Your rest is inarguably a huge part of everyday health and wellness. Sleep is even more increasingly important when you're actively training and with regularity. It is essential for both an optimized workout and our individual fitness goals that we strive for the best rest to push forward towards results.
Knowing Your Sleep Stages:
During any night of rest, your brain rotates through multiple cycles each with distinct brain behaviours and patterns. There are two primary phases that your body revisits – Non-REM (nREM) or REM.
- Stage 1: In between sleep and wakefulness.
- Stage 2: The phase of your rest where you spend most of your time sleeping.
- Stage 3: This is when your body, muscles and various systems repair and recovers from physical activity, or strain. When asleep in this stage you are most difficult to wake up.
- Eyes move rapidly beneath lids and most of your other muscles are in a paralyzed state.
- Here your brain seems very active and awake, but your body is turned off.
What happens when you get a lack of sleep?
Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease and infections. Throughout the night, your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure rise and fall, a process that may be important for cardiovascular health. Your body releases hormones during sleep that help repair cells and control the body’s use of energy. These hormone changes can affect your body weight.
Ongoing research shows a lack of sleep can produce diabetic-like conditions in otherwise healthy people. As mentioned above a good night’s sleep consists of 4 to 5 sleep cycles. Each cycle includes periods of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep when we dream. As the night goes on, the portion of that cycle that is in REM sleep increases. It turns out that this pattern of cycling and progression is critical to the biology of sleep.
Ensure you give yourself the best chance of a good night with these sleep aids.
How much sleep do we need?
Although personal needs vary, on average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Babies typically sleep about 16 hours a day. Young children need at least 10 hours of sleep, while teenagers need at least 9 hours.
Sleep can be disrupted by many things. Stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications can keep you up. Distractions such as electronics—especially the light from TVs, cell phones, tablets and e-readers—can prevent you from falling asleep.
Good sleep is critical to your health. To make each day a safe, productive one, take steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep.
The curators of the new must-have sleep essentials over at Casper (creators of the overly designed innovative foam mattresses) have put together this insightful guide below exploring the restorative benefits of our sleep: