How High is Your Sleep Debt?
Who doesn’t like sleep? I know if I could, I would spend all morning catching those Z’s, but who has time for that? Most people do not get the recommended amount of sleep. For infants the recommended amount of sleep is 16 hours a day, for teens it is 9 hours, and for the adults we need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night (Brain Basics). When a person doesn’t sleep for the time their body needs they actual accumulate a Sleep Debt. This is when the more hours you miss of sleep the more exhausted you feel until the debt is paid.
Each time a person sleeps their body goes through a cycle of 5 stages of sleep, stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (Rapid Eye movement) stage. Each cycle takes about 90 to 110 minutes and repeats over and over during your nap. The deepest sleep occurs in one of the more import stages, the REM stage. Infants spend about 50% of their sleep in the REM stage whereas adults only spend 20% (Brain Basic). A study was done on rats whose life expectancy is approximately 2-3 years. These rats were prevented from achieving REM Sleep and they only lived for 5 weeks (Brain Basic).
Sleeping helps with many things such as your nervous system, concentration, memory, physical performance, moods, and much more. Sleep also overlaps with the release of growth hormones and increases the production and break down of proteins. To help ensure your body is healthy you need to get the proper amount of sleep. Here are some tips to help you achieve that: get on a schedule, exercise, relax before bed, control the temperature in the room, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, and wake up with the sun or turn on the lights.
Dedicate more time to your sleeping habits so that you can be ready for your day, eat healthy, and get adjusted.
“Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). USA.gov, 25 July 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.