Read: The power (and necessity

Read: The power (and necessity) of getting a good night’s sleep

Sleep is scientific, emotional, and is different for every single person.

Read: The power (and necessity

Sleep is the time your body gets to repair and renew itself so that you are ready for the new day’s challenges when the alarm goes off.

You spend about 1/3 of your life ‘punching zzzzzzz’, so it’s best to make sure you are getting healthy sleep in order to reap the benefits.

The Stages of Sleep:

Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) – This type of sleep accounts for more than 75% of your total sleep time, on average. Your brain rests, but your body may be active.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) – REM sleep is the stage of sleep in which the brain is most active, but for most people also causes the body to be inactive. Most of your dreams happen in REM sleep. You appear electrically (on electroencephalography) similarly to when you are awake. The sleep cycle occurs once every 100 minutes and is totally regulated by you.

Why is sleep so important?

  • Sleep is about more than recharging your body for the next day’s activities. Healthy sleep actually dictates almost all parts of your life, simply because sleep has a large number of functions. So, we really can’t survive without it! During sleeping, the growth hormone’s level in the body spikes, and the immune system is also affected. Proteins synthesis occurs and hormones are ‘balanced’.
  • Without sleep, you can’t grow and heal. That’s a major reason why children need more sleep than adults, and why you feel tired when you are injured, or not well.
  • The brain also builds and repairs itself to better adapt, based on what you’ve been experiencing over the past few days.
  • Your memory needs sleep. Studies have shown that retention of material greatly increases with a good night’s sleep, and some scientists even argue that long-term memory is not possible without healthy sleep. Basically, without sleep, your body is tired and you can’t physically function. And tossing and turning all night means your mind is tired and you can’t mentally function.
  • It also can cause you to overreact to situations because you aren’t thinking clearly or become ill because your immune system isn’t working to its full potential.
  • Mood is affected, leaving you irritable, stressed and easily angered. You risk gaining weight because of the lack of hormone production that would have been triggered.
  • Lack of sleep has also been linked to the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular issues (your blood pressure also drops when you sleep, which means a lack of good quality sleep puts you at risk for a heart attack or stroke).

Five tips to getting a good night’s sleep

  1. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day
  2. Avoid napping during the day
  3. Control the amount of light you let into your bedroom
  4. Exercise during the day
  5. Allow fresh air to flow into your bedroom

This article was originally written by Gill Coates and featured on the Get The Edge blog. 

Gill is a South African Physiotherapist, who runs the PhysioEdge Physiotherapy and Sports Injury clinics in London.

They provide Physiotherapy and Sports Injury treatment to the public, as well as treating high profile celebrities and stunt men in the film industry. ( Gill is the founder of the ‘magic’ PhysioEdge magnesium massage gel, designed for muscle performance and recovery (