It wasn’t until recently that the science of sleep was proven. For many generations, it was thought that sleep was merely a passive time spent in the dark. People knew they needed sleep, knew they felt better after they had slept during the night hours, but they didn’t know why. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the science of sleep and the reasons we need sleep became understood.
Sleep boosts the immune system. That’s why rest is the most recommended activity while recovering from an illness or surgery. Your body needs the sleep to allow the immune system the opportunity to fight off infection, regulate your appetite, and help you to feel better sooner.
Memories and correlating connections between ideas that seem unrelated are also enhanced by sleep. Sleep helps with creating permanent memories, as this is when your brain is able to focus on the activities of the day and is given the chance to consolidate those memories in such a way that you will be able to recall them easier. When you awaken, you will be able to recall your memories and also see things that will remind you of those times.
Though you may think you can survive on only four hours of sleep a day, studies have shown that an adult needs at least seven hours a day. Children need to receive about sixteen hours a day, and teens need nine. Studies have shown that if you consistently receive less than seven hours of sleep a day, your judgement, mood, and cognitive skills will be affected. No one likes a grumpy coworker who has trouble making decisions, so try to get the recommended number of hours of sleep a day. You’ll be happier and so will the people you spend your time with.
Before the invention of alarm clocks, humans regulated their sleep with the rise and fall of the sun and moon. That all changed and now many of us suffer from sleep debt. This is your body’s way of telling you that you are hurting it with a lack of beneficial sleep. If you have deprived your body of the sleep it needs for several days, then it will increase the amount of sleep you will need when you do finally allow your body to catch up. If you accumulate sleep debt too much, you subject your body to greater chances of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and increase your risk of obesity. Many of these can be resolved with making up the sleep debt and not creating new debt. Studies have shown that resolving sleep debt and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is better for you physically and mentally.
It is very important that your brain receive the REM sleep it needs to rejuvenate and work out your daily stresses. It is typical for your brain to have four to five REM/NON-REM cycles per night. You should only have occasional and very brief times of wakefulness. Anything more than that should be discussed with a professional. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and NON-REM are cycles of non-rapid eye movement. Both are needed for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. Your body will move into the different stages of sleep it needs, and get the REM you need as well. Creating sleep debt will prevent this from happening naturally and will have to be made up at a later time.
Our pillows can help your body maintain a restful night’s sleep. Check out the many options we offer and speak to our knowledgeable staff to find the right pillow for your body type and needs. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your needs and share our information.