The importance of sleep in our lives cannot be negated in any way. In fact, sleep helps in maintaining a healthy life. Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, and loss of the immune system's power. A good night's sleep helps in the restoration of the whole body.
At night, you experience two different types of sleep - rapid eye movement sleep and non rapid eye movement sleep. While rapid eye movement occurs intermittently and is associated with dreaming, non-rapid eye movement comprises of a number of different stages, such as deep sleep. During sleep, as a result of drop in the metabolic rate, the body is able to conserve energy. However, during spells of deep sleep, the body builds new proteins, repairs or replaces damaged cells.
Rapid Eye Movement sleep is crucial to the growth of the brain's memory power. During this type of sleep, information of the entire day is backed up in one part of the brain and links are built in the brain cells to record events in the permanent memory, wiping out unnecessary links. This kind of sleep has a restorative effect – the lack of which poses a risk of physical and mental illness.
Since young people, including children, are going through periods of rapid growth, they need more hours of sleep compared to adults, who need to sleep for at least seven hours a night. However, it must be understood that it is not only the quantity of sleep that matters, but also the quality of sleep that determines sleep benefits to your health.
Lack of sleep adversely affects mental and physical health. Research reveals that loss of even a single night's sleep is capable of undermining the originality of thought. When you don't get enough sleep, you may experience sleepiness in the daytime, which may impact your concentration and increase the risk of accidents. People who often don't get a good night's sleep are found to be anxious, irritable and more sensitive to pain, with suppression of the immune system, thus increasing vulnerability to infections.
If you are suffering from a severe sleep disorder, it is important to discuss your concerns with a doctor. However, you can manage less severe sleeping problems on your own.
- Maintain sleep hygiene - creating a sleep-inducing environment
- Exercise well during the day
- Avoid late night exercises
- Don't consume large amounts of food late in the evening
- Go to bed and get up in the morning at the same time every day
Diet is important for a good sleeping pattern. Research reveals the importance of raising levels of sleep-inducing chemical serotonin in sleep. Supplements of 5-HTP should be consumed with your healthy diet. 5-HTP converts into serotonin and aids in restful sleep.