There is a lot of research that indicates that humans need to get at least eight hours of sleep each night to stay healthy. However, a recent study has suggested that the amount of REM sleep that people get may be more important for their health than the total number of hours they sleep. This article will explain why this is the case.
What is sleep?
On the whole, sleep is a time when the body goes into a state of rest. It is a very important time for the body, and the process of sleep is controlled by the brain. The brain is responsible for the production of hormones, such as melatonin, that are responsible for regulating sleep. The body also produces other hormones, such as growth hormones, that play a role in sleep.
During sleep, the body does not work as hard as it does when it is awake. The body is able to repair itself and build up energy for the next day.
Why do we need sleep?
Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. Without adequate sleep, the body can suffer from fatigue and memory loss, and the mind can become lethargic and unfocused.
In addition to its beneficial effects on the body and mind, sleep also serves an important function for the immune system. The immune system functions best when it’s rested, and during sleep the body has a chance to repair and rebuild damaged cells.
So, how much sleep is enough? We all need different amounts of sleep depending on our age, gender, lifestyle and health conditions. For children and teenagers, the recommended amount of sleep is between 10 and 12 hours per night.
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. For those with chronic diseases or conditions that disrupt sleep, you may need more than 9 hours of sleep. In addition to the recommendations above, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Pregnant women who sleep less than 5 hours a night have a higher risk of having a low-birthweight baby. Babies whose mothers sleep less than 6 hours per night are more likely to be born prematurely.
What are the stages of sleep?
There are four stages of sleep: N1, N2, N3, and REM. The first 3 stages are Non-REM sleep while the fourth and final stage is call REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep.
The N3 stage is deep sleep and is critical as this is the stage when recuperative sleep happens. This is the time when the body recovers and grows. Deep sleep is also thought to contribute to better insight, memory, and creativity.
The REM stage is the final stage. In this stage, the brain becomes almost as active when you are awake. Your eyes move rapidly as if you are seeing things. The REM stage is important in learning, memory, and creativity.
If you are a shallow sleeper, you may not reach the deep sleep and REM stages. It takes around 90 minutes before you reach the first REM sleep stage. So, it’s essential that your sleep is uninterrupted.
Unfortunately, there are things that are out of our control that could keep us from having enough sleep. However, there are steps you can take to encourage your body to get enough deep sleep and REM sleep.
Sleep hygiene refers to your sleep environment. Having a comfortable bed, pillows, sheets, and cool temperature help you get enough uninterrupted sleep.
In conclusion, REM sleep is necessary for the body to repair itself and to maintain mental health. The N3 stage of sleep is also essential for the brain to perform its functions and to keep the mind sharp.