet dark place to sleep is important.

How many hours do we need for sleep every night?

Sleep hours requirements are highly individual and depend on your age, genetic make up, activities during the day and the quality of your sleep. The typical recommendation for adult is 7-8 hours, teenagers 9 hours and children between the age of 6 -12 years old for 9-10 hours. When you wake up refreshed and alert, that is the right number of sleep hours for you.

How important is the quality of sleep?

If you have poor quality of sleep, you have to spend more sleep hours to get enough sleep. And sometime even you spend very long hours, you don’t get enough sleep if the quality of your sleep is too poor.

What determines the quality of your sleep?

The quality of your sleep is determined by the sleep cycle you go throughout the night. There are two vital stage, deep sleep stage and REM sleep stage. The more deep sleep and REM sleep you get, the better quality your sleep will be.

What is deep sleep and why is it important?

Deep sleep is perhaps the most vital stage. It is the first stage that the brain attempts to recover when it is sleep deprived. Deep sleep allows the brain to go for a little vacation needed to restore the energy we expand during our waking hours. Muscle and physical energy is restored. Research also shows that the body’s immune functions are increase during deep sleep.

What is REM sleep and its importance?

Besides being a band fronted by Michael Stipe.

Rapid eye movement (REM) is also a normal stage of sleep characterized by rapid movements of the eyes.

REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 15-20% of total sleep, about 70-90 minutes of a night's sleep. During a normal night of sleep, humans usually experience about 3 or 5 periods of REM sleep.

REM sleep is associated with processing emotions, retaining memories and relieving stress. REM sleep is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories and stress. It is also thought to be vital to learning, stimulating the brain regions used in learning and developing new skills.

How do I achieve deep sleep and the REM sleep which I need?

Here are some tips from the Better Sleep Council for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and ensuring the best night’s rest: