What is Sleep?
We all have at least a vague notion of what sleep is, but that doesn’t mean that defining this mysterious part of our lives is simple. After all, detailed analysis of our own sleep isn’t really an option, given that we rarely know that we’re sleeping when we’re asleep. And even if we observe the sleep of others, so much of what they experience changes in the functions of their brains and bodies is not easily seen from the outside.
Every night, nearly every person undergoes a remarkable change, we leave waking consciousness and for hours traverse a landscape of dreams and deep sleep. When we wake, we typically remember little or nothing about the hours that have just passed. Except in rare instances, we never contemplate and appreciate that we are sleeping while we are asleep. Thus, although everyone sleeps, most people would be hard pressed to precisely define sleep. All organisms exhibit daily patterns of rest and activity that resemble the daily sleep and wakefulness patterns seen in humans. From observing changes in behavior and responsiveness, scientists have noted the following characteristics that accompany and in many ways define sleep.
The Characteristics of Sleep
1. Sleep is a state that is characterized by changes in brain wave activity, breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and other physiological functions.
2. Depending on the sleep stage, different physiological functions may be more active and variable.
3. The reasons why we dream and the meaning of our dreams, despite scientific investigations, still largely remain a mystery.
Can good sleep make good health?
Yes, sleep makes you feel better. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, one becomes more susceptible to health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, depression and many more. Some facts of sleep which lead to a healthy life are..
Good Sleep Keeps Heart Healthy;
Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol so some experts say that heart will be healthier if one gets between( 7 -9 hours) of sleep each night
Sleep Helps to Make Body Repairs;
Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage. This is the time when the cells undergo wear and tear and that’s what makes you feel refreshed in the morning.
Good Sleep Reduce Stress;
When your body is sleeping deficient, it goes into a state of stress. Therefore it is recommended to have good sleep in order to allow your body to cope with day’s stress and manage it in a better way with a relaxed mind. It is found that any amount of sleep deprivation reduces mental performance.
Sleep and Weight Loss;
Lack of sufficient sleep affects the appetite regulating hormones. It also aggravates cravings for high fat and carbohydrate rich foods, making a route to weight gain. It also affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, a key factor in weight management. So, if you want to be on a healthy weight, make sure you get a good sleep every night.
Good Sleep Reduces Depression;
Lack of proper sleep and depression is inter inked. Depression may lead to insomnia and lack of sleep increases depression. Sleep impacts serotonin levels (feel-good hormone) which affect the mood of an individual.
Sleep Prevents Cancer;
People working for long hours have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. There is evidence stating that good sleep can alter the balance of hormones in the body which may influence cancer progression.