Do You Find Yourself Always Feeling Tired?

Most people in our current society try to sleep as little as possible, or at least feel like they should minimize their sleeping hours, so they can stay awake longer, and thus get more work done.

Just as exercise and nutrition are essential for healthy living, so is good quality sleep. The quality of sleep we get every night is just as important, because it directly affects our waking up for: mental sharpness, emotional stability, productivity, concentration and focus, creativity, physical fitness, weight, skin condition, etc.

Lack Of Sleep

It may look like suffering from a lack of sleep isn’t that big of a deal, but it has a lot of negative effects to our mind and body, beyond the daytime sleepiness you may occasionally feel.

The effects include: Lack of motivation, moodiness, weight gain, inability to cope with stress, concentration and focus problems, increased health problems, fatigue, slower reaction times and many more.

Understanding The Role Of Sleep

When we sleep, our brain and our body starts processes of biological maintenance to keep our body fit and healthy, to better prepare us for when we wake up. When we sleep, our body regenerates, heals and restores us, if not, we won’t be able to do things like learn, work, communicate, eat, or walk.

Its bad news to consistently skip sleep, because then you’ll be headed into a one day trip to physical and worse, mental shutdown.

However, the good news is that if you get enough sleep at night, you will find that your energy and efficiency to do work actually increases, so you will get MORE done during the day than when you are sufficiently rested.

Sleep Stages

There are a series of sleep stages that are all completely different, but still vital to our body and mind. Each stage benefits us in a different way.

Stage 1 (Transition)

This is the transition stage between sleeping and waking. Your eyes and muscle activity moves slowly and you will be easily awakened. It lasts about 5 minutes

Stage 2 (Light sleep)

The first stage of real sleep, your eye movements stop, heart rate slows down, and body temperature lowers at this stage. It lasts about 10 to 25 minutes.

Stage 3 (Transition)

Slower brain waves emerge during this stage, and your body prepares to enter to a state of deep sleep.

Stage 4 (Deep sleep)

Your brain waves start to slow down a lot, and blood is directed away from your brain, to your muscles, for restoration purposes of physical energy. If you are awakened at this this stage, you will feel extremely disorientated (or as if you have been hit by a bus) and you will have a hard time adjusting back to waking life. This lasts for about 30 minutes.

Stage 5 (Rapid Eye Movement: REM sleep)

In this stage, breathing becomes more rapid, eyes move rapidly and muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Heartbeat may increase and muscles experience occasional twitches. Most dreaming occurs in this stage due to increased brain activity. We usually enter REM stage about 90 minutes after falling asleep.

It’s important to note that we begin from stage 1, 2, 3, 4 then back to 3, then 2, before entering REM sleep. When REM sleep is completed, we return to stage 2 sleep and the cycles keep recurring throughout the night. The first cycle of REM sleep lasts only a while (10 minutes or so), but the following few cycles of REM sleep becomes longer (up to lasting an hour)

Why Is It So Hard To Get Up In The Morning?

Even if you’ve slept for a whole night, you may still feel a strong resistance from your mind and body when getting out of bed in the morning. This may be the case because your alarm went off in the middle of Stage 3. (Deep sleep) If you want to make waking up in the mornings less painful, the best way is to set a wake up time in multiples of 90 minutes (1 full sleep cycle).

An example is if you sleep at 11pm, you set your alarm at 630am (7.5 hours of sleep) instead of 730 (you’ll be waking up in the middle of stage 3). You will definitely feel more refreshed because you’re waking up at the end of a full sleep cycle.