You may remember very little when you wake up, but a lot has happened while you were asleep. So far he has spent 7-9 hours going through a highly structured cycle of sleep phases. Each step correlates with a distinct EEG pattern and eye movement. You’ll spend nearly a third of her life repeating this cycle, so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to recover.
Sleep is what Chris Winter, M.D., a neurologist, sleep expert and host of the Sleep Unplugged podcast, calls “a major driving force” that he calls “human life, Health, the processes that underlie performance.” Researchers continue to unravel the mystery of why and how sleep is linked to our health, and its importance cannot be overstated. As Winter says, we need a textbook to answer the basic question of why sleep is important.Yet we have so much do Learn about the science of sleep and what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.
What we know about sleep
Decades of research have confirmed that sleep is fundamental to function and even survival. Even if you sleep amazingly well or really badly, there are changes and effects on your body. Sleep is associated with many processes in the body, from the cardiovascular and cognitive systems to the immune and emotional systems, but these are just a few. For example, researchers know that after 16 hours of sleep deprivation, people start to lose focus. Studies have also found that going to bed late and waking up early every day can accumulate sleep debt. What’s more, this debt can snowball over time, directly affecting your ability to pay attention and function, even if you don’t realize it.
We’ve all had a bad night’s sleep, and it can make us grumpy the next day. Having a bad night can wake you up with a shorted fuse, greatly diminishing your ability to cope with even minor stressors. It’s not fun, but the occasional sleepless night won’t hurt your health in the long run. Also, it’s not really indicative of poor quality sleep.
“The term ‘a bad night’s sleep’ is as pervasive as it is problematic,” says Winter. “For many people, a bad night’s sleep is a night in which it took them longer than usual to fall asleep, or a night in which they woke up several times during the night.” You may feel irritable, irritable, and unusual, but a really bad night of sleep is usually one in which your normal sleep process is far more disrupted. Winter points to sleep apnea patients, who have trouble breathing all night, as a prime example. “People with sleep apnea ‘feel’ that they sleep great, even though they often have trouble breathing and sleep, and often have terrible nights,” he says.
For people without any health conditions that affect their ability to sleep, problems usually begin when bad nights begin to consistently outweigh good nights. When that happens, “the most common direct effect is excessive daytime sleepiness and a tendency to fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as while working, driving, or in public places.” Mr Winter says.
Taking an inventory of your general mood during the day can help identify if you’re having sleep problems. “If you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night and feel tired and sleepy all day, you may have a sleep disorder,” says Daniel Rifkin, M.D., MPH. “Commission-approved sleep medicine providers are available and accessible to address your sleep problems, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most sleep disorders can be easily treated. “
Winter added that people think we can’t sleep, but that’s not the case. “Most people feel that sleeplessness (a condition that doesn’t really exist in nature, everyone sleeps, but it’s impossible not to sleep) is the biggest sign of ‘bad sleep’. , actually the opposite,” says Winter. “Excessive sleepiness indicates sleep deprivation or sleep dysfunction.”
During sleep, a person alternates between two stages of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and sleep stage (REM sleep). The other is non-rapid eye movement (NREM), which is divided into three separate sleep stages. This is a cycle that runs 4-5 times each night, each taking about 90-110 minutes (although exact estimates of the number and duration of cycles depend on where you look). Here’s what’s happening during each run:
- N1 sleep: Winter describes this transitional stage as “a very brief sleep stage between wakefulness and light sleep.” Usually it lasts just a few minutes. Breathing is regular at this stage.
- N2 sleep: Commonly referred to as “light sleep,” N2 is where you spend about 50% of your night and lasts about 25 minutes during the first cycle. N2 is a deeper stage of sleep in which both heart rate and body temperature decrease. It is at this time that bruxism occurs at night.
- N3 sleep: This stage is the deepest sleep. This is also called slow-wave sleep, and is an essential stage of wakefulness and recovery. When you’re on N3, even loud noises may not be enough to startle you awake. I spend about 25% of my sleep time on N3. It is also the stage where night terrors, nocturnal enuresis, and sleepwalking occur.
- Rem: I’m sure you’ve heard of the dream stage “REM”. It’s essential for memory, focus, and focus, but it’s not considered a night’s rest time. Breathing becomes irregular and the body becomes still with only occasional irregular movements. Only the respiratory muscles of the eye and diaphragm remain active at all times. Normally, we enter REM sleep about 90 minutes after falling asleep, but each REM sleep cycle lasts a little longer throughout the night. It lasts about 10 minutes at first. His last REM cycle can last up to an hour.
According to Winter, no stage is more important than another. “It’s like asking which vitamins are more important or ranking fats/carbs/proteins in order of importance.” ”
But what if you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night? “It’s what we do all the time, so it’s usually nothing,” says Winter. “There is really no such thing as uninterrupted sleep,” he added.
Rifkin agrees. “We normally cycle through sleep stages, and it’s very common for people to wake up from one sleep stage and quickly return to the same stage. This includes deeper N3 sleep stages and REM sleep. In other words, just get up, roll over, and go back to sleep.
But Winter says it can look a little different depending on where you are in your sleep cycle when you wake up. “Sleepwalking and night terrors often indicate an abnormal awakening from deep sleep,” he says. “Nightmares and sleep paralysis can be caused by awakening from REM sleep. Again, most awakenings from sleep cause neither. People just wake up and go back to sleep again.” This is why people with severe sleep apnea may wake up hundreds of times during the night feeling like they can’t breathe, but may never remember it in the morning, says Winter. It is for the sake of
However, as with all sleep, problems can arise when you wake up from a deep sleep each night. Look at the new parents
sleep and overall health
Much of the research on the effects of sleep on our health follows a similar format of interrupting sleep and observing its effects. In the short term, it can make you sleepy, grumpy, unable to handle stress, and less alert than usual. In the long run, sleep deprivation has more serious consequences. Studies have linked sleep deprivation with health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, mood disorders, and a weakened immune system.
Preparing for a restful night often boils down to a few best practices. Rifkin advises:
- Prioritize sleep and set alarms for when you go to bed and when you wake up. You shouldn’t go to bed unless you’re tired, but it’s important to schedule enough time to achieve at least 7 hours of sleep. Try to keep your bedtime and wake-up time consistent.
- Avoid caffeine after your morning jolt and avoid eating or exercising close to bedtime.
- Always turn off your TV, computer, tablet and cell phone at least one hour before bed. Blue light from these devices is thought to suppress the production of melatonin, which can reduce sleep quality and duration.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and be careful not to do too many “wake-up activities”, such as working in bed or looking at a screen.
Winter also points out that perceptions of sleeping or not sleeping can be distorted. The best measure of sleep quality isn’t whether you fall asleep the moment you lie down, but whether you feel well rested during the day.
What is the healthiest sleeping position?
Rifkin says sleeping on your side or back (a.k.a. “supine”) is generally preferable to sleeping on your stomach because it puts less pressure on your spine and neck. However, there are exceptions. “Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more prone to airway collapse when sleeping on their back,” he says. On the other hand, people who are pregnant or have nocturnal acid reflux tend to benefit most from sleeping on their left side. “Sleeping on the right side reduces pressure on the heart muscle and is thought to be most beneficial for people with certain heart conditions.”
Why can’t I sleep at night?
There are many things that can cause you to be inattentive and keep you from sleeping at night. Caffeine lingering from an afternoon latte, too bright a room, too noisy, too hot, uncomfortable mattresses, late workouts, dehydration, watching screens late at night, the list goes on and on. Winter and Rifkin advise following sleep hygiene best practices. This includes keeping your room dark, cool, and quiet, keeping a consistent wake-up and bedtime schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol late at night, and turning off screens at least an hour before bed. Including initiating sleep. Do hard training sooner rather than later.
It may also be comforting to know that “it can take a while to fall asleep,” says Winter. “It’s not much to worry about.” Still, if you’re feeling tired and having trouble getting through the day on a daily basis, see your doctor.