The Question That Many People Ask

What Exactly IS Sleep?

Many people go through life and are amazed by what they do, and that is sleep. It is an amazing journey that our mind takes us on, anything becomes possible, and the experience is comparable to something that we have only seen on the big screens. Many people ask the question, "what is sleep?" It is clear that people are curious as to what is going on when they hit the pillow, and science has been wondering too. Down below is a brief summary of what sleep is. Through this article I will touch on what sleep can do for you, what the benefits of sleep are, if oversleeping and sleep debt affect you, and what can be done to combat this common issue. So let's get right into it.

What Exactly is Sleep?

Sleep is a state of being that allows the conscious mind to be suspended freely for several hours. Leaving the nervous system relatively inactive, eyes closed, and muscles relaxed.

Two Types of Sleep:

1) REM (rapid-eye movement): Associated with vivid dreaming REM implies exactly what is happening; a persons eyes move rapidly back and fourth, followed by a faster pulse, breathing quality enhanced and the ability to have improved cognitive thinking.

2) Non-REM (non-rapid-eye movement): NREM is the beginning stages of entering REM. When one is about to fall into their slumber, it is common to experience: muscle twitches, slowed breathing, reduced heart rate (no dreaming has begun at this point). The steps in which occur are first, drowsiness, stage two, light sleeping. As described above, this is the beginning of REM sleep. This cycle occurs on average 5 times thought each sleep engagement. Unfortunately, NREM accounts for 75-80% of total sleep in humans.

For many, it is common to fall into the NREM sleep category and it is likely that they have a lot of sleep debt, leaving one to feel groggy, tired, lethargic, irritated and have foggy memory. Getting an adequate amount of rest is essential to human life and the ability to function optimally. In many cases, sleep may be overlooked and possibly considered as unecessary. Some people are so involved in their life that the importance of sleep is on the back burner. However, sleep is the main artery in ensuring productivity and must be looked at further.

Sleep Debt

Is it possible to have sleep debt? This is a question that comes up frequently “is it possible to catch-up on sleep?” the answer is two fold, yes and no, mainly because if one can nap mid-day, take the opportunity to fill the sleepless void. In many situations, this is not the case. The best way to pay off the debt is to establish a new sleep debt re-payment system. Structure time to add more sleep into the schedule. If a person achieves 6-7 hours of shut-eye per night, allow the flexibility to attain 8-9 hours of catching Z’s. As previously stated, it is possible to enjoy a good nights sleep by simply altering one's schedule in minute ways. An effective solution can be as simple as allowing enough time to sleep. Getting their bodies on a routine/schedule that tailors to sleep time will help train the body to know when to trigger drowsiness.

Another great tip to ensuring to doze off effectively is to remove the mind of clutter. These can also be referred to as relaxation techniques. In order to help sleep, it is good practice to consider doing the following; meditation, yoga, reading, cooking, or enjoying a hobby that eliminates stresses and focus on feeling good. This not only achieves better sleep but increases the overall quality of life. 

Is It Possible To Sleep Too Much?

On the opposite side of the spectrum, someone may have another road-block, and that is, sleeping too much. After long hard weeks worth of work, many are ready to throw in the towel. One may typically find themselves oversleeping during the weekend believing they are catching up on sleep. This is a misconception that wipes out the sleeping pattern, oversleeping is akin to not enough sleep. The effects on the body are very similar, feeling lethargic, fatigue, low motivation, and overall feeling unpleasant. This usually leads to spending the day lounging around the house and restricting productivity. The solution to avoid napping too much is being diligent about following a sleep schedule. Previously mentioned, having sleep time in place is a critical component in sleep success. Sticking to it even when one does not feel the best can have staggering results, paying huge dividends in productivity and how one feels. It is similar to when someone is not in the mood to work out, but after, feel the best they have in a long time. This is the same idea, but acquires different and rewarding outcomes.

As we can see, sleep is vital to how one functions throughout the day, getting an adequate amount a sleep is critical and should not be overlooked. As covered in this article, it is recommended to have a schedule in place that way you can begin having the benefits of REM sleep in your routine. Remember, it is important to allow yourself enough time to sleep, this way you can ensure you are receiving the true benefits of your rest. When you sleep the body is in repair mode and is when it does most of its work, so to make sure you are doing your part your body will reciprocate. leaving you feeling rejuvenated and prepared to embark on your day.

Well, that just about does it for this article, be sure to like, and leave a comment. Thank you so much for your time. I hope everyone has an amazing day. Stay safe.