Sleep Related Topics

Sleep and Wellness
Sleep Apnea
Snoring Is Not Funny
Not Enough Sleep
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
What Is Parasomnia?
Sleep and Children
Sleep Hygiene
Sleep Study Procedure (PSG)
CPAP Titration
Actual Sleep Study

Sleep and Wellness

These days we are all looking to improve our quality of life by utilizing many tools.  We spend billions of dollars each year on alternative medicine, from vitamins to herbs, different diet techniques, and other modalities.  In this process, we tend to ignore the real wellness.  This is nothing other than an adequate and well-prepared sleep each night.  Achieving well sleep could cost less and have the real impact in our well-being during the day and during our entire life.  Well sleep is a real wellness.
Sleep has two components:

  1. NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.  This is about 70% of our sleep in adults.  Achieving a good non-REM sleep will have a very positive effect in our physical health and well-being the next day and throughout our life.
  2. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.  This is about 25% of our sleep in adults.  This sleep, like non-REM sleep, occurs in cycles with different durations throughout the night.  The first REM sleep usually will happen after 90 minutes of sleep and has the shortest duration.  The longest and the richest REM sleep will typically occur in the early morning hours.  During REM sleep, we dream, the brain is very active and almost behaves like an awake functioning brain.  During REM sleep, we may run, fight, scream and have other different activities that could be part of our dreaming.  None of these activities are observed by our bed partner.  During REM sleep, the brain sends special signals to the spinal cord and paralyses almost all our muscle activities, except for diaphragm muscles, which make us breathe.
  3. In general, sleep has four to five cycles of REM and non-REM sleep that alternate throughout the night.  The ratio of these two types of sleep cycles changes dramatically from infancy to adulthood.  In the pediatric age group, the REM sleep occupies more than 50% of our sleep and gradually diminishes to about 25% during adulthood.  As the REM sleep decreases in its time, the non-REM sleep increases, and reaches to about 75% of our sleep.
  4. Any disruption in these cycles and the ratios of the sleep can have a major detrimental effect in our mental and physical functions.  It may affect our cardiovascular system, neurological system, and other organs.
  5. Cardiac and stroke attacks usually have some association with sleep, especially if initiated in the early morning hours while we are probably in REM sleep when body goes through major turmoil and changes which can affect our cardiac system, including causing an irregular heart beat, complete cardiac arrest, or affect the blood supply to our brain and causing a stroke.
  6. In children, the lack of a complete sleep process usually has a different outcome.  These could be from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to inability to function properly during the day.

If we are really concerned and conscientious about our wellness, before taking any vitamins or attempting any other expensive endeavors, we need to focus on our sleep.  We need to try to regulate and obtain an adequate amount of sleep that will play a major role in our well-being and also will play a major role in our longevity.

>> Common Sleep Disorders >> Frequently Asked Questions

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