Did you know that humans spend a third of their lives sleeping? When you get quality sleep, you help form and maintain your brain’s pathways. In fact, sleep is a crucial part of your routine for proper brain function. It improves nerve cell communication, which impacts every system and tissue in the body. Read on for more information about the science of sleep and how it affects your body.
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Throughout the night, your brain experiences two different types of sleep: REM (rapid-eye movement) and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep comprises four stages: the first stage sits between being awake and falling asleep, the second stage is light sleep, and the third and fourth stages are deep sleep.
As you enter REM sleep, your eyes rapidly move behind closed lids. Your breathing rate steadily increases, and your body enters paralysis. As the sleep period goes on, the cycle continuously repeats itself, but you spend less time in the deeper stages of sleep and more time in REM.
How Sleep Impacts the Body
Regarding sleep science, sleep impacts the body in many ways. Typically, the nervous system becomes less active, the body stays relaxed, and consciousness becomes suspended. Plus, sleep improves brain health. The neurons in the brain use electrical signaling to send and receive messages throughout the body and brain. Sleep ensures these neurons remain capable of maximum efficiency for their important function.
When you go through periods of poor sleep quality, you can experience long-term health effects. Firstly, lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of metabolic diseases and decreased immune functionality. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can result in cognitive decline and poor mental health, such as feelings of loneliness and insomnia symptoms.
Tips for Improving Your Sleep Quality
So now that you know the importance of sleep, how can you improve your sleep quality? First, avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bed, as both are disruptive to healthy sleep cycles. Furthermore, how much sleep you need varies, but most adults should get at least seven hours or more to maintain their health and cognitive awareness.
Additionally, practice consistency by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning—even on the weekends. You should also decrease screen time and light exposure before bed. Lastly, make your room quiet, relaxing, dark, and at a comfortable temperature, so you can fall asleep faster.
While it’s tempting to skip a night of sleep to enjoy yourself or get work done, sleep is essential for proper health. Don’t neglect the power of rest because a good sleep schedule lets you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle anything.