Sleep…we’re not doing it enough, and we’re doing it all wrong. We’re dosing ourselves with caffeine to stay awake, and knocking ourselves out with alcohol and sleeping pills, stopping ourselves from getting the healthy, normal sleep that lets our brains function and bodies heal.
Did you know?
There are four key stages to your sleep cycle and you must make sure to pass through in order to get quality sleep.
Stage 1 – is within the first ten minutes of falling asleep. Your muscles start to relax during this stage but can be woken easily.
Stage 2 – more than half of your sleep will be spent in this stage. Your breathing relaxes and slows down as your body temperature drops, breathing slows as this also reduces heartbeat giving that important muscle a rest.
Stage 3 – is deep sleep, only lasting about 20 minutes. The brain waves slow and muscles and tissues are repaired. Without this stage of sleep, your brain is unable to process and repair properly which is why your immune system may suffer.
Stage 4 – REM at this stage brain kicks back on while muscles are relaxed.
Causes of poor sleep.
- Getting more than 9 hours of sleep, Sleep disturbances (like waking up several times throughout the night) or having insomnia.
- Getting less than, or more than, 7-8 hours of sleep per night has been shown to result in increased levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. These markers have been linked to chronic disease like heart problems, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
- Opioid use can negatively effect sleep and even block access to REM sleep.
How inflammation affects sleep.
- Inflammation can also causes snoring, as the tissue around the throat and sinuses become swollen and excess mucus is generated, blocking the airway.
- Increase cytokines that put your system on red alert to signal that something is wrong.
What Happens to our bodies as we sleep?
This traditional Chinese biorhythm organ clock shows what is believed to be happening to our bodies and organs as we sleep.