Sassy all tried out after last Halloween!
What Exactly is Sleep?
Physiologically speaking, sleep is the daily restful state all humans need to assume on a daily basis in order to replenish and live another day. It is a reduced state of motor activity in which consciousness of the surrounding world is suspended due to the diminished sensory stimulation response that occurs when a person lies down and closes their eyes.
Science has now revealed that sleep is fact a dynamic process in which the brain continues to work while we sleep. Some of these activities include:
- The production and release of certain proteins essential to growth (especially in children) and tissue repair.
- Replenishment to areas of the brain responsible for emotional and social functioning throughout the day.
- Helping the mind learn complicated tasks by retrieving knowledge potentially forgotten throughout the day.
- The preservation of emotional memories, whose components become unbound throughout the sleep process.
Brain Activity in Sleep
Brain activity plays an important role in the sleep cycle. It directs the chemicals responsible for nerve signaling (neurotransmitters) to act on nerve cells in different areas of the brain whether the person is asleep or not. These nerve cells (brain cells otherwise known as neurons) control sleep by inhibiting the other parts of the brain that keep an individual awake.
Princess & Drew catching a nap on the couch :)
5 Good Reasons to Get Enough Sleep
Memory and learning – the sleep cycle helps the brain in committing new information to memory via the process of memory consolidation. Scientific studies have also linked higher test results to students that had slept after learning the particular task being tested.
Weight and metabolism – a disturbed sleep cycle and chronic states of insomnia have been linked to a disturbance in metabolism and consequent weight gain. This can be attributed to its affect on appetite-controlling hormones and the ways in which carbohydrate is stored and processed.
Safety – daytime errors and mishaps such as falls, medical errors, air traffic mishaps and road accidents can statistically be linked to disturbed sleeping patterns prior to the event taking place.
Mood – a disturbed sleep cycle can cause an imbalanced amount of hormones and neurotransmitters, causing irritability, impatience, moodiness and concentration difficulty.Cardiovascular Health – Science has linked disrupted sleep and sleep disorders to conditions harmful to cardiovascular health, including irregular heartbeats and hypertension.
Disease – A lack of sleep directly affects the activity of the body’s killer cells and therefore depletes the body’s immune system. Recent studies have also shown good quality sleep patterns may play a part in the fight against cancer.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
Adults: 7-8 hours per night (although some adults may function better with 5-10 hours of sleep a night)
Teenagers: 9 hours per night
Infants: 16 hours throughout the course of the day and night.
Pregnant women: need increased amounts of sleep, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Noel using me as a pillow!