Discover Why Your Not Sleeping and Improve Sleep
The requested URL /web/20120525132442if_/http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php was not found on this server.
When you can’t sleep it affects many parts of your life. People have issues falling asleep, staying asleep and/or waking up. What causes this, and what can you do about it? It’s very difficult to self-diagnose yet, there are things that you can do to improve your sleep and wake up rested and fully charged.
When I was about 18, I remember going to sleep at 3 am every morning. As I studied and talked with friends, I did not seem to be to affected by my insomnia. However, when people regulate there sleep habits, their quality of life will improve.
Its a good idea to keep a regular schedule. By getting to bed the same time every night your body will adjust its clock. You will feel more alive during the day.
In order to improve our sleep we have to talk about the science behind sleep. The stages of sleep are measured with a medical device that measures brain activity. Everyone is different, the length of the stages are not set in stone- they vary from person to person.
Let’s have a peak at the stages.
The Stages of Sleep:
Stage 1 Awake (eyes open), alert, active mental concentration, Awake (eyes closed) Light sleep (5% of total sleep time)
Stage 2 (45% of total sleep time) Deeper Sleep
Stage 3-4 (25% of total sleep time)Deepest, non-REM sleep; sleepwalking; night terrors, bedwetting (slow-wave sleep)
REM (25% of total sleep time) Dreaming, loss of motor tone, possibly a memory processing function erections, increased brain oxygen use.
During REM sleep there is increased pulse, rapid eye movements (REM), increased and varied bloodpressure, penile/clitoral tumescence. This occurs every 90 minutes and the duration increases throughout the night. As you age REM sleep decreases.
source: First Aid for the USMLE 2002 Bhushan p. 130
Many things can cause poor sleep
A huge cause of not being able to sleep is caffeine consumption. Caffeine keeps you wired and…
Here a few benefits of sleeping well
- peak energy levels
- better concentration
- better memory
- more relaxed
- better mood
- for men higher testosterone levels
- improved metabolism
How much Sleep do we need?
If you ask anyone how much sleep they need they will probably say 8-9 hours. You go to bed at night and wake up when you need to wake up. Well, it depends on the individual. Some people need more some people need less. There is also a polyphasic sleep cycle. Polyphasic Sleep Polyphasic sleep is the art of sleeping as little as two hours per day while still functioning perfectly well and feeling alert and highly concentrated.
This is done by taking 20-minute naps at specific times of the day and – depending on the schedule you take one period of ‘core sleep’ at night. So, there are 4 types of polyphasic sleep cycles. REM sleep is where we benefit from sleep, with a polyphasic cycle you will enter REM faster.
You can pick a cycle to follow but lets talk about the most efficient cycle. The Dymaxion Cycle allows you to sleep for 30 minutes every 6 hours. You’ll feel refreshed and energized. Give your body some time to accommodate (up to 10 days).
The Importance of having a Rhythm to your Day
We have had rhythms since we were young. Some school programs base their curriculum around a rhythm. Children might gather outside play in the cold, and come inside together. Then there is story-telling, and free-play after a snack.
We have always had rhythms. Keep them consistent throughout your day. Keeping regular sleep times and waking times will regulate your clock. Let me know what your ideal schedule is for sleep? Mine is going to bed at 10 and waking at 5 am.
Where do Naps Fit into This?
Naps simply recharge you making you feel more rested throughout the day.
Health Rules for Setting Up Your Bedroom
There are many things that can assist you in “catching some z’s”. The bedroom environment is really important and here are some tips:
You can open the windows and air your room out. The room will feel fresh and getting rid of that stale air will make a difference.
Keep the bedroom clean as far as changing the sheets. Picking up and organizing your room can help clear your mind.
If you have appliances close to your bed unplug the ones you don’t need. EM radiation can affect our sleep patterns. If you have an alarm clock close by placed it further away from you. The closer you are to a socket the more radiation your receiving.
Place of Rest
Use the bedroom for a place of rest. If you can help it don’t eat in bed. Seeing your bedroom as a special place for an important function can really help out.
Use a “White Noise generator” to cancel sounds that are present. Try purchasing some soothing music that will relax you.
What’s your living environment? Share it with us and tell me what you do to fall asleep.
Sleep and Exercise
Sleep is greatly affected by exercise. Remember that sleep is hooked up to a circuit or cycle. Going to the gym or getting out for a walk increases the quality of sleep. It makes sense that your body needs rest so if your working out you need to recover.
Temperature Gradients and sleep
From what I’ve read, two major key factors are getting to the right core temperature and having a declining temperature gradient as one goes down to the feet. For example, the use of foot warmers in the winter warm your feet, get the circulation going and then the feet will cool more quickly and you’d get the gradient vs. your already cold core.
What’s the Problem with my Sleep?
Figuring out what the problem is can be difficult. I have given some tips on how to improve sleep. Try keeping a journal, if your documenting your sleep look at what your doing throughout your days. Let me know how its working for you.