Since the beginning of humanity, sleep, and its impact on the body has been widely speculated upon. It's purpose as the brain is lightly understood. The full depth of its function and capabilities haven't been fully grasped. Many people choose to overlook the importance of sleep in favor of partying or work.
The exhaustion of your body through sleep deprivation can have a substantial impact on your performance. Sleep deprivation can influence your performance in the bedroom, workplace, or even during core activities.
Sleep may not seem important during busy moments as more than an opportunity for respite. It is something many choose to deprive them off or skip in favor of getting ahead. However, sleep is as essential as breathing and eating for not only surviving but thriving in your daily life. We will walk you through a few key concepts to know about sleep.
Contrary to popular opinion, your brain is not a muscle. It functions similar to one. It can contract and move to fulfill its the purpose of driving your conscious and subconscious bodily functions. At the Rochester Medical Center, a recent study found that there exists a toxic protein that can “dirty” your brain.
Dirtying your brain means that these toxic proteins impede or impairs your cognitive abilities and beyond more as you don’t sleep. These proteins build up or flow less when you are awake than when asleep.
This is because your brain does not have the space to allow it to refresh when awake. The longer you are awake, the more this toxic protein rots. Sleep is the first opportunity your body has to let it flow more quickly, flushing it out.
While the amount of sleep required for everyone is different, it's essential to preventing adverse long-term effects on your health. There is a correlation between lack of sleep and decomposition of overall intelligence and mental health.
It’s better to take small naps to refresh than to not sleep at all. However, your brain can’t undergo a thorough cleanse until you have a full sleep cycle. Your sleep cycle time gives a particular system in your brain time to reset that is correlated to memory and energy, where it relaxes and cycles through more than just dreams.
In addition to the sleep above toxins, there is a myriad of other toxins that can build up in your muscles. For instance, lactic acid builds up in your body when awake. Lactic acid can make your muscles more delicate or weak. Lactic acid can also accumulate and lead to exhaustion.
There are two distinct processes of sleep. REM and Non-REM each have their purposes. Naps unless completely exhausted don't adequately tend to tap into the REM area of sleep. REM is primarily the deep sleep process during which your body heals.
Those that want more restful sleep should keep in mind that increasing the ratio of REM to Non-REM sleep can be impactful on your health and overall restfulness. The higher the ratio, the less sleep you need and the higher the quality of the sleep process itself.
Sleep deprivation creeps in. Even when you aren't feeling apparently fatigued, it can edge away at your awareness. The signs can include:
The longer that you are unable to sleep, the worse your emotional state will get. Too much time without sleep and you can put yourself in grave danger of permanently damaging your body. Too much sleep can also negatively impact your body.
Striking the perfect balance requires careful research into your best cycle times, diet, habits, and environment. Measuring your sleep habits can lead to greater insight into how you best function that can give you an extra edge on improving your overall health. Keeping track of and adjusting your sleep schedule can maximize your work schedule and more.
As mentioned before, sleep for everyone is unique. Some require only a few hours of sleep a night to function fully whereas others need more. Sleep, like many things, can be hacked to provide a maximum effect for minimum effort and time.
The variables to isolate can be the amount of time you sleep, when you sleep, what you eat, your sleeping environment, and how much you work within certain periods. Your body naturally gravitates toward the light and wants to sleep in darkness.
There is a myriad of ways to increase your overall sleep quality. Substantial changes in temperature, such as taking a hot shower then sleeping in a cold room with blankets are one way. Another is taking cold showers and taking a melatonin while limiting light exposure to increase your body's need to sleep response.
Those that sleep during the day need a dark room to maximize their sleep if when they aren't aware of it. If done correctly, you can cause yourself to sleep comfortably and deeply. To shorten your sleep time or increase its overall effectiveness, consider setting the alarm to eat a snack a few hours into your sleep.
When combined with meditation before bed, you get the benefit of relaxing your body before sleep and potentially increasing your overall REM to Non-REM sleep ratio.
Discoveries in the field of sleep science and its impact on the brain and rest of the body are ever developing. New developments lead to advancements in how we can organize our days to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime. Even with the development of new studies, the importance of a night of old fashioned sleep cannot be overstated.