Sleep Mysteries: How Much Is Enough Sleep?

For many years, how the human body goes to sleep and what happens to a person when they sleep has fascinated people. Thanks to science and evolving technology, we can know just how much is enough sleep.

To begin, it has been proven that the amount of rest required for healthy living depends on many things including age. For example, infants between the ages of 0-3 months need at least 14-17 hours of sleep per day. That is why paediatricians recommend letting these little ones nap as much as they can. 

Toddlers need at least 11 hours of it while school-age children do well with 9 to 11 hours of sleep. For teenagers and most adults, no more than 9 hours of bedtime is required to make the body function properly. Pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy also benefit from getting more sleep than usual.

The Danger of Sleep Debt

In today’s busy world, many people consider sleep as a sign of laziness and boast about how they can go without rest. Even successful businessmen credit their success to their lengthy uptime. In reality, as far as the human body is concerned, this is far from ideal.

A person can fall into sleep debt by going without the right amount of it. This goes on to increase the amount of rest a person needs. Eventually, your body will demand that you make up for lost times or you slowly begin to lose basic functions. Just the way increased financial debt can affect your credit score, stacking up sleep debt can harm your brain.

Why Sleep Is A Must

A big myth is that the human body can adjust to getting little rest. The truth is that sleep primarily helps with the maintenance of the body and a system can’t function well or adjust to working without maintenance.

A lot happens when the body goes to rest. It can be divided into four stages. These stages are determined by the level of activity in your brain. The first two stages are light and act as an introduction to stage three which is deep sleep. 

Deep sleep features the slowing down of brain waves making it harder for you to notice your environment and wake up. It is at this stage that maintenance is carried out on your body by repairing tissues, increase growth and development, replenish lost energy and boost your immunity.

Next comes the fourth stage called Rapid Eye Movement or REM. In this stage, your brain activities pick up again with fast eye movement and an increase in your pulse, blood pressure and breathing. With the increase in mental activity, REM focuses on your memory. This helps you process information gathered during the day and sort useful ones as memory.

It is safe to say that without deep sleep and REM, a lot of damage will be done to your mental power as your brain is constantly being prevented from entering the stage where it functions best. 

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You will also enjoy reading: 5 New Things You Didn’t Know About Drinking Water.

How To Get Enough Rest

For many who struggle to get enough rest, there are proven steps on how to improve your sleep and allow your body go all the way into full-fledged maintenance. However, it is important you first recognize that you are in sleep debt. Signs to look out for include:

  • Feeling drowsy during the day even when engaging in boring activities like talking with a friend or listening to someone speak.
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sudden mood swing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Falling asleep within the first five minutes of staying idle such as sitting or lying down.

If you notice one or more of the above, you need to take conscious steps to improve and increase your sleep. Here are practical ways to do so.

  • Prioritize Rest. Purge yourself of the mindset that you are better awake than sleeping. Acknowledge that sleep is important and set out time for it.
  • Create A Schedule. Set out time to sleep and stick to it. Ensure that all your daily activities end at a certain time so you can prepare to go to bed at the time you have set. To get the best from having a schedule, take practical steps to stick to it. These steps may include setting timers on electronic devices such as TV sets and smartphones.
  • Learn Good Sleep Habits. Learn and practice good nigh-time habits such as avoiding large meals before bedtime or staying in a well-lit room can help improve your sleep. Also, consider sleeping in a place that is free from distractions and disturbance.
  • Take Power Naps. Many have found it useful to take power naps during the day. This short rest is a way to recharge and make up for sleep time.
  • Seek Medical Help. You will find it helpful to consult your doctor. They can provide useful suggestions and advice designed to fit your need.

Getting enough bedtime can charge you up for the day, help with growth and development as well as improve your memory and reaction. So what is enough sleep? Enough sleep is whatever keeps your body working perfectly.

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