REM Sleep: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
Making sure that you are getting enough sleep, and that it is spent in quality REM sleep is imperative to your health. A lack of REM sleep can do more than just make you irritable and disorganized; it can also increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart problems, and depression. So how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? Check out the chart below to see how many hours you and your family should be getting every night, and if you aren’t clocking in enough hours between the sheets make sure to follow our helpful tips on how to get better REM sleep, and more of it.
Making sure that you are hitting these numbers and getting adequate REM sleep every night improves your creativity, athletic performance, and sex life; not to mention your overall health and mental well-being. These are the top 21 ways that sleep benefits your body and mind.
During sleep a process called consolidation occurs that helps to strengthen memories or “practice” of the skills that you learned while you were awake. While you sleep your brain makes connections to fortify the learning so that you’ll perform better once you awaken.
A sleep study of 2010 proved a correlation between too much and too little sleep with a reduced life span. This suggests that getting the correct recommended hours of sleep can actually increase the amount of years that you live.
A 2010 study, measuring the levels of C-reactive protein, was conducted and proved that people who got less than 6 hours of sleep per night were more likely to have inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, strokes, and premature aging.
The link between memory and creativity is strong and therefore while memories are strengthened during sleep, so is creativity. While you are asleep the emotional components of memories are enhanced and lead to a more enlightened creative process.
Lack of sleep in adults is associated with drowsiness and lack of attention, whereas in children it’s associated with hyperactivity and inattentiveness. In both cases, sleep improves an individual’s ability to pay attention.
In a study performed at the University of Chicago it was discovered that dieters who slept more lost more fat and dieters who were sleep deprived lost more muscle mass.
Stress has a serious impact on cardiovascular health, and the introduction of a healthy sleep schedule can reduce levels of stress leading to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Quality REM sleep not only brings lower stress levels, and higher energy levels but it also allows for more emotional stability which helps reduce the risk of developing depression, and helps fight the symptoms of depression.
Getting more sleep will not automatically make you a happier person but it will stabilize your mood so that you’re less likely to snap at innocent bystanders, start crying uncontrollably or laughing over nothing.
Sleeping helps your immune system regenerate and repair itself so that when your body is put into contact with a cold virus it will be more prepared to fight it off, and less likely to succumb to the illness.
Getting enough sleep is often enough to recharge your sex life. The National Sleep Foundation found that, on average, about 26% of people say that they are “too tired” to engage in sexual activities with their partner.
Aside from the time you spend in REM sleep, your body uses sleep as a time to repair damage that has been done to your cells and tissues while you are awake. This process of repair aids in building muscles.
During sleep your hormone levels change and it is due to these changes that not getting enough sleep seems to stimulate your appetite, causing you to eat more and gain more weight.
When compared to adults who regularly sleep 7 to 8 hours per night, those who get 6 hours are 1.7 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and those who get 5 hours are 2.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Without sleep it seems that adults lose their ability to control their blood sugar levels.
People with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and low self esteem tend to sleep less, and people who sleep less are more likely to be anxious, depressed and feel poorly about themselves. Which came first is unsure, but getting more sleep could be the answer.
Sleep repairs cells and tissues throughout the body, creating a more regenerative skin type for those who clock the recommended amount of sleep.
Many studies have found that when people do not get an adequate amount of REM sleep, they are more likely to suffer from episodic migraines. In addition to these findings it has also been recorded that 36-58% of people suffering from sleep apnea wake up with headaches.
Concentration abilities skyrocket after a good night’s sleep. Whether you are at work, or at home you can expect to be more productive if you are getting quality sleep.
Sleeping less than five hours per night has been shown to increase the risk for heart attacks by as much as 45%. This is because your blood pressure increases dramatically when you force yourself to stay awake.
Athletes need more sleep than the average adult because of the constant stress they put their bodies under. While most people benefit from 7-9 hours of sleep, an athlete should aim for 10 hours of sleep per night to enhance their performance.
Sleep has been proven to make you more productive, help your general health, and improve your concentration and productivity. Taking a nap during the day allows your body and mind to reap more of these benefits.
Getting the recommended amount of sleep can be difficult for some people, especially with all of the distractions of everyday life interrupting us, but making sure that you’re getting enough sleep is vital to your health. Here are a few tips to making sure that those precious hours are spent in quality REM sleep to refresh your mind and rejuvenate your body.
Your bedroom should be a sleep oasis, a space in which sleeping is the only objective. Make sure it is a dark and quiet area to block out distractions while you sleep. You should also remove all electronics from your bedroom to allow your body a natural sleep space, free of the artificial lights of your television, ipad, and cell phone.
Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body to naturally recognize when it is time to go to sleep, so that falling asleep and staying asleep is easier. Try to wake up at the same time everyday as well, so that your body becomes accustomed to it’s new schedule.
Do the same things in the same order every night before bed. These acts will soon become a sort of cue to your body and mind that sleep is coming soon, and that it’s time to start readying the body for it.
Caffeine is meant to keep you awake and although your last cup of coffee may have been hours ago, chances are traces of caffeine are still in your system if that last cup occurred in the afternoon hours. Try cutting back on caffeine all together to encourage a more natural approach to sleep and wake patterns.
The glow from electronics can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and make it significantly harder for you to fall asleep.
Calming your mind and your body through meditation is a great way to prepare yourself for sleep. This is especially helpful on stressful days when it seems that your mind is too amped up to get any rest.
Some people try to exercise right before bed in hopes that it will tire them out. In reality exercise actually has quite the opposite effect on our bodies, it energizes us. So change your workout routine to earlier in the day and you’ll be more likely to fall asleep faster, at night.
Although alcohol is a depressant and can make you feel tired it also contains sugar which makes falling asleep rather difficult.
The nicotine that is present in cigarettes and cigars makes it harder for many people to fall asleep. In rare, but serious cases, nicotine cravings can even wake people up in the middle of the night and interrupt important REM sleep cycles.
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