Were you aware that you will spend almost one third of your life sleeping? During our waking moments our nerve cells are constantly active and become more or less fatigued. Sleep gives the body cells an opportunity of ridding themselves of waste and of repairing themselves. To insure a recovery period from such fatigue, we undergo the periodic loss of consciousness known as sleep. Sleep is such an important bodily function, and even though we might put off going to sleep, eventually sleep will take over.
Sleep is a type of unconsciousness and is a state of being unaware of the world. Sleep is essential to good health as it refreshes the body and the mind. If you get enough sleep regularly every night you will feel and also be able to work better.
How much sleep should a person get each night? The answer depends on the individual. Some people need a great deal of sleep, while others require only a minimum of sleep. The individual needs to get the amount of sleep necessary to feel alert, healthy, and totally fit. If an individual is dragging during the night then he needs to get more sleep. Nervous and tense people usually require more sleep than those of a placid disposition. The average individual maintains his health with about eight hours of sleep.
Recorded brain waves have helped in the study of the different stages of sleep. The studies have indicated that there are four stages of sleep that occur in cycles each lasting about ninety minutes. At first when you fall asleep, your brain waves will slow down, then they get slower and slower in the second and third stages of sleep as you become more relaxed. As you go thru the third of these stages you become even more unaware of the world outside. The fourth stage is the deepest stage in the cycle. REM or rapid eye movement is the fourth stage and the stage in which most people dream. It is indicated by the back-and-forth movement of the eyes under the eyelids. After ten or more minutes of REM sleep, the sleep cycle repeats three or four times. During REM sleep, not only do your eyes move around quickly under your closed lids, your heart rate increases, and all your automatic body processes speed up. These periods last about twenty minutes at a stretch and occur four or five times during the night. REM sleep alternates with non-REM sleep, during which your body functions slow down and you get your deepest sleep.
If you are having dreams while you are sleeping you should be assured this is actually good for your health. Some people do not remember their dreams and do not think they do dream but it is widely thought that all people do dream.
Try to form regular sleeping habits. If you are over fatigued you might have trouble going to sleep. A person’s state of mind at the time when he is trying to fall asleep needs to be relaxed.