A good “sleep hygiene” can have a spectacular effect on an individual’s life. Just think about how you felt after a night of sleep deprivation. Like a bad-tempered zombie, isn’t it? You are not the only one! In a world of thousand distractions, one in five Britons have trouble sleeping well.
How do we fall asleep?
Sleep is regulated by the internal body clock and the homeostat. The internal body clock, scientifically known as the circadian rhythm, regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness. The circadian rhythm is regulated by the hypothalamus- the part of the brain that also regulates body temperature and appetite. The circadian rhythm is often cued by external environment factors, the most important of which is light. Dips in the circadian rhythm can cause very strong sleep drives, for example, the strongest sleep drive during the day usually occurs between 1.00- 3.00 p.m- explaining those afternoons at work where you feel very drowsy.
A lesser known sleep regulator, the homeostat is responsible for determining the amount of hours that the individual will stay awake. After staying awake for long hours, the homeostat signals to the body that it is now time to sleep.
Very often, sleep troubles are related to misalignments in the circadian rhythm and homeostat. Disruptions in the circadian rhythm can be caused by environmental factors, such as moving to a different time zone or working on a shift system.
How does sleep really work?
While the body clock and the homeostat only determine the timing and duration of sleep, what really happens when you sleep is outlined below:
Stage 1- Non-REM
The body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and other body activities all slow down. However, body reflexes remain fairly active.
Stage 2- NREM Stage 1
This is the stage of light sleep- where the sleeper can feel drowsy or somnolent.
Stage 3- NREM Stage 2
This stage accounts for around 45-55% of all sleep in adults. The individual becomes harder to wake up at this stage. It is at this stage that conscious awareness of the external environment disappears.
Stage 4- NREM Stage 3
This phase is typically called the deep or slow-wave sleep. Like the name suggests, this is a deep sleep stage, where environmental stimuli no longer cause a reaction. It is the most restorative and soporific stage of sleep.
Stage 5- REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
This is the last stage of sleep, where the sleeper usually dreams. It is the stage at which it is the hardest to wake the individual.
This whole cycle gets completed every 90 minutes and is repeated during the time that the individual is sleeping. This breakdown of sleep into stages provides a clearer insight into why sometimes- paradoxically- getting more sleep does not necessarily lead to less tiredness. A lack of REM sleep can impair an individual’s ability to do complex tasks, which is why, it is not just the quantity of sleep that matters but also the quality.
Why is good sleep important?
It is important for the following reasons:
It leads to a healthier heart
A good night’s sleep helps to curb the risks of inflammation, caused by the C-reactive protein. In turn, less inflammatory proteins in the blood reduces the risks of heart diseases and strokes. Research has shown that individuals with six or fewer hours of sleep are at a greater risk of heart diseases.
It will keep you looking good
Few hours of sleep have been shown to contribute to premature aging. Plus, a good night’s sleep will help to banish those dark under-eye circles. Hence, get a good night’s sleep for a natural glow!
It will help you be a winner
Don’t burn the midnight oil! A minimum of 8 hours of sleep spurs creativity, enhances memory and even improves stamina for athletes. Hence, get to work with those easel and brushes, those study notes and those training shoes only after a good night’s sleep.
It will keep your weight in check
If you are thinking about going on a diet, an earlier bedtime should also be considered. Going to bed later creates more food cravings and poor sleepers have been shown to have a greater risk of being overweight. This is because of the fact that certain hormones go up the blood when you are feeling sleepy and those same hormones drive appetite.
Common Sleep Troubles
While insomnia is one of the most well-known sleep troubles, other sleep- quality problems can be experienced, such as:
· Taking a long time to sleep because of anxiety, stress or depression
· Light sleep that is not restorative enough
· Waking up several times during the night
· Tendency to fall asleep early evening and wake up too early in the morning
How can PureLifestyleWonders improve my sleep quality?
We propose a range of products to help you sleep better. Our sleep products have been carefully chosen and we bring you the very best in order to optimise your sleeping experience.
1. AxBo Sleep Phase Alarm Clock
This revolutionary alarm clock guarantees that you get the best sleep by waking you up during the lighter stages of sleep (see above for an explanation of the different stages of sleep). The AxBo combines pioneering sleep technology and unique design to bring a truly innovative product to ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and energetic. Our Sleep Phase alarm clock is also the recipient of international innovation recognition awards, such as the Plus X award for innovation and the Volvo award for personal design.
2. Bright Light Therapy Devices
Light is an important factor in regulating the circadian rhythm. Our bright light therapy devices are powerful enough to give enough light to regulate it. Our bright light therapy devices also help in sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, by regulating the levels of serotonin (the hormone responsible for your mood and well-being) and melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleepiness). They can be used in various instances, such as when working long hours with very little exposure to sunlight, working on a shift system, when travelling or when going for sports training.
3. Bedding products
We have a range of anti-allergy bedding that also protects against dust mites. All of our bedding range products follow the natural line of the body in order to give you a pain-free and cosy night. The comfort offered by our bedding products will definitely get you one step closer to a restorative sleep. We also have a range of duvets that regulate body temperature- leaving you feeling just right, neither too hot nor too cold. Hence, browse through out bedding collection and find “The Perfect One” for you to turn your bedroom into that relaxing haven you have always dreamt it to be and get rid of sleep problems.
4. Anti Snoring
Snoring can actually cause poor sleep, daytime fatigue, irritability and increased health problems. Snoring happens when you can't move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. We have a range of innovative products designed to be effective remedies for snoring. Don’t let your partner wake up to the sound of your snoring anymore!
5. Aromatherapy Candles
Aromatherapy candles will soothe your body and calm your nerves, helping you to sleep better and quicker. We have a range of scented candles, with perfumes from scented rose to lavender. Hence, create the most wonderful of ambience in your bedroom with our fantastic aromatherapy candles and get ready for a peaceful night of sleep. Insomnia will now be a distant memory!
6. Air purifiers
Allergy sufferers, let your sleeping experience be the best with our air purifiers! Our vast range of air purifiers creates the purest of air for you to breathe in and helps you to have a good sleep. The air is filled with dust mite allergens, pollen grains, mould spores, small particles, cigarette smoke including gases and Volatile Organic Compounds polluting our air. All these allergens deter the quality of our sleep. However, an air purifier helps to rid the atmosphere of all these allergens.
7. Steam cleaners
A clean bedroom is equivalent to a sound sleep! Very often sleep problems can be caused by discomfort resulting from environmental factors, such as dust. Our steam cleaners are designed to thoroughly clean any room and to create a pleasant experience while cleaning due to their ease of handling. Keep sleep problems at bay with our range of highly effective steam cleaners!
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