Sleep is a biological process through which we shut down all the processes and go into the resting state. But is it right? Does it really happen- what we think of sleep and what is the actual phenomenon? Is it possible to go in a resting state, away from the stress, memories, work load that we put in our minds for the whole day? Okay let’s see about this. We know that our body maintains a sleep wake cycle, through which we know when we have to sleep, when we have to wake up and a chemical known as Melatonin helps us maintain this cycle. We do our all daily routine when we are awake but what about when we are asleep. We pour our brain with toxin for the whole day then how and when do these toxins release out from the brain? The answer is- when one gets a deep sound sleep!
There are two main stages of sleep:
REM and Non – REM, which goes in different phase over the sleep time. From relaxing down the muscles to the elevated blood pressure, all happens in different stages.
Non- REM is categorized by the slowing down in the brain waves which leads to relaxing of muscles and eyes. Heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate all slows down. In this phase you spend more time in thoughts. It is that phase of sleep which is much needed to wake up fresh in the morning.
REM is categorized by the rapid eye movement, elevation in blood pressure, breathing rate and heart rate and paralyzed body muscles. This is the stage which is known for dreams.
There are two main processes that control the sleep mechanism:
Circadian rhythms: It is known as the biological clock of the body and responsible for regulating the timings for the sleep, eat, temperature etc. It increases the production of melatonin in the body which helps in the maintaining of the sleep-wake cycle.
Sleep drive: It plays a vital role in sleep. Our body urges for sleep. Throughout the day body builds sleep and when saturation comes, we need to sleep. When we are drained out, our body takes microsleep for about 1 or 2 seconds with open eyes.
During these stages our brain works harder to fix the things during the day:
- The Cleaning Therapy: It clears the toxins produced in the brain cavity as Cerebral Spinal fluid rushes quickly into the brain while we sleep. It clears all the toxins, debris from the brain which can be responsible for the defects like dementia and Alzheimer over the time.
- A Perfect Tutor: Consolidation became rapid. It helps to enhance skills during awake. Helps in recalling things better.
- Regenerative power: It regenerates the body cells. Helps to rejuvenate the body cells by nourishing them.
- A Creative Star: Sleep works as a creative booster. It makes our brain work more creatively and helps to make new connections.
- A locker: Works as preservative. During sleep, brain preserves our memories that are most valuable to us. It locks all the information inside it.
Some tips to get a good sleep:
- Always have a sleep- wake schedule.
- Always try to relax yourself before going to bed by reading books, listening to your favorite music or try to have hot water bath.
- Exercise daily to relax your mind and neurons.
- Avoid alcohol , caffeine at least before 4 hours of sleep.
As we grow in years, we become deprived of sleep. From 18 hours of sleep in infants to 5 hours in elders. Sleep patterns vary a lot similar to behavior. At least 6 hours of sound sleep is much needed to get work done efficiently in an average human being.