The human body has been programmed to spend a certain amount of time asleep and this is part of the normal functioning of the brain. There are different levels of sleep and the body needs a specific amount of deep sleep to function properly. We will spend about 30 % of our lives asleep and it is recommended that an adult has around eight hours sleep each night. A quarter of that time needs to be deep sleep.
Must Know Facts about Sleep
Why is Sleep so Important?
People are always trying to set records and break them. During one rocking-chair marathon the winner stayed awake for 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes but reported problems such as blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, hallucinations and paranoia.
Scientists have been trying to find out how much sleep an average person needs and why sleep is necessary. They have found that sleep is important for brain development and keeping things such as speech, original thinking and memory at normally functioning levels.
It is well known that people that regularly have late nights and just a few hours of sleep often have difficulty getting up the following day and do not feel rested. This prompted research that was carried out in Canada into what effect sleep had on the number of road accidents. It was found that there was a correlation between the fall in the number of accidents and the extra hour of sleep people got when the clocks were turned back with daylight saving.
New parents always complain about the lack of sleep, which just about every parent will identify with. As a result of this lack of sleep, new parents suffer from all the associated symptoms that result from sleep deprivation: lack of concentration, memory loss, reduced function and tiredness. It has been calculated that in the first year of their child’s life, parents will lose between 400 and 750 hours of sleep, which is a significant figure.
More Facts about Sleep
Even if you cannot do this yourself there is usually at least one person you know who seems to be able to get up in the morning without using an alarm clock. This is generally referred to as that person’s ‘natural alarm clock’. Research has found that the ability to wake up when they want to is triggered by the release of a hormone called adrenocorticotropin. This is a stress hormone which researchers think is released because the person is subconsciously worried about waking up in time.
There has been a lot of work done on the immune function of the body and the things that can have an effect on it. It has also been found that a person’s sleep cycle was disrupted most by noises experienced in the first couple of hours of sleep. Researchers discovered that the immune system was suppressed when people were exposed to strange noises at night.
Did You Know!?
People who do not sleep properly at night may take catnaps during the day. Some people are not even aware that they are taking these naps and neither are those around them as the eyes do not need to be shut to take a catnap. The only way to confirm whether someone was awake or asleep would involve close medical supervision.
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Guest post by Tony, on behalf of Archers sleep centre. You will find that there is valuable advice available at Archers sleep centre on how to get a good night’s sleep for those having difficulties.
Photos: Jenny Kristina Nilsson