Does your lifestyle include late night parties and chatting hours prolonging into the middle of the night? If so, then change your habit immediately. Do you have sufficient sleep? Of course, you do sleep but what is the number of hours important? Isn’t it sufficient to sleep for few hours?
Sleep is natural recurrence state where the consciousness of our mind is altered and our sensory action, muscle movements are subdued for a certain length of time.
For reasons unknown, sleep relaxes the mind and rejuvenates our body and refreshes our sensory activity. The sleep plays a key role in regulating our metabolic activity. Humans go through two different stages of sleep at night; one REM stage – rapid eye movement and other on – REM stage.
In the REM stage, also called as a paradoxical stage or paradoxical sleep, the neurons in the body function normally while they are in working hours. Most of the infants and newborn babies spend much time in sleeping. Many of us have dreams in REM stage.
The non – REM stage is part of sleep, where people slip into deep sleep. In this stage, the metabolic rate of the body and temperature of the brain are low, so that body can deal with damages and pressures, which occurred during the working hours.
There are four stages in non – REM stage, where the first two stages are initiating stages for the next two. The third and fourth stages of non – REM stages are together called the deep sleep stage. The deep sleep is also called slow – wave – sleep.
It is in this stage of sleep, that our body starts repairing damaged cells in the brain and other parts of the body along with irritated eye or sore eye reparation. The red eye is a symptom of overworking and this is repaired during third and fourth stages of non – REM sleeps.
While sleep does benefit to our health, many suffer from sleeping disorders. The most common disorder is insomnia or lack of ability to sleep. This may be due to longer periods of waking, working late hours or partying or studies. Once the brain has adjusted to the condition, where one stays up to very late nights, insomnia sets in soon.
The other common sleep disorder is hypersomnia or hypersomnolence. It is characterized mainly by the daytime drowsiness or lengthened night sleeping hours unable to wake up at the proper time in the morning.
The other disorders may be sleep apnea, parasomnia, snoring due to obstruction of the air passageway. Parasomnia is of two types – Sleepwalking and REM behavior disorder. It is observed rarely in the form of sleep walking but REM behavior disorder is gaining more attention with the change of human working environment and waking hours.
Snoring, though, is not a very serious issue; it causes trouble and irritation to others as snoring causes sounds while sleeping. It is primarily caused because of obstruction of the air passageway.
The other disorders to mention are passing urine seen in children, nightmares in adults as well as children, teeth grinding in sleep also called bruxism, sleep paralysis and shift working sleep disorder in which brain cannot get adjusted to shift working and make one sleep while they were supposed to stay awake or stay awake while they were supposed to sleep.
Sleeping fewer Hours Can Do Damage to Our Body
Have you ever felt headaches lately or observed that you are gaining weight slowly? Or do you feel indecisiveness of late? Then you should consider sleeping for more hours than regular timings.
On the primary note, sleep causes the brain to go into a tranquil state, where the brain activity is almost zero. This state helps the brain to cope up with the pressures and challenges it faced during day time while at work.
The present day, stressful environment is demanding and causes tension and more pressure on the brain than can be considered. This makes brain to overwork. But the sufficient amount of sleep equates this and makes our body and mind refreshed for the next day.
If this is not done and if the person does not get sufficient amount of sleep or feel that sleep is a luxury, often suffer from sleep deprivation causing brain cells the significant amount of damage. This might affect their memory or insight or ability to learn.
Almost every individual who suffer from sleep deprivation, feel gloomy in the mornings. The sleep deprivation also affects concentration and alertness, reducing these two factors drastically, in turn, causing memory loss or logical reasoning or judgment and assessing nature.
Body metabolism is altered due to insomnia or hypersomnia. While insomnia or sleeplessness causes metabolic disorders and promotes diseases like diabetes, Blood pressure etc, hypersomnia upsets complete metabolic symmetry.
Especially, to note on high importance, sleeping disorders causes hormonal imbalances. Of all the hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones that maintain balance in our body metabolic activity and weight and appetite. While Ghrelin is responsible for appetite, Leptin is responsible for the quantity intake and to notify brain when to stop eating. Sleep deprivation causes Ghrelin levels increase while lowering the Leptin levels.
This results in overeating and makes a person gain weight. This abnormality doesn’t stop with the weight gain. Sleeplessness causes an imbalance in Insulin levels produced by the body. This insulin is very important in converting the food into energy. But sleeplessness or sleeping disorders cause our body to become insulin resistant and hence, instead of food getting converted into energy, it is stored as fat cells.
How Much Time Is Needed To Sleep?
On an average, infants, and newborn babies sleep up to 12 - 18 hours a day. Toddlers and teething children need to sleep 11 – 13 hours a day and children from age 5 to 12 years need 10 hours sleep of minimum and above 12 years to teens’ need 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Above the teens, every adult needs 7 - 8 hours of sleep.
To make our body accustomed to this sleeping time, one must start slowly avoiding late working hours and make sleeping priority.
If an alarm to wake you up is needed, then it is a symptom of sleep deprivation. A long vacation spent sleeping most of the time, can make up to the years of debt without sleeping and cause considerable damage.