Many of us have difficulty sleeping. In fact, at least once a week, a third of individuals in Western nations battle with sleep. Learning about the science of sleep can provide us with some suggestions for making sleep a bit simpler.
Why do we need Sleep
When it comes to the ‘why’ of sleep, there are several hypotheses. The most likely answer is a mixture of these hypotheses. Investigating what happens when we are sleep deprived might help us figure out why we sleep.
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, mental illness, poor memory, focus, and attention, clumsiness, and a compromised immune system are all risk factors for long-term sleep deprivation. These things aren’t always going to happen after a few nights of interrupted sleep. However, it does highlight the importance of sleep to our general health.
After a terrible night’s sleep, we may find that our reactions slow down and our thoughts get jumbled. It’s tough to think, pay attention, and keep a positive attitude. Parts of our brain become dormant when we’re awake when we’re sleep deprived, which is one reason for these challenges. It might be difficult to recognise these indicators if sleep deprivation becomes chronic since they have become our norm.
What happens to our Mind when we Sleep
Our brain’s waste-clearance mechanism clears away waste from our central nervous system and harmful by-products that have accumulated in our brain over the day while we sleep. This is significant since it aids our brain’s ability to function well when we are awake.
Our nerve cells exchange information and reorganise. This promotes proper brain function. Our brain converts knowledge from working memory (short-term memory) to long-term memory when we sleep. It only does this with data that it believes is required. Unnecessary information is discarded. This is an important aspect of our memory and capacity to learn new things.
How much Sleep do we Need
Adults require 7-9 hours of sleep every night, children 9-13 hours, and babies/toddlers 12-17 hours, according to NHS recommendations. These are only typical criteria; we’re all unique.
Waking up Better
In the morning, many of us are tired and sleepy. When we wake up, we are sometimes more weary than when we went to bed. Our bleary-eyed selves frequently grab for the caffeine once we’ve gotten out of bed. While a cup of coffee in the morning is OK, a glass of water first can assist us rehydrate.
Slow stretches or light exercise, as well as a protein-rich breakfast, can help set the tone for the day. As may putting down our phones for a while and sticking to a schedule.